INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
João Miranda of Brazilian Fintech Hash Tells Us How He Managed to Make the Startup Grow during the Pandemic
We talked to João Miranda on how Hash adds payment services to business and, this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
João Miranda: Fortunately, we are all well. My parents have a small business, and like everyone else, they felt a bit of an impact at the beginning of the pandemic. However, I managed to give them a hand, and everything went well. We keep maintaining social distance and taking all the necessary care against coronavirus.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Hash?
João Miranda: When I was 17, I started to dedicate my life to entrepreneurship after being invited to join the initial team of Pagar.me, a Brazilian fintech, where I worked as a software engineer. At the age of 21, after Pagar.me was acquired by Sonte, I decided to leave and establish my own company: Hash. I also was a member of the Kaszek Ventures Innovation and Leadership Program, from Stanford University School of Business, in 2018. And this year, I was nominated by Forbes Brazil magazine “Under 30” list in the “Finance” category.
How does Hash innovate?
João Miranda: Hash is a Whitelabel platform that builds customized payment services, focusing on B2B companies with large customer chains and partners. Hash facilitates the relationship between these companies and their customer chain, and our platform allows them to provide financial services to businesses. Hash came to democratize access to the payments market in Brazil, offering digital and cheaper products.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
João Miranda: Like other companies worldwide, we were very apprehensive with the arrival of the pandemic, especially in the first months of quarantine. We have recalculated the route and prepared ourselves for more stringent measures, which were not necessary. Thankfully, despite the challenging year and after a few months, Hash was positively impacted. Our revenue grew ten times in sales and processed volume in the first half of 2020. We also were able to identify and solve some problems that our customers faced during this period: with the increase in online sales, we created the payment link. We ensured that small and medium entrepreneurs using our product did not lose sales with the quarantine/social isolation.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
João Miranda: As I mentioned before, we were prepared for stricter measures. However, we organized ourselves quickly and managed to stay on track. We kept all our employees (we even increased our team) and stayed close to our partners and customers. Our team has always been a priority. It’s what makes Hash, impacting the lives of thousands of people and companies daily with its services. When the pandemic’s impacts began to be felt in Brazil, they were our first and immediate concern. Remote work was deployed for the entire company; we’re concerned with taking the necessary measures so that everyone had comfortable conditions to work inside their homes and also adapted all our benefits to the home office conditions. For us, taking care of our team is taking care of our future.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Hash in the future?
João Miranda: I try to create a healthy and consistent routine. This was a year that I dedicated myself to physical exercises, adequate sleep, and healthy eating routines. It helped me get through the difficult months and organize and plan Hash’s daily routine. For 2021, I want to continue studying and evolving to follow Hash’s growth and be a good leader for the company and the team. For Hash, we have a great growing room, and we intend to scale our product even more.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
João Miranda: We don’t have any direct competitors in the Brazilian market. Other companies have developed solutions similar to ours, but none can solve the market’s pains from end to end or in such a customized way as Hash. It is not enough to be aware of the payment industry’s changes or what other companies are developing to stay in the game. It is necessary to walk side by side with our customers, understanding how their business evolves and how we can continue to help them, improving the solutions we already have or creating new ones.
Your final thoughts?
João Miranda: With the arrival of Covid-19, the financial market was strongly impacted. People were forced to use digital media more frequently, which resulted in the consolidation of solutions such as contactless systems, QR Codes, links, and digital wallets. These transformations reveal a change of habit, which should remain in the coming years. We have seen the emergence of new tools, which have increased the market competitiveness. We’re moving towards customization, and, in this scenario, tailor-made solutions will be the most efficient and integrated ones.
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