Product details

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Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Published by: University of St Gallen
Originally published in: 2014
Version: April 2014

Abstract

By the end of 2013, Nikolay Zhmurenko’s mobile credit card payment venture Smartfin - also known as 2can for its iconic brand - had a critical mass of 1,500 merchants, and was already leading the field in Russia. But Zhmurenko, the co-founder and CEO, still had much bigger ambitions: he planned by 2017 to increase by 100-fold the network of merchants accepting credit cards on smart mobile devices enabled by 2can card readers. As a former top executive in Russia’s telecom industry for nearly a decade, Nikolay was no stranger to very high growth rates. Yet the multitude of entrepreneurial challenges and uncertainties facing his nearly two-year-old venture was like nothing he had ever experienced. Monetization and business model choices, banking relationships, technology tradeoffs, closing a much needed $6 million USD Series B funding round - all required accurate readings of the fast moving Russian business landscape. Foreign business models and market leaders such as Square or Roam Data were but a distant reference at best. Nikolay sought ideas, relevant networks and the backing of key institutions in Russia. He was going to cut deals with some of the country’s most powerful players, and he was poised to take creative and unprecedented decisions.
Location:
Size:
Number of employees in 2013 - 30
Other setting(s):
End of 2013

About

Abstract

By the end of 2013, Nikolay Zhmurenko’s mobile credit card payment venture Smartfin - also known as 2can for its iconic brand - had a critical mass of 1,500 merchants, and was already leading the field in Russia. But Zhmurenko, the co-founder and CEO, still had much bigger ambitions: he planned by 2017 to increase by 100-fold the network of merchants accepting credit cards on smart mobile devices enabled by 2can card readers. As a former top executive in Russia’s telecom industry for nearly a decade, Nikolay was no stranger to very high growth rates. Yet the multitude of entrepreneurial challenges and uncertainties facing his nearly two-year-old venture was like nothing he had ever experienced. Monetization and business model choices, banking relationships, technology tradeoffs, closing a much needed $6 million USD Series B funding round - all required accurate readings of the fast moving Russian business landscape. Foreign business models and market leaders such as Square or Roam Data were but a distant reference at best. Nikolay sought ideas, relevant networks and the backing of key institutions in Russia. He was going to cut deals with some of the country’s most powerful players, and he was poised to take creative and unprecedented decisions.

Settings

Location:
Size:
Number of employees in 2013 - 30
Other setting(s):
End of 2013

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