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.

Related Business Stories

What Happened to WeWork

what-happened-to-wework
WeWork is a commercial real estate company providing shared workspaces for tech start-ups and other enterprise services. It was founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010. WeWork’s business model was built on complex arrangements between the company and its landlords. There were also several conflicts of interest between Neumann and WeWork, which provided the impetus for the failed IPO and significant devaluation that would follow.

What Happened to Netscape

what-happened-to-netscape
Netscape – or Netscape Communications Corporation – was a computer services company best known for its web browser. The company was founded in 1994 by Marc Andreessen and James H. Clark as one of the internet’s first and most important start-ups. The Netscape Navigator web browser was released in 1995 and became the browser of choice for the users of the time. By November 1998, it had been acquired by AOL, which tried unsuccessfully to revive the popularity of the web browser. Ten years later, Netscape was shut down entirely.

What Happened to Musical.ly

what-happened-to-musically
Musically, or Musical.ly as it is officially known, was a Chinese social media platform headquartered in Shanghai. After passing 200 million users in May 2017, the platform was shut down by tech company ByteDance in November. After its acquisition, ByteDance suggested Musical.ly would continue to operate as a standalone platform. Company representatives noted that it would be able to leverage ByteDance’s AI technology and enormous reach in the Chinese market. Musically was ultimately absorbed into TikTok in June 2018, with the app no longer available in August of the same year. Existing users were offered technical support and several new features as a sweetener.

What Happened to Vine

what-happened-to-vine
Vine was an American video social networking platform with a focus on looping video clips of six seconds in length, founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll in 2012 to help people capture casual moments in their lives and share them with their friends. Vine went on to become a massively popular platform. Yet by 2016, Twitter discontinued the mobile app, allowing users to view or download content on the Vine website. It then announced a reconfigured app allowing creators to share content to a connected Twitter account only. This marked the end of Vine.

What Happened to CNN Plus

what-happened-to-cnn-plus
CNN Plus was a video streaming service and offshoot of CNN’s cable TV news network that was launched on March 29, 2022. The service was ultimately shut down just one month after it was launched. Trouble began for the platform when parent company WarnerMedia merged with Discovery. The latter was unimpressed with paltry viewer data and, with $55 billion in debt to clear, was not interested in funding CNN+ moving forward. Other contributing factors to CNN Plus’s demise include a lack of compelling content and streaming service market saturation.

What Happened to Clubhouse

what-happened-to-clubhouse
Clubhouse is a social app that allows thousands of people to communicate with each other in audio chat rooms. At one point, the company was worth $4 billion and boasted users such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Clubhouse declined because it rode the wave of pandemic lockdowns and suffered when people resumed their normal routines. The decision to remove the invite-only feature also caused a rapid influx of new members and removed any exclusivity. Clubhouse management also failed to define a business model and was unaware of the components of a successful social media site.

What Happened to Facebook

what-happened-to-facebook

What Happened to Sean Parker

what-happened-to-sean-parker
Sean Parker is an American entrepreneur most associated with the music-sharing platform Napster. Parker founded Napster with childhood friend Shawn Fanning, and the service was launched in June 1999 while the pair were still teenagers. Napster’s ultimate demise in 2001 is well documented. Parker was forced to step down as Facebook president in 2005 after an arrest for drug possession in North Carolina. Still, he retained a significant shareholding and informal involvement with the company. He then worked with Peter Thiel at his venture capital firm for a time and then moved into philanthropic efforts.
Scroll to Top
FourWeekMBA