A Sydney startup has grown its team to 85 fearless people in less than four years
Friday, March 4, 2016/
A fearless approach to trying new things and an embrace of failure has helped a fintech startup grow to a team of 85 and dish out over $100 million loans in only three and a half years.
From day one, Sydney startup Prospa has been a workplace where it’s acceptable to fail at things, CEO Beau Bertoli says.
“Everyone at the organisation will try things not knowing whether it will work or not,” Bertoli tells StartupSmart.
Much like Google’s moonshot factory approach, Bertoli and his team launch into new ideas just to have a crack.
At the end of February this year, a member of Prospa’s marketing team approached them with an idea to run a leap year campaign.
Not knowing whether it would generate any leads, they developed it within 12 hours and ran the $25,000 project.
“It ended up being a raging success,” Bertoli says.
But even if it didn’t work, by testing the idea he says they could still learn how that particular message resonates with a customer segment and if that’s affected by that specific time of the year.
“We try a lot of things and we fail lots of things as well,” he says.
After enjoying many growth spurts by taking such risks, Bertoli says they could have made more bets in Prospa’s early days.
“If I look back on our journey, I think we’ve done a lot of things to plan,” he says.
“A number of initiatives that we took often limited ourselves.”
But when working with a more restricted budget, it’s tough to figure out if you can create demand for a product and do it the right way, he says.
Driven by the ultimate vision of changing the way people experience finance, Bertoli says they wouldn’t be able to do it without a strong core team.
“Our team is built to last,” he says.
He says the Prospa people who are out there on daily basis creating amazing customer experiences and solving more and more problems are their number one priority.
“Learning for us never stops, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve,” Bertoli says.
“It’s in our DNA to evolve.”
After selling one core product for more than three years, Borteli believes it’s time to diversify.
“We’ve had a lot of enquiries from customers around a secured offer,” he says.
So new products including secured business loans and invoice financing are in the works with plans to launch them in Australia soon.
“We’re excited to see what the next three years have to offer,” Bertoli says.
From the frontlines
Startups, synagogues and soonicorns: Exploring the world’s most innovative ecosystem Charlotte Petris Timelio founder
Australia needs to follow the UK and introduce a flexible work bill Gemma Lloyd WORK180 founder
The ‘anti-startup’ story: How to turn $1,000 into $15 million with no investment Alex Georgiou ShineHub co-founder
New venture? How to decide who and what to bring along for the ride Colin Anson pixevety co-founder
Five critical questions: Are you listing your startup too soon? Lisa Schutz Verifier founder
Three massive influencer marketing fails businesses can learn from Anthony Richardson Q-83 founder