Andrey Romanenko at September Moscow Tech Meetup
September 29 at 19:00 in our DI Telegraph will be held a meeting on the topic of electronic payments. Who does not know, mitap is such a format of the meeting: first, startups speak, then the main expert, and then the main thing begins - free communication with pizza and beer.
Here are our speakers:
- Graduates of AlfaCamp - the first Fintech camp in Russia.
- 2can - mobile payment terminal (Nikolay Zhmurenko, initiator and co-investor of the project / CEO).
- Tolkachev and partners : about bitcoins in Russia (Artem Tolkachev, managing partner).
This is already our fourth mitap, it’s time to write about it on Habr. This time, a serious guest will come to us - Andrey Romanenko , Managing Partner of the Run Capital Venture Fund, one of the founders and shareholders of QIWI Group. He knows about electronic payments firsthand.
How did you come up with the idea of QIWI - was it a long way? As far as I know, your very first company was “in profile” - “Plastic Card Store” (IPC), which distributed and promoted express payment cards for communication services. Or, on the contrary, you had other alluring roads to other companies, but you left everything and chose your project?
I have never been visited by thoughts and dreams of working for someone, including in the most famous organizations. Already in high school I wanted to organize something myself. They began to try with friends. First there were branded plastic bags for the supermarket, then the computer games that we recorded on CD - there is something to remember from childhood.
But, if we talk about something serious, then “yes”, this is the IPC, it was with her that the story of instant payments began for me. Then the OSMP company, which subsequently grew into QIWI.
Tell the story of the development of your startup - how did you assemble the QIWI team, what were the trials and mistakes, what experience did you make for yourself, what rules of doing business formed?
I am sure that a start-up flew should be a group of like-minded people, obsessed with their idea and its success. In our case, it was just like that, everyone was ready to do everything - work as a courier, network administrator. They worked on the drive, the concepts of “day off” or “work day over” simply did not exist.
I can say for sure that if you yourself do not fully believe in the success of your project, you will not be able to convince others. Well and, of course, the founder must know everything at the stage of building a business, at this stage there is no concept of "this is not my area of responsibility" or "I do not understand anything about this." You do not understand, then you must understand.
Can QIWI be considered the most successful Russian startup? Or do you have anyone to follow?
You know, for each parent, their child is the smartest and most beautiful :-)
Of course, there are Russian business gurus who I respect and admire immensely that they created. I will catch up with them.
What does QIWI earn if I get 0% commission on my mobile?
QIWI services operations at the expense of a fee for accepting payments from providers (in this case, mobile operators), the service transfers part of this fee to its agents.
What do you think about Apple Pay? Why couldn’t Apple buy Square?
On the deal between Apple and Square: as I understand it, the participants simply did not match the company's assessment, and Apple considered it unjustified to pay more. Although the fact that the negotiations were going on for a long time confirms the interest of both parties.
What is your prediction - how long will we still need to carry the wallet in our pocket? Should startups try to enter the payment and transfer market? The rocketbank seems to have started quite well, even the subway cars are sealed with advertising translations - apparently, your profits are irresistibly seductive?
Honestly, I do not see a direct proportionality between the volume of advertising and profit. It all depends on the strategy. A company can be unprofitable and have a huge advertising budget. But, you are absolutely right, the financial segment, including money transfers, is now very attractive for electronic payment systems. Many keep the course and pin their hopes on it. As for startups, I don’t remember vivid examples that have entered the market recently, but I would very much like to see something really interesting.
You will have to carry a purse in your pocket for at least another five years, especially to Russians, taking into account our mentality. Not so quickly, the mass user is ready to change his habits and completely switch to electronic payments. But we are constantly seeing events aimed at replacing cash, including those generated by the state.
For example, I’m sure that the holders of plastic cards positively accepted the news that from January 1, 2015, outlets not equipped with a POS terminal will be fined. Of course, for small business this initiative will entail additional costs. But it also accelerates the transition from cash to cashless payments.
A very futuristic question - in your opinion, when will they introduce a world currency equivalent to kilowatts? Or does the 18th-century paper currency system meet the demands of the times?
The single world currency ?! I can’t deny the appearance in this century, but in this case it will be equated to a unit of information volume - megabytes, for example. After all, information and the speed of its receipt is growing in value every day.
If you started from scratch today, what would you do? Would you become a startup? What project would you do? Although, it seems, you did just that — now at QIWI you are one of the shareholders and a member of the board of directors, and do you focus on investment activities in Run Capital?
I would not want to change anything in my life. We must not think about the past, but move forward.
As for QIWI, today it is a global company, living according to clearly structured rules, managed by professional top managers.
The idea to create your own fund and engage in its operational management yourself about a year ago. Then there was already investment experience - ITech Capital and AddVenture III funds. I was no longer engaged in QIWI operations - time has come. Plus a successful IPO - I realized that I can still build a lot - there are strengths, desires, opportunities.
He considered that the most interesting, although the most risky, project to make the Fund focusing on investment in projects at the very initial stages was Run Capital, which my partners and I created at the end of April 2014.
Have you already invested in anyone? How to choose and whom are you looking for?
So far, I am officially ready to announce only one project www.weatlas.ru - a tourist startup - a portal that allows you to remotely order, organize, pay and receive instant confirmation of the chosen excursion or entertainment in any city in the world.
Already today you can order more than 3,000 excursions. The project has a real competitive advantage over existing projects.
I think that in the very near future we will announce several more transactions.
We are looking for stars - technological projects at the very early stages of development (seed, pre-seed). We closely monitor the segments of training, medicine, all kinds of gadgets. The selection criteria are simple: effective team, project virality, scalability, high growth potential and complexity of copying.
And finally, a couple of personal questions - is there time to sit on the Internet? Come on Habr? Where do you get the news from?
My every day starts with watching the news: I’m simply obliged to watch the main pages of daily publications. Good news aggregators have now appeared - they greatly simplify the process and save time. I come to Habr with pleasure when there is time. With particular interest I read comments on articles.
Once, a very respected person said to me: “If you want to do something necessary, to develop yourself, then you simply must know and understand everything that is happening around you.” And this applied not only to technology, but also to economics and politics. I heard him.
Almost always I read everything in electronic form, it’s more convenient, although sometimes I like to rustle on paper pages, for example, on an airplane :-)