How Chase Harmer Bootstrapped PayCertify to Success
What do you do differently?
When you think about processing payments, you think of Stripe, our biggest competitor. But our approach to the market is different from Stripe. They’ve focused on payment processing first, then are using that to bring customers into the rest of their ecosystem. But we’re focused on being the card issuer for the internet. That means that when you think about issuing virtual cards and issuing payments, you think of us. We start with issuing, because we know that everyone who sells something online needs to spend money to do that. So we let people issue payments and earn 2% unlimited cashback on all spend, which will hopefully bring them into the rest of our offerings.
What sacrifices have you made to get to where you are today?
The irony of business is that you have to give up a lot of money if you want to make money. I could’ve made millions doing what I already was, but I wanted to build something from scratch so that I could bring my ideas to life. I bootstrapped the first $2M of our company, which was a major challenge. Everything I earned went straight back into the company. We just got a valuation of $280M, so it feels like the sacrifices have paid off.
If you could start over, what would you do differently?
I would’ve moved slower at times. I’m very action-oriented, which is often a blessing. I get a lot done and I’m not afraid to take risks. But some situations benefit from a careful evaluation and lots of patience. I haven’t always done that when it would’ve been advantageous.