If you are a startup looking for payment gateway integration and the process adherence is killing you, Razorpay might save the hassle.
Founded by Shashank Kumar and Harshil Mathur in 2014, Razorpay is positioned to provide you with a payment gateway solution within a week’s time. Shashank shares that his inability to find a gateway to accept international payments and the enviable ease with which it could be done in US, drove him to start Razorpay.
Here are some interesting bits from iSPIRT’s interview with Shashank:
What triggered you to start up?
SK: “My co-founder and I know each other from college days. After we graduated, we kept working on side projects, mostly for fun. For one of our side projects, we wanted a payment gateway to accept international transactions. However, it had a bunch of requirements like we should have a proper office space, past operational record as a company, fixed deposit of over 1 lakh, and more. Even after fulfilling those requirements, it would take 1 to 3 months for activation. Overall, we had a negative experience. We went online and found that most people, mostly startups, shared a similar experience.
There were 2 issues. First, it was a technical challenge. But more importantly, it was a startup challenge. The gateways, at least at that time (2013), were not ready to serve the startups. The issue needed to be addressed with a fresh mindset. We thought we could do something about it.”
What has been the role of the accelerators in shaping your journey?
SK: “We started from Jaipur to save cost and were working from home initially. Soon we started looking for co-working spaces and came across Startup Oasis, which had come up as an incubator and a co-working hub. Other startups there were also our target market. So we got a lot of first had feedback on our product as we grew. The team at the incubator also made a lot of introductions for us.
When YCombinator happened, they changed our entire thought process on how the company needs to work. They helped with our initial launch, raising money, hiring, managing ESOPs, etc. Also, people took us more seriously now since we were a YC company. We were thinking in terms of how big the space is and taking care of our core business, while the accelerator helped us with the other roles.”
What was your most prominent roadblock?
SK: “We went and talked to multiple banks for offering payments. However, since we did not have any prior experience they were averse to us. Given the failure rate of startups I think it is understandable, since they are accountable for everything. Slowly things are changing, but even now it is very difficult for banks to take early stage startups seriously.”
What would be your advice people who want to startup?
SK: “Pick up a problem that you yourself have experienced; that is the perfect place to start solving. If you become your own target market, it helps. Once you go deep into the domain, you will realize if the problem is big enough for you to solve it. It should be a problem that your network or peer group is facing so that you get your initial set of customers and are able to validate your product.
Have set timelines. It helps to know what you want to do. When we started, we had zero domain knowledge, but our vision was very clear. Once that is clear, one can define the current situation and set future timelines. It will take time to achieve whatever you aspire, but you need to put those numbers on paper first. Figure the knowledge gaps and put timelines against them. If one approach does not work, try something different and see how you get to it. The idea is to not get stuck and keep moving on instead.
It would be great if you could get a mentor at an early stage. Even otherwise, there are a lot of resources online that might help. The idea is to understand what problem exactly are you trying to solve, and then creating a framework around it. It gives a very reliable structure to be able to solve the problem.
Apply to accelerator programs. There application process itself will push you to answer questions, you thought you already had answers to.”
After having raised a round of funding, Razorpay has been aggressively growing in the market with encouraging customer response. We wish them a long and sustainable growth.