Bottom of a Series C
Papar is a startup that sells financial products to banks that deliver new financial services to existing or new customers for those financial institutions. With a history of delivering innovative software solutions to clients across Latin America, Papar was funded off a solid round of investment to deliver a new set of products that followed closely to a correspondent banking method.
The company was able to use the underlying technology to sell SMS & text-message-based mobile banking to many financial institutions, but the core of the strategy was not viable as the sought after customer engagement was not achieved and clients did not buy in. With the business in a difficult position, Charles and the executive team decided to let go of the old direction and the people who were brought in to help achieve it to slow down the burn rate.
The team members who had been able to see the opportunity around SMS banking were retained and a new path, with a new team, was charted to capitalize on the opportunity for a mobile app wallet. The executive team built partnership agreements with a leader in mobile apps for the European markets and with the companies who provided the processing servers for their clients in the Latin American markets. These changes had given the investors in Papar confidence in the new direction, and they still a plan, along with a financial model, to chart progress as the rest of the Series C funding was used.
Model to create consensus
Charles was facing pressure from the investors and from his team to put together a financial model that portended a compelling future for the company. He knew that the opportunity was there for mobile wallets, and he knew that Papar had the right partners and agreements to capitalize on it. He tasked his team to work with a representative from the principal investors and the different leaders throughout the company to get a cohesive plan together so that a financial model could be forecasted.
Conversation and analysis
Charles tasked his team to connect with the sales and project leaders in each of the 4 targeted countries with the aim of crafting a cohesive business plan for the pivot. The opportunity related to mobile wallets was clear to each leader but there were fundamental differences in the market dynamics for each country that required a corresponding change in strategy for each. After engaging with the different leaders, it became clear to the entire team what were the common elements across all markets and what would be the most impactful developments that would support each.
With the perspectives of the leaders in each country together into one strategy that they could all agree to, financials models with milestones for each country were extrapolated. The plan and models were then presented to the analyst from the principal investor for his feedback and buy in.
With an accepted business plan and financial models in hand, Charles engaged with the executive team and the Papar board in a budget planning exercise to determine how the remaining investment would be trenched. The trenches were tied to key milestones related to the launch of the mobile app in the largest market, where the opportunity was equal to the opportunity in all the other markets combined.
The financial model and budget planning exercise created total transparency within the organization of the key success factors needed for the mobile wallet strategy. It galvanized the investors to use their influence to support the success of Papar by giving them clear, tangible milestones with an associated dollar return. All in, Charles had the buy in and support he needed to achieve his stated goals.