iLab Team Story: Salarify

Are you tired of planning for a whole month on your barely enough monthly wage? Would you prefer to get your salary in smaller sums within the month? Then this iLab startup is just for you! 

Salarify is an employer-sponsored fintech service which gives employees access to earned wages before the monthly “payday.” This is a B2B2C startup that provides a simplified way for employees to receive their salary for the amount of time which they have already worked for in a month. So, instead of going for a payday loan or getting deeper in credit card debt, you can get an advance on your salary without all the bureaucratic bottlenecks of the HR department. 

This simply means that as an employee in an enterprise which uses Salarify, you will be able to have access to your yet unpaid, but already earned wages, on-demand.

In a chat with Bence, a co-founder of Salarify, he reveals that the idea came as a result of his personal experience of being able to manage his finances better when he was paid smaller sums frequently instead of one big sum at the end of the month. After embarking on his own personal research and reading previous research works on the issue, he found that even a Harvard publication had shown that more frequent pay cycles help low-income employees to plan and manage their income better. Overall, his research findings confirmed that it is easier to plan for shorter periods than for a whole month, especially for low-income earners.

At 12 years old, Bence’s favorite book was The Wolf of Wall Street, and this built his interest in the financial industry. He wanted to be a part of the industry in an impactful way which would help to make people’s lives better, especially those who earn less. His motivation was to work in a company which provides a fair financial tool for low-income employees. However, since such companies are scarce, after discussions with his co-founders who share the same passion, together they created Salarify. 

The Team

“Attitude is first.”

–Bence (co-founder, Salarify)

The Salarify team is made up of 3 co-founders and four employees including a head of customer success, a finance and data person, a developer, and a sales manager. The core attribute which the Salarify founders look out for in their employees and team members is their ability to share the vision, work hard and commit everything possible for the success of the venture. After the right attitude comes the skill set. Bence believes that special skills can be learned, but the attitude cannot be taught. Hence, the right attitude has greater importance than skills. When it’s time to make a decision, it is first discussed among the co-founders before it is brought to the entire team where they can get the valuable input of the other team members and collate some data if required. However, for decisions which are related to a specific aspect which requires specific knowledge, then the team member with the most experience and expertise in that field is given discretion.

The Strategy

“We will like to stay and build the business for as long as possible.”

–Bence (co-founder, Salarify)

Like any startup, Salarify partly depends on referrals by clients. They also make good use of personal connections, direct sales, as well as B2C social media marketing which is aimed at raising awareness among employees so that they can spread the word to their employers and HR departments. The greatest achievement so far is the launch of the service. Salarify just launched this July, and they are looking forward to more achievements in the future. Considering that this is a service which requires access to the payroll system of enterprises, it is a huge accomplishment that some clients were willing to grant access to facilitate the official launch. Again, like most startups, the Salarify team has an exit plan, however they intend to stay in the market as long as possible before considering exit options.

Brand Value

“Our mission statement is to be there when life happens”

–Bence (co-founder, Salarify)

Salarify is there to make the employees have a flexible financial life. There are a few similar services operating in the US, however, Salarify is the first of its kind to launch and have a live product in Europe. Bence notes that this is the right time for Salarify to exist in Europe, not only because of the needs of the people but also because of the new PSD2 directive of the European Commission which makes it easier for financial service providers to access the banking system. As an employer, when you hear Salarify, think easier payment of advance salary requests. As an employee, think of a more flexible financial life with the avoidance of loans and credit card debts.

The iLab

 “The environment itself helps us to think more freely about our product and everything in it.”

–Bence (co-founder, Salarify)

The Salarify team finds the iLab helpful because of the availability of diverse knowledge from experts and other founders which is either needed for launching your product, fundraising, putting together a team, keeping the team together, providing added value. Bence also highlights the possibility of attending some CEU courses as well as the one on one sessions with mentors. Salarify joined the iLab this February, and they appreciate that the iLab provides a very good environment to grow, to think and to speak with the founders of other ventures who have experienced or are experiencing similar issues. As Bence puts it, “…you see another founder [who] went through the same issue a year ago well and alive, and that helps you move through that.”