what-happened-to-qpay

What happened to QPay?

QPay is a university payment platform for students, societies, and unions that aims to enhance the campus experience.

The platform was created in 2015 by Andrew Clapham and Zaki Bouguettaya, who met while studying at Australian National University (ANU).

Clapham and Bouguettaya are best known for their appearance on Shark Tank Australia in 2018, asking for a sum of $380,000 from investors.

They were ultimately successful and, in the process, became the highest earning business on the Australian version of the series.

The story of how the platform evolved after that is told below.

Shark Tank Australia

When Clapham and Bouguettaya pitched QPay to Shark Tank investors, they had already received $620,000 in venture funding and wanted another $380,000 (or around 8.4% of the company).

At the time, QPay had around 150,000 students on its books in Australia, and the cofounders wanted to expand into overseas markets such as the UK, US, and Canada.

Sharks by the name of Steve Baxter and Naomi Simson were ultimately won over by the pitch, with each contributing 50% of the capital and taking a 4.2% stake.

The investment in QPay became one of the largest to occur on the show and raised the company’s profile. 

Clapham resignation and expansion

Clapham stepped down from his role and resigned soon after for undisclosed reasons.

He was replaced by former Deloitte Australia member Muhammad Satti who joined Bouguettaya at the helm.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, the injection of capital enabled QPay to expand into New Zealand, with around 20% of all Australian students also using the app.

After revising the app’s offer payments and ticketing features for an international audience, the company entered the British and North American markets soon after.

QPay continued to grow and gain early traction because it focused on the student demographic early on.

This was an especially wise in the UK, where established competitors like Revolut and Wise had already secured much of the fintech market.

Equity crowdfunding and Volt partnership

In July 2021, QPay announced it had secured $1.15 million via an equity crowdfunding campaign with Birchal.

This amount far exceeded the minimum target of $500,000 and, according to AustralianFintech.com.au, would enable the company to “meet a global opportunity in the disrupted university sector.

Around this time, QPay announced that it would enter into a partnership with fellow Aussie fintech company Volt.

The company would be tasked with increasing university students’ financial health and aptitude, while Volt’s neobank would serve those same students once they graduated and entered the workforce.

Further expansion and future plans

QPay was launched in Canada in September 2021 to coincide with the start of the academic year. Expansion into the extremely lucrative US market remains somewhere on the horizon.

The company also has plans to file for an IPO sometime in the next three to five years.

Key takeaways:

  • QPay is a university payment platform for students, societies, and unions that aims to enhance the campus experience. Co-founders Andrew Clapham and Zaki Bouguettaya are best known for their appearance on Shark Tank Australia where they managed to secure $380,000 from two investors.
  • Interest in the company increased after it was featured on TV with the injection of capital funding expansion into New Zealand and across Australia more generally. The platform’s focus on university students has seen it gain early traction in the UK.
  • QPay secured a significant round of funding in 2021 from a crowdfunding campaign. The company has yet to announce its arrival in the US market, but it does plan to hold an IPO in the next few years.

Quick Timeline

  • QPay is a university payment platform created in 2015 by Andrew Clapham and Zaki Bouguettaya, former students at Australian National University (ANU).
  • The co-founders appeared on Shark Tank Australia in 2018, securing a $380,000 investment from two sharks, Steve Baxter and Naomi Simson, for a 4.2% stake in the company.
  • QPay expanded into New Zealand, the UK, and North America, targeting university students as its primary demographic.
  • In 2021, QPay conducted a successful equity crowdfunding campaign, raising $1.15 million, surpassing its minimum target.
  • The company announced a partnership with Aussie fintech company Volt to enhance university students’ financial health.
  • QPay launched in Canada in September 2021 and plans to file for an IPO in the next three to five years.
  • The platform’s focus on the student demographic has contributed to its early traction, especially in markets with established competitors in the fintech space.

