Business owners would rather lose almost a fifth of their revenue and be paid on time, than waste business hours chasing customers — and invoicing startup Quicka is seizing on this opportunity.
Despite the growing number of successful Aussie fintechs, Australia has become “the slowest-paying modern country in the world”, with business owners waiting up to 182 days to be paid, Quicka co-founder and chief executive Nathan Carroll tells StartupSmart.
Using this in-house research as a launchpad, Carroll and co-founder Nick Glynn launched Quicka in mid-July to 30 businesses.
Both Carroll and Glynn come from fintech backgrounds, where they found success in “simplifying the product offering and making it more concise for customers”, Carroll says.
So after pitching at Antler Australia’s Demo Day, the co-founders decided to simplify their offering further by splitting it into two separate products.
QuickaPay is their buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) software, which integrates into business accounting platforms, while Quicka, the original product, automates email and text message reminders.
The duo is also capitalising on the recent barrage of news focusing on late payments to drive the story of convenience they tell to sell the product, and this narrative often smooths over any concerns about BNPL systems.
“One of the biggest differentiations with our product … is we are not trying to brand ourselves as a product that people can use to buy things they can’t afford,” Carroll says.
To deliver on the promise of convenience, the co-founders worked with a solution-forward mentality, speaking with businesses and their customers before building the product.
“I think the first thing comes down to really understanding … what’s causing the problem, better than your customers do,” Carroll says.
“Then you can come up with a million creative solutions.”
They narrowed the problem of late payments down to customers often not having enough cashflow, time or will to make payment deadlines.
During the research process, they also found two issues specific to small businesses: maintaining customer relationships and dealing with corporate clients.
“People don’t get paid because a lot of guys try their luck by pushing out their business terms” with returning customers or people in their networks, Glynn says.
“We’re also finding that bigger enterprise customers are almost turning the thumbscrews on the small guys” by angling for steep discounts, he adds.
Once the commonalities were found, the co-founders made Quicka’s point of difference an automated middle-man service to reduce customers’ opportunities to negotiate.
“For us, just acting as the intermediary has actually been really, really powerful,” Glynn says.
Knowing 80% of customers fell into the cashflow or time categories, the co-founders then created a system allowing them to extend their payment times using the BNPL QuickaPay platform.
Quicka found the last 20% of offenders, who don’t care enough to stick to deadlines, were often those who paid latest. The co-founders plan to address this in their second iteration, which will allow businesses to collect payments upfront while penalising corporate offenders.
In keeping with the convenience of their product, the co-founders then integrated Quicka into platforms their targeted audience was already using.
“It’s been more about prioritising the integrations that make sense for our customers,” Glynn says.
Larger solution, larger narrative
Carroll and Glynn are also careful to contextualise micro-level payment issues within the broader economy, finding the same businesses who gave them insight into the difficulties of chasing payments were also guilty of paying their suppliers late.
“It’s so weird that people don’t realise that intersection is what causes friction in the economy,” Glynn says.
“Helping these people get paid is solving, effectively, congestion for the economy,” he adds.
StartupSmart was invited to Antler HQ as the official media partner of Antler Demo Day 2019.