Back in 2014 Shashank and I started working on a side project with the hope that we could create a startup out of it. Things were going fine until we discovered the state of online payments in India. The onboarding process was a nightmare.
We were required to send whole lot of physical documents by post. There were strict requirements for a company to be working out a proper office space. They needed past operational records and a lot of other formalities. In short, it was just not conducive enough for an early stage startup. With all the talk of moving away from paper currency and going online, the reality did not even remotely match the expectations.
Onboarding was just one part of the hassles. The technical integration was painful. None of the providers had a well crafted RESTful API. We were provided with a 200 line sample code for integration, with a non existent technical support. Even after going through all these troubles, the end result would have been a substandard payment experience, with high failure rates and payment interfaces that haven’t been updated since ages. Surely this can be done better?
At one point we wondered if we had a very bad spate of luck and it was just us. Our online research showed that almost everyone had similar experiences. Even the bigger ecommerce players were not satisfied with the high error rates. Compared to US, EU and other western markets, we realised that India was ages behind in this field.
This was it. A real problem faced by real users. We knew we could do better. Since then we have been focussed on making a payment gateway that gets the tech correct, right from integration to success rates, and has a simple & fully online onboarding process. A startup has enough things to worry about. After Razorpay, payments shouldn’t be one of them.
While we knew our tech very well, navigating the bureaucratic and slow moving finance industry took time. PCI DSS certification, bank security clearances, banking tie-ups etc. are some of the things that are the absolutely necessary for a business in this field. All of this was new to us, but we managed to get all things in place and go public in March 2015.
We were part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 batch. Both of us were in San Fransisco, USA for a period of 3 months, while our competent team managed the on-ground work here in India. We got Techcrunch-ed in March, right after our public release. The traffic, interest and sales spike is an interesting topic for a blog post in itself! Until April 2015, we were working out Jaipur. In May we moved to Bangalore since that’s where most of our customers are, as well as the talent.
This is our story up till now. We are sure exciting times are ahead of us!