List of FinTech Business Models

Acorns

how-does-acorns-make-money
Acorns is a fintech platform providing services related to Robo-investing and micro-investing. The company makes money primarily through three subscription tiers: Lite – ($1/month), which gives users access to Acorns Invest, Personal ($3/month) that includes Invest plus the Later (retirement) and Spend (personal checking account) suite of products, Family ($5/month) with features from both the Lite and Personal plans with the addition of Early.

Affirm

affirm-business-model
Started as a pay-later solution integrated to merchants’ checkouts, Affirm makes money from merchants’ fees as consumers pick up the pay-later solution. Affirm also makes money through interests earned from the consumer loans, when those are repurchased from the originating bank. In 2020 Affirm made 50% of its revenues from merchants’ fees, about 37% from interests, and the remaining from virtual cards and servicing fees.

Alipay

how-does-alipay-make-money
Alipay is a Chinese mobile and online payment platform created in 2004 by entrepreneur Jack Ma as the payment arm of Taobao, a major Chinese eCommerce site. Alipay, therefore, is the B2C component of Alibaba Group. Alipay makes money via escrows transaction fees, a range of value-added ancillary services, and through its Credit Pay Instalment fees.

Betterment

how-does-betterment-make-money
Betterment is an American financial advisory company founded in 2008 by MBA graduate Jon Stein and lawyer Eli Broverman. Betterment makes money via investment plans, financial advice packages, betterment for advisors, betterment for businesscash reserve, and checking accounts.

Braintree

how-does-venmo-make-money
Venmo is a peer-to-peer payments app enabling users to share and make payments with friends for a variety of services. The service is free, but a 3% fee applies to credit cards. Venmo also launched a debit card in partnership with Mastercard. Venmo got acquired in 2012 by Braintree, and Braintree got acquired in 2013 by PayPal.

Chime

how-does-chime-make-money
Chime is an American neobank (internet-only bank) company, providing fee-free financial services through its mobile banking app, thus providing personal finance services free of charge while making the majority of its money via interchange fees (paid by merchants when consumers use their debit cards) and ATM fees.

Coinbase

coinbase-business-model
Coinbase is among the most popular platforms for trading and storing crypto-assets, whose mission is “to create an open financial system for the world” by enabling customers to trade cryptocurrencies. Its platform serves both as a search and discovery engine for crypto assets. The company makes money primarily through fees earned for the transactions processed through the platform, custodial services offered, interest, and subscriptions.

Compass

how-does-compass-make-money
Compass is a licensed American real-estate broker incorporating online real estate technology as a marketing medium. The company makes money via sales commissions (collected whenever a sale is facilitated or tenants are found for a rental property) and bridge loans (a service allowing the seller to purchase a home before the revenue from the sale of their previous home is available).

Dosh

how-does-dosh-make-money
Dosh is a Fintech platform that enables automatic cash backs for consumers. Its business model connects major card providers with online and offline local businesses to develop automatic cash back programs. The company makes money by earning an affiliate commission on each eligible sale from consumers.

E-Trade

how-does-e-trade-make-money
E-Trade is a trading platform, allowing investors to trade common and preferred stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, bonds, mutual funds, and futures contracts, acquired by Morgan Stanley in 2020 for $13 billion. E-Trade makes money through interest income, order flow, margin interests, options, future and bonds trading, and through other fees and service charges.

Klarna

how-does-klarna-make-money
Klarna is a financial technology company allowing consumers to shop with a temporary Visa card. Thus it then performs a soft credit check and pays the merchant. Klarna makes money by charging merchants. Klarna also earns a percentage of interchange fees as a commission and for interests earned on customers’ accounts.

Lemonade

how-does-lemonade-make-money
Lemonade is an insurance tech company using behavioral economics and artificial intelligence to process claims efficiently. The company leverages technology to streamline onboarding customers while also applying a financial model to reduce conflicts of interest with customers (perhaps by donating the variable premiums to charity). The company makes money by selling its core insurance products, and via its tech platform, it tries to enhance its sales.

