Episode 11: Shola Akinlade, Co-founder of Paystack, on building big business by solving painful problems

Episode 11 of Building the Future with Dotun is here. In this episode, Shola Akinlade of Paystack answers questions from Dotun Olowoporoku. Learn how to build big business by solving painful problems.

On the podcast today, we have the CEO and Co-founder of Paystack, Shola Akinlade. Paystack is a payments processing company that 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; 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 and getting his first 10 Paystack customers. As of 2015, no other payment processor or gateway was facilitating recurring payments for merchants. This was Paystack’s x-factor and entry point.

In 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 that 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.

For more details about this podcast, go to: http://www.thestarta.com/articles/podcast/shola-akinlade/

All rights reserved. This publication/podcast may not be re-published in part or whole, without the expressed permission of Dotun Olowoporoku.

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