Business Stage: Startup
Located: Entrepreneurs for the Future incubator, Faraday Wharf, Birmingham Science Park
What makes Droplet unique:
Droplet, the iOS payment app and The Droplet Platform powering our mobile payments business. Droplet is re-inventing payment for the web age. All transactions are free, and always will be.
The Droplet story so far:
In an age where there is no direct cost to moving information around the web, why does the banking and payments industry still charge users to move their own money around?
That’s the provocative question that prompted entrepreneurs Will Grant and Steffan Aquarone to create Droplet in 2011.
Droplet’s mission is to create a more convenient, equitable way for people to deal with their money. To begin with the nine-strong team is developing a mobile money app that lets people load cash onto their phones and send payments to anyone for free. This includes merchants, for whom there are no transactional or processing fees for using the system.
Droplet and Birmingham:
Birmingham is our home city. It’s a vibrant economic centre and a great place to test new ideas. Plus we knew we’d have to overcome the chicken-and-egg problem elsewhere. Our business relationships in this city helped us get the merchants on board ready for when we started releasing the app to people.
The density of independent merchants within the inner ring-road was a perfect testbed for our beta.
When and why Droplet moved to Birmingham Science Park:
We moved to E4F really early in our beginnings. We came for the free internet and phones, and stayed for the exceptional support and mentoring we’ve had.
Best business lesson learned:
Focus. Do one thing really well. Some of our biggest successes have come from taking an idea ‘back to basics’ and focusing on the simple, core functions of our product. Likewise, when we’ve been to ‘scattergun’ with an idea, it’s never worked as well.
Best business tip we have to offer:
Outsource anything that’s not your core competency. We outsource as much as possible, and even though some of these services cost money – you’ll make it all back in time you don’t have to spend doing these functions. Stick to your specialism, you can always bring these things back in-house later.
Example: Don’t send your own email.
Services like SendGrid or Mandrill handle deliverability, spam protection, bounce reports and so on. It’s a full-time job maintaining your app’s mailing function, so save yourself a headache and outsource it.
How to see more of Droplet:
Search the iOS App Store for: droplet
An interesting fact about your business or a member of your team:
Everyone picks their own job titles (including the option of no title), and we have no fixed working hours or location. We only have a single one-hour meeting per week – an all-hands team meeting called “band meeting”.