Evgene Vyborov talks about the sale of YayPay for more than €17 million: “The deal will serve us well”
French company Quadient acquires the fintech startup YayPay for more than €17 million. One of the startup’s founders is a Ukrainian, Evgene Vyborov. Evgene has told AIN.UA’s editor why they sold the startup, what the investors think, and what’s about the money.
How did the deal happen, and why? Where you and your partner approached, or did you find the buyer yourselves? How long did it take to prepare? Why did you decide to sell the company?
There were many factors combined together. Selling the company was not our goal, so at the beginning we were not interested. However, in the course of the negotiations, we saw that there was a certain culture fit and that they really needed us and valued us as a team with an expertise, not only as a piece of code.
For another thing, we were also affected by COVID-19 and the associated crisis. Many investors with whom we had negotiations on round B, however close to completing the deal, said that until the market stabilized, they would not be ready to invest. Our sales stopped growing. As we had expected, prospective clients implemented a spending freeze.
It was the combination of these factors that pushed us to the decision that merging with a player like Quadient would benefit both the product and the team. We would be able to scale up sales, and indeed, having the resources would help us realize product ideas that we could not get around to.
Actually, it turned out to be an awesome deal between companies sharing each other’s values and vision.
Will the team in Ukraine stay? Will you expand the staff?
The team remains in full, and yes, this was one of my main criteria. We are planning quite a serious expansion. So, we would be happy to see good people join. We have job openings for a recruiter, Java programmers, DevOps engineers, QA, data scientists, and other professionals (please write to [email protected]).
Will YayPay remain an independent company? The main perk is that now, having access to Quadient’s resources, you can grow much faster, isn’t it?
Now that we belong to Quadient, we cannot remain independent. However, in terms of operational activities, we will have the same team and the same chain of responsibility as before.
YayPay has been added as a key strategic piece to Quadient’s portfolio and now we have the opportunity to offer our platform on top of Quadient’s mail solutions to their large customer base.
You are still minority shareholders, is it correct? Why didn’t the company buy out all 100%? So that you have an incentive to stay and work towards the goal?
Yes, this is correct. We are interested in benefiting from the results of the company growth in the future, and this is the way to achieve it.
So, you have kept a share in YayPay, but not in Quadient, right? You haven’t received shares in the buying company, have you?
We came out to have a share in a newly formed company belonging to Quadient and now owning YayPay, but not in Quadient itself. They are a public company, so anyone willing to buy their shares can do so on the market.
Did you receive cash after your exit? Are you planning to buy a house in Italy?
We will receive the main payments upon reaching certain metrics, so we still have to work to afford a decent cottage in Italy.
It’s funny, actually: the first article that was published on AIN.UA after the deal (as well as the press release) said that the deal was “entirely in cash.” Of course, entrepreneurs got it at once that this just meant the deal did not involve any transfer of a share in Quadient. But some people decided that we were nearly getting suitcases full of money. I wish it worked that way 🙂
Did all the investment funds that had invested in the company exit the project, with their shares bought out?
How did the investors react to the deal?
All the investors were able at least to return their investment, and some of them made a profit. Considering the alternatives and the state of the global economy, most of them were happy with the deal.
Do you have KPIs that you need to achieve, based on Quadient’s capabilities?
Yes, and these are essentially standard SaaS metrics: ARR, Churn, etc.
It can happen that after a successful exit, entrepreneurs become investors: there is no intention to make a new product, but there is money – and a desire to put it to work. What about you? Will you invest or keep putting all the effort into YayPay? Or maybe you have ideas for a new startup?
For the observable future I’m with YayPay/Quadient, and this is my single focus. The owner may be different, but a desire to bring this product and this team to ever greater heights is still there. There’s a chance I will come back to entrepreneurship later, but right now there are many great ideas, which I hope to implement with Quadient.