Aussie millennial entrepreneur Jarred Baker is no stranger to running a business. A few years ago, Jarred launched an app, Groupee, setting out to make restaurant bill splitting easier. While this is not Jarred’s first business, he says it is definitely his most ambitious undertaking.
As a millennial entrepreneur, Jarred had observed that the majority of consumers are super comfortable using their banking apps to move money between accounts.
Additionally, it became clear to him that millennials respond to products which actually make their lives easier. Paying with others is a fact of life in 2019 and it’s almost always a mess, so Jarred and his team set out to do something about it.
Over the last 18 months, the Groupee app has been completely overhauled into the world’s first instant-pay sharing platform. Groupee has identified the potential for the “pay-share” market in Australia exceeds $AU100 billion per year and is capitalising on the growing experience economy by developing a brand-new category in the payments space.
- Name: Jarred Baker
- Business name: Groupee
- Industry: Fintech
- Operating since: 2016
- Location: Sydney, NSW
What was your first paid job?
My first paid job was working as a shelf packer at an IGA in Western Sydney. I got this job at 13, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t legal, but I was desperate to get out there and make some money.
What made you get into your current business?
After taking a gap year and working in a restaurant, I was constantly dealing with the issue of split bills, not just how inefficient they were for me to do my job properly, but how much customers hated dealing with the process, too. I learnt that it was almost 50 per cent of the bills processed at this particular restaurant, and it didn’t seem to discriminate on how much money the person had. A year after I left the restaurant, I launched Groupee as a split bill app for diners, which has now evolved into the world's first real-time pay-share platform.
How did you get your very first customer/client?
For Groupee version 1, I drove from restaurant to restaurant, demoing the app for potential partners and signing them up on the spot. It was often in 40-degree heat. I remember it well! In terms of new customers, I hit the phones trying to speak to as many people in my networks personally as possible. As a business spent time flyer dropping people in public places and make sure there was a digital/PR strategy to help capture interest.
What has been your biggest triumph in business?
The process of establishing Groupee in market with our new model was a triumph of epic proportions. The task of bringing together all the partners required in order to do what Groupee does, for a non-banking institution, was something I’m very proud of the whole team for pulling off.
Conversely, what has been your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
By not making decisions fast enough. Being the bottleneck of progress in your business can happen when things are fast moving and the workload gets overwhelming. Learning to make efficient decisions is essential, or you won’t progress.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The difference between you and people who aren’t successful is resilience.
If you could change one thing to make life easier as a business owner, what would it be and why?
As a start-up owner, we always need more help than what we have, no matter how far along we are. The silver lining is we blow ourselves away with what we can achieve with the resources we have.
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.