Last time, we brought you the story of Glamping Hub. Today, we are proud to showcase an innovative startup operating in the Fintech industry down under: Inamo.
Inamo allows users to conveniently make payments on the go with its range of wearable payment tech products without having to carry wallets. Embedded with an NFC payment chip, its products can be easily attached to your watch, wrist band, or fitness tracker for added ease and flexibility.
Like any other credit card, Inamo’s contactless payment products can be used to purchase products online and also be disabled, should you misplace or lose it.
The Humble Beginnings
The breakthrough success of Inamo hinges on decades’ worth of ingenuity and the experience of founder Peter Colbert, who happens to be the brains behind wearable fintech.
Although trained as an engineer, Peter made extensive use of his inventive and inquisitive mindset to pursue several startups throughout his career.
His decades’ worth of exposure into sports, travel, and financial industries gives him a substantial amount of insight and expertise in coming up with innovative startup ideas and solutions. He mentions:
“Started out as a Honeywell engineer and went on to become a serial entrepreneur. First start-up was at the tail end of the dot-com boom and inevitable bust. Dusted myself off and started a working travel company.”
The travel company Peter started looked after inbound working holiday travellers. He eventually sold it off and founded The Card Group, a CashBack Rewards company. Little did he know that it was before its time and then pivoted to establish Inamo.
Engineering the Blueprint to Success
Most businesses are a result of exhaustive brainstorming sessions. But, in the case of Inamo, its concept and execution is engineered to perfection, owing to the skills and expertise acquired from multiple industries.
Like most startup owners, Peter always had a passion for being financially independent and quickly decided that he wasn’t fit for the corporate 9-5 routine. As a way out, he planned ahead early on by saving $3K he initially thought of spending for his gap-year in London, but instead invested in his first business idea, Colbert International.
With a flair for surfing and depth in the financial payments industry for many years, opting for the wearable payment tech niche was simply a matter of connecting the dots. On a day out surfing, Peter decided to meet his friends over coffee; only to realize that he didn’t have his wallet.
And in a flash, the blueprint for Inamo came into light.
Key Milestones and Achievements
Born with the vision to make payments on the go more flexible and fashionable, Inamo set the wheels in motion for its growth and dominance within fintech market. Within 3 years after it was established, Inamo achieved several milestones, including:
- Raising 1.5m seed funding
- Launched 3 wearable products: The Classic, The Curl, The Wave
- Penetrated a niche market
- Became the first company to sell prepaid wearable devices and more
Inamo has also received wide acclaim from the press. It has been featured in several prominent publications including Business Insider, Financial Review, and The Australian.
Challenges Inamo Has Faced
Inamo has dealt with its fair share of challenges in the run-up to its meteoric rise to stardom. Peter mentions:
“We were doing our seed raise and one VC promised us $1M and, right at the last moment, pulled out. That was shattering. We had the CEO of a major bank shake hands only to revenge.”
However, through courage and perseverance, Inamo was able to stand its ground and pull through the storm of financial difficulties and later add two new products to its portfolio.
The second challenge Inamo faced was team building. Hiring the best talent can be a hit or miss affair. In the case of Inamo, it was a serious mistake. Peter’s wearable tech days almost ended after he made a bad hire through his gut instinct.
What happened next was a drop in employees from 4 to 1 (Peter) within just 2 months, giving investors alarm bells that the startup’s day-to-day operations had come to a grinding halt.
For Peter, this was the greatest lesson he ever learned: employees can make or break a company. Due to one bad decision, Inamo took more time to build its employee culture and restore the confidence of its stakeholders. It had to build its team from scratch whilst piloting its activities in two countries simultaneously. Doing so whilst trying to steer the company to profit was a challenging task to pull off successfully.
“Rebuilding a team while literally trying to launch and pilot in two countries has been the hardest period in my life. Fortunately, we’re rebuilding from scratch and have supportive investors. Life’s lessons!”
Tips for Overcoming Challenges and Advice for Entrepreneurs
Every startup is bound to face hurdles and roadblocks. The key is to stay on course and not lose focus in the midst of distractions. Peter shares the following qualities that helped pivot Inamo from multiple threats of decline and loss:
“Perseverance, grit, never giving up, imagination, inquisitiveness but also being a realist.”
While these qualities are required for every startup owner, one of the most important skill is crafting a business idea upon a practical solution.
When asked about the best advice for entrepreneurs who want to follow the footsteps of Inamo, Peter stressed the importance of thinking critically to help solve a real problem.
Found Inamo’s story inspirational? Let us know your thoughts and the most valuable thing you’ve learned. For more updates on the fintech startup, be sure to check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.
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