Interview With Juan Andrade and Simon White
Describe your product or service:
“Financial operating system for startups.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“We believe a startup should operate without a finance team.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
“Backed by Y Combinator and raised our seed round.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“There are 10 of us. Six on the engineer product side and four on the growth and marketing side.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“Juan came up with the idea whilst working at a larger travel startup. He saw a team of 20 people reconciling multiple international bank accounts and struggling. He quit his job and joined Simon, building an MVP. Asking businesses to try it out and getting accepted at Y Combinator, they were able to validate their idea by getting their first 10 paying customers.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“Juan struggled with that to call the company. He knew he didn't want to build another bank, so he considered himself a rebel at the time (many people were building the new challenger banks at the time), so he liked the idea of being the outsider. Hence rebel, ‘rebel bank’ becoming ‘Rebank.’”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Yes, Juan always wanted to start his own business, his parents ran many small businesses and restaurants, so entrepreneurship was in his blood. Having studied and worked his way up larger companies, he knew that being an employee was not for him.”
Did you encounter any roadblocks when launching your startup? If so, what were they and what did you do to solve them?
“Getting rejected the first time we applied to Y Combinator was a big blow. But we didn’t let it stop us, and we bootstrapped for a full two years working on our MVP.”
Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your company with our guide on how to start a startup.
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“Our current target is international startups post seed but pre-Series B. This is because companies at that stage can not afford a CFO or finance hire but struggle with the same finance admin as larger companies. Especially post-pandemic with remote working and international bill payments. It's also much easier and cheaper to target these companies than larger enterprises who need more bespoke products.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Organic reach through product launches on Product Hunt [and] Hacker News. Growing our social media and content marketing. Building our website domain rating and becoming thought leaders in our industry niche.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Mainly through referrals, Y Combinator community, and through smaller CFO and accounting communities. We are not getting more organic customers finding us through google search and through various marketing initiatives such as ebooks, slack apps, etc.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Cash at bank, our burn, revenue growth, sign-ups, client growth, sources from Google Analytics, MAU, Net revenue retention, D1 retention, CAC, LTV.”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“‘Thinking in System’ by Donetella Mars.”
What is a song or artist that you listen to for motivation?
“‘The Middle’ by Jimmy Eat World.”
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“It's harder than you can possibly imagine, but it's also more exciting than you could ever dream.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“With difficulty. Exercise is key.”
What is a strategy you use to stay productive and focused?
“Mindfulness and going for a brisk walk.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“We break our day into four stages: growth urgent, emergency stuff to get new customers, then nonurgent, general long-term work, then it's everything else like products, etc. Finally, any finance admin that's needed.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“Customer service taught me how to manage your emotions in times of stress.”
More on Rebank
Rebank, founded by Juan Andrade, bills itself as a “chief financial operating system," this is Rebank's origin story.
Juan and Simon, founders of fintech startup Rebank, shared valuable insights during our interview that will inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.