First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: Fortunately, we can say that our families are fine and still in good health. Knock Wood!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Beseif
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: Beseif began in 2016 when one of us (Alberto) was scammed when he bought from an individual on a well-known classified ads portal who declined any type of responsibility. After multiple complaints, we could not do anything to get the money back, and we realized that there did not exist any 100 % secure payment service to carry out transactions between individuals.
Seeing the need as a business opportunity, we decided to create Beseif. We are engineers, but we also studied business administration, so we had the perfect background to start our own company.
Therefore, in 2018 we launched to the market our first product, a B2C platform that manages escrow payments and deliveries for purchases between individuals. The aim of the platform is avoiding any scam. The system protects the money in a secure deposit until the buyer verifies that what is received is correct. It manages the pickups, deliveries and returns, if necessary, as well.
Then the project evolved, and currently, we offer the complete payment and delivery solution as a white label through our APIs directly to those Marketplaces who wants to offer the service to their customers too.
The number of users that use our platform is constantly growing up, and we have already integrated our software in 10 Marketplaces.
How does Beseif innovate?
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: Online payment methods that come from traditional e-Commerce do not work well in the sharing economy, in which intermediation through escrow payment systems is essential.
Beseif, in addition to managing escrow payments, incorporates logistics into the service to obtain total control over the process. The objective of Beseif is to offer the market for the purchases and sales between individuals the same guarantees of comfort and security that other markets have and all this at an affordable price.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: At first, it was a moment of total uncertainty because we did not know what was going to happen. But fortunately, we can say that Beseif has not been affected by the pandemic and even our transactions increased by 83% during confinement due to the increase in online purchases.
However, we had to take measures such as teleworking to ensure the health of the team, and we put in place new processes to facilitate communication.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: The greatest competitive advantage of startups is their agility in responding to change. As a company, we have to know how to adapt and continuously evolve to the new circumstances that are generated. This is an important thing that companies must never lose.
We have verified that the team is capable of working remotely and that we can coordinate without problems. We have also changed our roadmap and priorities in new developments since the market needs change.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Beseif in the future?
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: We believe that it is essential for the entire team to have an overview of the project and to know what the next goals to achieve are. Only this way can we all navigate in the same direction.
In addition, we are always willing to know and listen to the opinions and ideas of the rest of the team because we believe that it´s important that they feel involved.
Therefore, if we work continuously and we are all aware of the objectives at all times, we can coordinate in such a way that the daily work is carried out successfully and let us avoiding moments of stress and anxiety.
In the near future, we would like to be able to expand our team, which would mean that things are going well and the objectives are being met. In addition, we would like to start working in other countries and internationalize Beseif.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: Our competitors are big companies such as PayPal, Stripe or Mangopay that already offer payment solutions to Marketplaces.
Unlike them, we offer the complete service in a single API solution that includes payments and logistics. Furthermore, we also take care of customer support, incident resolution and order tracking. In short, we allow Marketplaces to outsource the entire transaction process to our service, so they can focus on growing up and monetize transactions without effort.
Your final thoughts
Alberto Aznar & Silvia Romero: Our hope is that things will improve little by little despite the delicate situation we are experiencing. We must work hard and keep listening to the needs of our users, as they are in constant change, to give them the best possible response at all times. A good response to change is key.