October 11, 2013

“The size of the Lebanese market, the main difficulty for entrepreneurs”

“The size of the Lebanese market, the main difficulty for entrepreneurs”

Soraya HAMDAN | 12/10/2013

Three questions for … Camille Tyan, co-founder of the start-up PayPlug PayPlug just won the first competition start-up Business Angels in France, in the key, a provision of EUR 100 000.

Can you present your business? How did the concept?
PayPlug (www.payplug.fr) is a French start-up founded by Antoine Grimaud and myself in May 2012. The idea is simple: PayPlug is the easiest way to accept credit card payments in Europe means. Our solution allows merchants to send a request for payment to their customers, remote, on their website or from their smartphone. Payment is on a page by 100% secure line.
After two years at Harvard in the United States, my partner and I have been gradually changing payment habits. We identified the opportunity to innovate in the world of payment in Europe. We spent many months talking to merchants and professionals in France to understand their issues and begin to define payment solution.

The essential ingredients to start were first people (my partner and employee) who implemented the project, banking partners that allow us to conduct our business in Europe and financial support that has allowed us to boot.
We conducted a fundraising of € 500,000 in October 2012, with relatives, labor relations, and “Business Angels” French and Lebanese and funds Berytech who also participated. PayPlug The team consists of seven people and we plan to expand the team in 2014. 

What obstacles have you encountered? What are the difficulties faced by young entrepreneurs in France?Lebanon? 
The biggest challenge is to understand the market, that is to say, potential clients and their problems. The biggest risk would spend all his budget on a product that nobody wants!Particularly in France, the difficulty related to the cost of labor is an obstacle, but in return there is a lot of public support that provide access to money quickly. In Lebanon, the difficulty is that we need to internationalize quickly because the domestic market is relatively small. This often requires more funds and knowledge of various other markets. Today we have licenses to work in Europe through our partners. By cons, it is impossible for us to develop ourselves in the Middle East with this license, given the banking regulations, which is different and compelling enough to allow Lebanese professionals to accept payments online.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Talk to your customers! We are committed to 100% approach “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries, one of our mentors at Harvard, who says he should fail fast to learn quickly (“fail fast”) and improve its solution. This does not necessarily require large resources: PayPlug at every new idea is first discussed on paper to respond to users at lower cost.