Startup #5 - Hyperjump
TL;DR, Today I am launching Hyperjump
Hyperjump is an enterprise SaaS aimed at financial institutions. The product offering will eventually be expanded, but for now the main offering is a form builder that works within the specific constraints of the financial industry.
The customer problem
Many banks and insurance companies are still way behind in terms of their digital transformation. I should know, I worked in the industry for the last 3 years and saw many of these problems first hand. As an entrepreneur, this is fertile ground for starting a software business to solve some of these problems - the only challenge is figuring out where to start!
As the flagship product for Hyperjump, I've chosen to tackle digitisation of paper forms, with a product called Paperless. This is a topic I've written about before. Many banks and insurance companies are still using paper forms for customer interactions, with manual-labour processing in the background. Often when a bank creates a new product, a whole bunch of paper forms are created off the back of it:
- An application form
- An update details form
- A cancellation form, etc etc
The reason the bank doesn't create digital versions of these forms is because most of the time they either don't have the technical capability to do so, or their tech teams are tied up with more mission-critical tasks, or an un-sexy 'forms project' proposal fails to win the internal political battle for funding. And unfortunately for financial institutions, they cannot use popular cloud-based form-builder tools like Typekit, as they won't have 100% responsibility / governance over personal customer data, which is a big area of contention for financial regulators.
These companies know that stuff like this is holding them back. Fully digital "challenger bank" competitors already exist. Customers hate paper forms. Manual data-entry can lead to human error. These companies are basically stuck.
Hyperjump Paperless is a form-builder product that works within the constraints / requirements of financial regulation.
It is a two part solution based on:
- A cloud-based form builder / generator that never stores customer personal data
- An on-premise data lake that accepts form input and provides an internally-accessible API to query the data
The business model
This is an enterprise SaaS product, aimed at financial institutions. There's normal high touch sales and then there's up-in-the-stratosphere high touch - Hyperjump is the latter.
Hyperjump products will be sold (or not) off the back of a long cycle of client meetings, understanding requirements, proof-of-concept work, internal push-and-pull etc. I'm aware of the challenges as I sat on the other side of the table for the last few years.
However, I decided that given my experience in the financial industry and the lack of decent solutions for various transformational issues, I would regret not trying anything. As an entrepreneur, when you know there are problems to be solved, it’s an itch you must scratch.
This launch also marks the beginning of a shift in strategy as I outlined in my previous post.
I have 8 products left to launch in my 12 months 12 startups challenge. I've had loads of fun building the 4 previous products and getting my skills back up to scratch:
- Zipsell - an open source platform for selling digital downloads
- Promomatic - a tool to create app store assets
- Montage - a wireframing tool with a component library
- Tech Jobs Asia - a job board for tech jobs in Asia
But it's time to realign, focus and be a bit more strategic in how I invest my time.
The way I've decided to do that is to employ a 4 + 4 strategy, dividing my time investment into two distinct areas.
4 enterprise SaaS products under the umbrella Hyperjump, aimed at financial institutions. The first product is Paperless, as described above.
4 self-serve SaaS products, under a different brand, aimed at a common segment. The first product of this brand will launch at the end of February.
This will allow me to continue scratching that product building / launching itch, but also help me to focus more deeply on a particular audience segment. I think this will have a number of benefits, such as reducing the amount of context-switching I have to do, but also allow me to explore more problem areas a particular audience segment has, potentially increasing the likelihood of me launching a product that finds product-market fit.