Top10 Dynamic Entrepreneurs: The family duo behind Payright

January 28, 2020

The brothers work together as the co-founders and joint CEOs of Payright, which is the latest payment plan provider in the market that targets products and services with higher price points.

They identified a gap in the billion dollar ‘buy now, pay later’ industry and clearly other people agreed the gap should have been addressed – proven by their investments received.

Successfully landing on a $55 million raise last year, Payright is working hard on bringing their service into New Zealand in the next 12 months.

At the beginning of this exciting new year, we talked to the brothers about the importance of having the right service and building the right team.

When was the moment you realised that Payright was needed in the market?

We both come from finance backgrounds, collectively we have over 25 years of experience in consumer finance. We established Payright after identifying that a large number of merchants and retailers with higher price point products and services are being underserviced. Putting our heads together and drawing on our backgrounds, we developed Payright for merchants to accelerate return-on-effort by offering a buy now, pay later flexible payment option to their customers, making higher price point products and services – transactions typically around $1,000 and up to $10,000 – more affordable by spreading the cost of purchases over time, without ever paying interest.

Your most recent debt and equity raise was oversubscribed – why do you think Payright is so supported, and how have you did you achieve this amount of traction to your brand?

Our team has done a great job delivering on the business plan which has attracted strong investor support for further growth of Payright.

We have reached a few significant milestones including:

Raising over AU$60 million through a mix of debt and equity, with around AU$40 million secured in the past 18 months;
Growing quite quickly in a short amount of time with a period of substantial growth of near-doubling of revenue quarter-on-quarter over the last 18 months; and
In our first three years of lending, we have acquired over 1,800 merchants with around 250 new merchants joining the platform every quarter and written 29,000 plans totalling approximately AU$81 million.

These achievements have been key in helping us reach our biggest business milestone so far, having over 33,000 end customers using Payright. We believe with Payright we are delivering the choice and flexibility that consumers want in the way they shop and pay with a responsible lending approach, as well as supporting Australian businesses and the retail industry by helping to generate additional sales.

We spend the time to determine the needs of our merchants, channel and technology partners and cater to different business models. This flexibility, combined with our distribution strategy, puts the company in a technologically advantageous position when compared to other players in the market. We are committed to building on Payright’s growing presence and to providing a positive experience to our merchant partners, customers, staff and financial stakeholders.

How is it working alongside your brother?

Being co-founders and co-CEOs there is naturally a strong team dynamic and as brothers, we are fortunate to have complementary skill sets and industry knowledge having worked for some of the world’s largest payments corporations. Whilst we agree on most things, there are always going to be some things we don’t agree on, the fact that we are brothers makes this much easier to navigate. We are intimately aware of the challenges and opportunities within the buy now, pay later space, which is what prompted us to get involved in this business.

And the rest of the team around you that you have built, what’s been important to you in the hiring process?

We are experiencing an exponential growth rate with a near-doubling of revenue quarter-on-quarter over the last 18 months, which has also prompted an increase in headcount, including newly-created senior management roles and appointments.

We believe it is important to promote a culture of people empowerment within the business and we have been committed from the outset to create a clear and unique company culture. Our team is guided by four values and together these elements combine to form our brand essence “Make easy happen”.

Shared Success: We recognise that empowered team members work creatively with merchants to help deliver great business and customer outcomes.
Solutions: We are focused on solutions and working together to deliver these. We have a flat organisational structure and engage all in cross-functional projects to grow and improve the business.

Integrity: We believe in doing the right thing – team members are enabled and work autonomously and collaborate cross-functionally as they see fit.
Curious: We encourage employees to be inquisitive and discover new ways of working, with new initiatives flowing from all areas of the business.

How did you decide that expansion into New Zealand this year was the right decision for future growth? What other growth are you planning for the future?

Our expansion into New Zealand is a natural extension into a market with an appetite for flexible and affordable payment options. Like Australia, there is an untapped opportunity in New Zealand to provide a buy now, pay later instalment payment plan for considered purchases, especially for underserviced sectors such as photography, dental and health and beauty – this is the gap we have identified in the market and one that we intend to continue to fill.

Consumers want more choice and flexibility in the way they shop and pay and there is an increasing societal trend for spreading the cost of purchases and larger expenses. While consumers can purchase these products and services by getting a personal loan or using a credit card, we developed Payright as a more affordable payment option and a more cost-effective alternative to credit cards and traditional interest-free payments plans – there are no interest charges ever, payment plans are flexible, and customers can nominate terms, deposit and repayment frequency.

There is a clear growth in the buy now, pay later space in the addressable market – the opportunity is close to $300 billion in retail alone, and only a very small portion of this is currently being serviced by other players in the market. This provides us with a significant opportunity to scale. The next 12 months and beyond is about scaling the business and looking at expanding further into the global market.

What’s been the biggest learning curve for you so far?

With a rapidly developing business it’s easy to get lost in the growth story and lose track of business fundamentals. Throughout our journey we have been very conscious of this and spent quite a bit of time and resources into finding the right people to assist us in building Payright into a meaningful player across the buy now, pay later space.

Whilst the concept of ‘surrounding yourself with good people’ is not new, getting it right can certainly be a challenge. We believe our investment in time in this has yielded a great outcome and will continue to be one of our guiding principles.

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