We talked to Marc Rovira of Polaroo on how to organize subscriptions in a single app and he had the following to say about it:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Marc Rovira: Good, thank you. We are all fine.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Polaroo.
Marc Rovira: I graduated in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bath in England. I also did a Master in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE with a full scholarship from the European Institute of Technology. I am also a member of the Barcelona Tech City, a space open to the local and international technological ecosystem of the startup sector.
Before Polaroo, I led the business development area of Zero2Infinity to lift rockets with a balloon and then put satellites into orbit.
Polaroo as such has evolved a lot in the last months, but the spark was born in England in 2010 when I had to move into a new flat and manage the expenses shared with my roommates. I was very busy with university work and life in general, and I did not want to spend time organizing the little money that I had. When I came back to Spain, my girlfriend at the time, currently my wife, asked me if I knew how much money we both spent monthly for all our recurrent expenses, and the notion that we had no idea, no control and no time was the definite sign that something needed to be done.
Therefore, Polaroo was born from the need to be able to manage all recurring expenses (from the internet bill to electricity, Netflix or Spotify) from a single application in an easy, automatic and intelligent way.
Polaroo helps users foresee and organize their money and save money on services in a hassle-free way. In addition, Polaroo unifies all expenses in a single payment in order to avoid unforeseen bills.
How does Polaroo innovate?
Marc Rovira: Our goal is to empower users to regain control of their finances, helping them pay less and live better.
We want to improve user’s lives through a seamless, easy to use and intuitive app.
We innovate because we unify all great products and services out there in one single app. You can control, lower, contract, share and pay all your subscriptions/recurrent services from one single place.
Unlike our competitors, Polaroo offers:
CONTROL AND FORECAST: With Polaroo, you can group all your subscriptions in a single app, so you know how many expenses they generate. You will be able to foresee what expenses will come to you in the following months and plan your finances for the future.
SAVINGS (OPTIMIZATION): Polaroo helps you identify if you are overpaying for your services and recommends alternatives. Polaroo manages the change of supplier for you in a comfortable and personalized way based on your consumption habits. With Polaroo, you will save thousands of euros a year.
HIRE NEW SERVICES WITHOUT WASTING TIME: You can discover and hire services from the Polaroo app itself. All the paperwork is done by Polaroo.
UNIFY: The premium version of Polaroo unifies all important expenses by grouping them into a single monthly invoice.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Marc Rovira: Covid-19 affected our clients’ financial health and helped us realize even more the need for Polaroo in society. In a more business context, it helped us speed up all developments we had planned and really helped shape the next 2-3 years of Polaroo.
During the pandemic lockdown, being aware of the financial distress many people suffered, we offered our Premium service completely for free.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Marc Rovira: A startup succeeds not because it does many things but because it focuses on what to do and what NOT to do. These are the difficult choices we face every single day. We have limited resources, and we have to choose what we do and what we don’t do.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Marc Rovira: I cope with the frenetic life of an entrepreneur by sleeping, meditating, listening to music, completely disconnecting when I do something by switching the phone off and looking at the overall picture and how far we have come.
I learned a long time ago that emotions are transient. You don’t have to change them. They come and go.
Music helps emotions come or go. If you are sad? Listen to an upbeat song. Sleep has always been sacred to me. Sleep is everything. It is my peace, my focus, my recovery, my source of energy.
We are very demanding and determined because we are very aware of what we are building and how we are helping people. Our determination is so high, and we work so hard that when we achieve great things, it almost feels normal. I have imagined it for so long and worked so hard that I don’t stop to celebrate. It’s good to take a step back sometimes and look at the big picture.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Marc Rovira: They are Fintech apps, both in Spain and internationally: BNext, Fintonic, Albert, Truebill, Cleo, Plum, etc.
We plan on staying in the game by focusing on our value proposition and our clients. We want to deliver value, listen to our customers and push ourselves to keep improving a product aimed to simplify people’s lives and help them regain control over their money.
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