Banking can be overwhelming, especially for students. Thankfully, the QPay app is attempting to disrupt a very old industry with limited innovation and high fees. QPay helps students manage their money through improved tracking and personalized financial services.
Founders, Moe Satti, Zakaria Bouguetta, and Andrew Clapham, got a deal with Naomi Simson and Steve Baxter on Shark Tank Australia. As of 2023, QPay is worth $10 million.
About the Founders
The three partners are from Sydney, Australia. Zakaria Bouguettaya finished his education at The Australian National University with a degree in computer software engineering. After graduating in 2012, he worked as a software engineer at the Australian Taxation Office in Canberra.
Andrew Clapham got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science at the same university as Zakaria. He co-founded a mobile app development company after finishing college.
Muhammad Satti is also a schoolmate of Andrew and Zakaria. Satti got a degree in information technology at The Australian National University in 2013. Later that year, he worked as an IT consultant for tech giant IBM.
Establishing the Company
As students frustrated with the banking options in Australia, they were inspired to make an app to compete against the biggest players in the market. So, they founded QPay in 2014. Bouguettaya was chosen as CEO, and the two others are directors.
The trio created a banking program and debit card that aimed to improve the way typical millennials manage their finances. It was labeled unique compared to other banking apps in the country because it aims to just serve millennials.
QPay has a feature that allows users to create a QR code containing their account’s information. The developers started promoting their Android and iOS app through campus societies. Their strategy worked successfully and helped the business grow momentum in the early days.
Shark Tank Appearance
Because they needed more capital to grow into investing in developing their app further. They appeared on Shark Tank Australia in 2018, asking for $380,000 in exchange for 8.4% of their business.
More than 150,000 Australian students were using their app before the show. It’s a decent figure, but the founders wanted to expand operations and take it overseas. They disclosed that their goal is to expand into the UK and the United States.
While three Sharks weren’t interested in making an offer Steve Baxter and Naomi Simson quickly saw its potential. Noami initially didn’t want to work with Steve, but eventually agreed to split $380,000 for 8.4% of QPay.
After Shark Tank
After getting the deal they asked for, the three entrepreneurs immediately worked on taking their business to the UK. Later on, they also started operating in the United States. QPay updated their offer payments and ticketing app to appeal to an international audience.
With the UK, US, and Australian markets under its belt, the app is growing steadily. With the rapid rise in competition from the likes of N26, Wise and Revolut, focusing on the student demographic early on was a very savvy move.
In 2021, QPay made $10.5 million in revenue and raised $1.1 million in a funding round in July 2021. This brings their total fundraising efforts to $2.7 million over six rounds. As of now, QPay is valued at $10 million. They have more than doubled the value of the business in four years.