Interview with grink: “Our initial focus will be on the 21 million college students in the U.S.”

18 October 2017

grinkAs many senior customers show wary attitude to a growing number of digital payment services, P2P lending platforms, mobile payment providers and cryptocurrencies, more startups are turning their focus to millenials, who take active interest in financial innovations trying them enthusiastically. One of such fintech startups in the market is grink, an emerging company targeting young people. We have an exciting opportunity today to talk to the team of grink prior to the public rollout of its services.

On your website you say: “When you need to collect money, grink helps you keep track”. What does it mean? What is the point of your service? Who is your target audience?

It’s difficult to collect and keep track of money collected from groups. grink removes that friction by easily allowing all group members to oversee the collection of funds together, giving full transparency to the collection process.

The app is built so that any group, whether roommates, friends going on a road trip, or friends playing fantasy football, can easily collect and manage funds. When in a club or organization, this problem is compounded. With over 1800 universities and an average 400-1000 clubs per campus, they have no effective means to collect funds for events and membership.

Many clubs currently use multiple forms of collection methods including cash, checks, credit cards, and more recently, mobile p2p platforms. The problem is transparency and group oversight.

It’s common for a 19-year old student to be collecting sometimes upwards of 3 million dollars with no oversight, audits, or transparency.  Every year clubs deal with issues of fraud and mismanagement of funds.

We wanted to solve the problem that many of the 21 million college students across America face. The lack of management tools and difficulty of keeping track with group payments was tough. There had to be a better way. Out of this frustration grink was born.

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What makes your service different from other similar offerings in the market?

There is a wide range of P2P applications in the market including such remarkable services as Venmo, FB Messenger, Snapcash, and Zelle.

Venmo is the primary source for peer to peer transactions. You can easily collect money from friends with one tap through a native app that adds a social component to the charges being made.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger allows for payments to be made within individual and group messages.

Snapcash, a bi-product of SnapChat and Square, allows you to send money directly to friends through snapchat.

Zelle, previously ClearXchange, allows users to directly transfer money from their account to another one. They work directly with the banks to facilitate those transfers.

When trying to collect from multiple friends and to keep track, these applications are extremely ineffective as it becomes difficult to identify which friends have or have not paid.

Key features that grink will have to differentiate it from the above applications are:

-Group oversight and tracking features

-Payment plans

-Financial budgeting

-Organized payments by group and charges

-Easy purchase directly from groups

grink also differs from existing legacy payment systems including ChapterSpot, LegFi, Greekbill, BillHighway and many others.

Primarily target of these systems is greek life as a financial and collection agency. These companies charge large fees: $50-100 per member per year plus transaction costs. They primarily target fraternities and sororities, leaving all of the other clubs on campus with little to no resources on collecting and tracking funds. Clubs avoid these companies due to their archaic interface (www.greekbill.com) and high costs.

grink will have many of the same functions and will change the behavior or how users collect money. grink is also positioned to be for both organized and unorganized groups. Our model allows us to reduce costs and change the behavior of collecting money as a group.

Which country is your key market? What challenges do you face there? Do you believe that financial technologies industry has proper conditions for growth in your market?

Our primary market is the United States. For grink it all starts on the college campus. Our initial focus will be on the 21 million college students in the U.S. More specifically, 1 million fraternity/sorority members that collect over $3b per year in dues, events, housing, and meal plans. Working with fraternity students is also important due to their strong social network.

Furthermore, there are between 400-1000 clubs at each of the 1,800+ universities in the U.S., which will provide grink an exposure to $85b in discretionary spending made by college students each year.

We have a clear plan to execute dramatic user growth once we have the product market fit. We estimate to capture 80% of the fraternal market and expand from there. Beyond college clubs and organizations, we see many other expansion opportunities. Fantasy sports, local and national organizations, PTA’s and alumni associations are just a few.

How can your customers get access to your service?

Beta will be available later this fall. Those interested in first access can sign up at www.grink.co

Tell us, please, more about your qrink-Squad program.

We will be having a rep program on college campuses where we reward student ambassadors for getting students to download grink.

What are your key partners?

We are currently in the final stages of bringing on some strong investors/mentors. This unfortunately cannot be released publically at this time.

Do you plan to introduce your own payment system?

Not at this time.

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