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Dec 11, 2022
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Spac is here to fix the personal finance management space in India.

-Parth Shah, Co-Founder, Spac

Team 100X.VC interviewed the Founders' of their Portfolio Companies about their Start-up journey; from idea, execution to overcoming challenges. Here, Parth Shah, Co-Founder, SPAC shares his responses.

 

Q1. How did the idea of Spac come up?

The idea for Spac has certainly evolved over time, it wasn't an instant AHA moment but it definitely was a start in the right direction. The idea for Spac came up during a personal need of making online transactions more secure and making it easy to manage multiple subscriptions. As we explored solutions to solve this, virtual cards were an interesting concept we came across, and believed it to be the right tool for our problems. As we validated our hypothesis with a web app (our alpha version) we realized many more benefits of virtual cards. At the same time, digital payments in India were rising at an unprecedented rate. While digital payments (UPI, Cards, Wallets, etc.) have solved the ease of doing payments, it has definitely made it extremely difficult for young folks to have control over their money. The lack of control and tracking of digital payments makes it difficult for consumers to stay within their budgets and save consciously and consistently. This was definitely a personal problem for us as salaried individuals. As we carried out our market research, we realized this to be a big problem for everyone who uses digital payments for any and all transactions. This is when we realized our virtual cards are a perfect tool for personal finance management and we set out to build the beta version of the Spac mobile app.

 

Q2. What made you start working on and executing this idea?

Digital payments in India is a very exciting sector. There are many forms of digital payments present today such as UPI, Wallets, Cards, BNPLs, etc. The adoption of the same is increasing at a phenomenal pace. The infrastructure such as India Stack is very well-built making it easier for Fintech companies to launch products. We clearly saw a gap in the PFM (personal finance management) landscape in India. All the PFM apps were broken in one way or the other. They had no way to communicate with payment apps or data. Even if data was fed to the PFM app, it did a rudimentary analysis with no controls or pre-emptive actions it could offer to the users. Drawing parallels from the US market which went through the digital payments boom last decade, PFM apps have thrived and helped users build a healthy relationship with their money. Spac intends to do the same for Indian consumers. As the number of digital transactions increases exponentially, the need for PFM apps will drastically shoot up for users to seamlessly manage their money and make sense of their transactions. 

 

Q3. When did you realize the need to raise Venture Capital - Seed funding?

FinTech is definitely an expensive space to be in. We knew if we had to build a world-class product, we would need a strong team and partnership with several banks. This is when we decided that venture capital would be needed to make this process easier and faster.

 

Q4. How has 100X helped you at the beginning of your journey?

100X has been instrumental in our journey so far. First believers are extremely important in any startup's journey. It helps validate a lot of things and gets us moving quickly. The constant guidance from the core team helps us move in the right direction. Apart from all this, the community of founders established across cohorts has helped us immensely in so many areas. 

 

Q5. What challenges did you face & how did you overcome them?

Operating in Fintech does come with a few regulatory challenges and we have undergone the same at the beginning of our journey. These challenges definitely caused us to stop our operations for a while. Being in a highly regulated environment, it's always best to abide by all regulations and we too made sure we were compliant at all levels and restarted our operations quickly.

 

Q6. What stage is your startup at present?

We moved past our beta stage of testing our product and now moving towards the PMF stage.

Q7. As founders, what are your goals for the next 1-2 years?

Goals for the next 1-2 years would be:

  1. Finding the right PMF
  2. Become cash flow positive

Q8. What keeps you motivated & keeps you going?

Building a product is extremely exciting. We are a small team with many ideas to execute. We know this space is extremely large and waiting to be disrupted. The constant feedback from our users also keeps us extremely motivated.

 

Q9. Your message for Startup founders building in the FinTech sector?

FinTech is a very exciting space to be in right now, especially in India. Many many problems are to be solved and innovative solutions to be offered. I think for early-stage founders in FinTech, understanding regulations should be of paramount importance. This understanding will help them build the right product.

 

About Parth Shah:

Parth Shah is a Computer Engineering graduate from Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar with a CGPA of 9.14. He is a Gujarati who grew up in Kuwait.

With a keen interest in the startup ecosystem, he started his career at Quicko - A Tax compliance startup in Ahmedabad where he looked after the API business unit. Acting as Product Owner for APIs, he wore multiple hats ranging from BD associate, creating documentation, providing support, as well as working with the stakeholders to create a new identity for the platform. Moving on from Quicko, he continued to work as a Product Manager for the API team at Signzy focusing on the API marketplace objective of managing over 200+ fintech APIs.

Currently, as a Co-Founder of Spac, he looks after the product and marketing activities. At Spac, he's solving the problem of budgeting, planning, and controlling money in the digital payments world for consumers.


 

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