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Episode 11 Shola Akinlade, Co-founder at Paystack, How to build a big business by solving painful problems. The story of Paystack.

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On the podcast today, we have the CEO and Co-Founder of Paystack, Shola Akinlade. Paystack is a payments processing company which lets businesses accept payments via debit card or money transfer on their websites or mobile apps. Paystack was the very first Nigerian company to get into YC – which is no small feat!
Shola is a software engineer by training and his foray into software engineering started when his uncle gifted him a computer. We discuss his journey as a developer, from being a part of the vibrant tech ecosystem at Babcock University to building a tracking tool for Heineken to getting his first 10 Paystack customers. As at 2015, no other payment processor or gateway was facilitating recurring payments for merchants. This was Paystack’s x-factor and entry point.

On This Episode You’ll Learn

  • How Shola and his co-founder, Ezra Olubi met at Babcock and ended up working together. Hint: YC helped make this match happen
  • More about Babcock University’s tech ecosystem which inspired Shola to build his first project: a voice-activated tool for websites. This tool landed him his first job
  • Shola talks about his previous business, Precurio, an intranet enterprise tool he built which he quickly monetized and is still running today.
  • How working consulting jobs for banks, a little tinkering with Mastercard’s API led him to what is now known as Paystack
  • The most important lessons he learnt at Y Combinator around product and hiring talent
  • Shola’s biggest pain point, Paystack’s growth metric and much more
  • The relationship between Paystack and Flutterwave.
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About the author

Dotun Olowoporoku

Dotun is an accidental entrepreneur, recovering academic. But found it more interesting to be a startup pirate than join the academic navy.