Helping African Businesses Get Paid, Shola Akinlade of Paystack

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Shola Akinlade – – is CEO and cofounder of Paystack – Paystack helps businesses in Africa get paid online and offline. They’re based in Lagos, Nigeria and were part of the Winter 2016 batch.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon –



00:00 – What is Paystack?

00:40 – Shola’s background and previous company

4:00 – Paystack’s YC application

5:35 – Meeting his cofounder

7:00 – Interviewing at YC

9:55 – Joining YC as a Nigerian company

10:30 – Differences between startups in Nigeria and the US

13:00 – Nigeria’s payments market

15:30 – Paystack’s growth

19:00 – Expanding to other countries and hiring

25:00 – The best part of doing YC

29:00 – Crypto developments in Africa

29:55 – Creative Joe asks – How difficult is it to get into YC?

30:30 – Educating US investors

31:40 – Paul Israel asks – What gaps do you think still exist in the Nigerian fintech space?

32:35 – Nelson asks – Are there any conventional startup advice that did not work for Paystack as their target market is Africa?

34:55 – Nelson asks – What are some important lessons he learnt while building Paystack?

37:20 – Nelson asks – What are some applications he would love to see been built on top of Paystack?

39:30 – Building for Africa

41:50 – Nestor Ezeagu asks – Do you think something like GoFundMe could work in Nigeria?

42:20 – Car Joyy asks – Can I receive payments as an MVP ecommerce site before registering as a company?

43:40 – Achyut Shrestha asks – What’s your tech stack?

44:15 – Jordan Jackson asks – What are the biggest cultural differences that you account for in UX and product design?

48:15 – Shola’s outlook

50:10 – What he misses about life before Paystack

52:25 – Paystack in five years

53:50 – Music recommendations

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