What does Spotcap do?
Lachlan explains how Spotcap’s mission is to empower SMEs by providing tailored finance so they can focus on what’s most important, which is their own business. Going where the big banks often don’t, Spotcap provides unsecured lines of credit to small businesses — up to $250,000 — for a period of up to 12 months. Spotcap makes this process smooth and simple with a 100% online application that takes five minutes.
How did Lachlan come about launching Spotcap in Australia?
The founders of Spotcap, Jens Woloszczak and Toby Triebel, began operations in the UK in 2014. At that time, Lachlan was trying to start a business lending operation in Australia. When negotiations fell through unexpectedly, Lachlan began the search for another unique fintech opportunity. That is when he stumbled across Spotcap on the internet.
“I basically approached the two co-founders based over there — Toby and Jens — and said look, I like what you’re doing. You guys have got some interesting backing. I think the Australian market would respond really well to this particular product” explains Lachlan.
After a few converstations and a plane flight to the UK, Lachlan officially joined the business in April of 2015. Brilliantly, Lachlan and the Spotcapteam brought the product live to the Australian market 55 days later.
What did you do before Spotcap?
Lachlan’s background is mainly in financial markets with a vast amount of experience in equities, FX, interest rates, and credit commodities.
“I was a young punk and having a lot of fun and the markets were quite exciting” Lachlan remembers fondly.
After experiencing many career setbacks due to the GFC, Lachlan decided to enter uncharted territory, for him at least, and explore the world of fintech. In 2011, Lachlan attempted to launch his own fintech startup called ‘Investable’ — a social media network for investors.
“It failed spectacularly, but I learned a lot about starting a business and have been able to take that in terms of the lesson I learned and apply that to what I’m doing here at Spotcap” Lachlan says.
What was it about the product that failed and how did you handle it?
Lachlan explains that it was a bit too early in the market for Investable and that specific type of product. Although Lachlan says that, while he would rather have been too early than too late, the failure was still a disappointment. Yet, Lachlan gained experience in fintech a new perspective.
“As an entrepreneur, you’re not going to understand what it is that you need to do unless you actually get out there and do it. And, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and that’s great. I mean if you keep doing the same things over and over and over again that’s a problem, right?” Lachlan explains.
Lachlan discusses how he learned that you take what doesn’t work and dig into it, rather than run away in fear. Taking that perspective with him, at Spotcap, they now conduct a “post-mortem” on any idea that is not successful. From credit to risk pricing, to marketing and IT, the Spotcapteam analyzes any failure and proposes solutions for better execution in the future.
“Because no one is going to get everything right all the time. That’s just a given” says Lachlan.
“But if you can focus on the ones that do work, work out why they do work and then focus on the ones also that don’t work, then I think you’re on the right track to building a successful business.”