Monzo

how-does-monzo-make-money
Monzo is an English neobank offering a mobile app and a prepaid debit card for consumers and businesses. It was one of the first app-based banks to enter the UK market, founded by Gary Dolman, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein, Paul Rippon, and Tom Blomfield in 2015. All were employees of Starling Bank, a similar neobank challenging the dominance of established financial institutions in England. The company enjoys many revenue streams: business and consumer subscriptions, interchange and overdraft fees, personal loans, and more.

NerdWallet

how-does-nerdwallet-make-money
NerdWallet is an online platform providing tools and tips on all matters related to personal finance. The company gained traction as a simple web application comparing credit cards. NerdWallet makes money via affiliate commissions determined according to the affiliate agreements.

Quadpay

how-does-quadpay-make-money
Quadpay was an American fintech company founded by Adam Ezra and Brad Lindenberg in 2017. Ezra and Lindenberg witnessed the rising popularity of buy-now-pay-later service Afterpay in Australia and similar service Klarna in Europe. Quadpay collects a range of fees from both the merchant and the consumer via merchandise fees, convenience fees, late payment, and interchange fees.

Revolut

how-does-revolut-make-money
Revolut an English fintech company offering banking and investment services to consumers. Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, the company initially produced a low-rate travel card. Storonsky in particular was an avid traveler who became tired of spending hundreds of pounds on currency exchange and foreign transaction fees. The Revolut app and core banking account are free to use. Instead, money is made through a combination of subscription fees, transaction fees, perks, and ancillary services.

Robinhood

how-does-robinhood-make-money
Robinhood is an app that helps to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, all commission-free. Robinhood earns money by offering: Robinhood Gold, a margin trading service, which starts at $6 a month, earn interests from customer cash and stocks, and rebates from market makers and trading venues.


SoFi

how-does-sofi-make-money
SoFi is an online lending platform that provides affordable education loans to students, and it expanded into financial services, including loans, credit cards, investment services, and insurance. It makes money primarily via payment processing fees and loan securitization.


Squarespace

how-does-squarespace-make-money
Squarespace is a North American hosting and website building company. Founded in 2004 by college student Anthony Casalena as a blog hosting service, it grew to become among the most successful website building companies. The company mostly makes money via its subscription plans. It also makes money via customizations on top of its subscription plans. And in part also as transaction fees for the website where it processes the sales.

Stash

how-does-stash-make-money
Stash is a FinTech platform offering a suite of financial tools for young investors, coupled with personalized investment advice and life insurance. The company primarily makes money via subscriptions, cashback, payment for order flows, and interest for cash sitting on members’ accounts.

Venmo

how-does-venmo-make-money
Venmo is a peer-to-peer payments app enabling users to share and make payments with friends for a variety of services. The service is free, but a 3% fee applies to credit cards. Venmo also launched a debit card in partnership with Mastercard. Venmo got acquired in 2012 by Braintree, and Braintree got acquired in 2013 by PayPal.

Wealthfront

how-does-wealthfront-make-money
Wealthfront is an automated Fintech investment platform providing investment, retirement, and cash management products to retail investors, mostly making money on the annual 0.25% advisory fee the company charges for assets under management. It also makes money via a line of credits and interests on the cash accounts.

Zelle

how-does-zelle-make-money
Zelle is a peer-to-peer payment network that indirectly benefits the banks’ consortium that backs it. Zelle also enables users to pay businesses for goods and services, free for users. Merchants pay a 1% fee to Visa or Mastercard, who share it with the bank that issued the card.

Read Next: Fintech Business Models, IaaS, PaaS, SaaSEnterprise AI Business ModelCloud Business Models.

Read Next: Affirm Business Model, Chime Business Model, Coinbase Business Model, Klarna Business Model, Paypal Business Model, Stripe Business Model, Robinhood Business Model.

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