Why a payment platform moved its global headquarters to Dallas, with plans to become a unicorn » Dallas Innovates

Jordan Olivas moved from the Lone Star State to Islamabad, Pakistan to launch his startup, transforming it into one of that country’s biggest e-commerce players. Now he’s bringing it back to North Texas with big plans for growth.

“I want to be a unicorn by the end of 2022,” Olivas told Dallas Innovates.

QisstPay, a one-click payment platform, opened offices in Flower Mound last month that will serve as the company’s global headquarters, added to the company’s locations in Pakistan and Bangladesh and its nearly 150 employees. Now, QisstPay aims to nearly double its workforce to become a “global e-commerce giant on a global scale”.

“We needed to get into a bigger market,” Olivas said. “I was at a conference having dinner and drinks with the CFO of a major retailer, and he was like, ‘Look, this is really interesting. Could you do something like this in the United States?” What I realized was that it’s the same platform, the same architecture. The only differences are the various endpoint integrations. I said, ‘This is quite logical. We should.'”

“Like a decentralized Amazon checkout for all other brands”

QisstPay plans to process more than $1 billion in payments on its platform this year, allowing businesses to easily add multiple payment methods to their checkouts without additional coding. Businesses also have access to analytics information from customers, who can add various payment methods to the platform through their mobile phone number.

Olivas said the company has already onboarded about 1,500 retailers since launching the platform about nine months ago. In Pakistan, where QisstPay also operates as a buy-it-now and pay-later service provider, he said the company handles around 10% of all e-commerce transactions.

“We serve as a bridge to allow a retailer to connect to multiple endpoints with a single integration,” Olivas said. “Essentially, it’s like an Amazon checkout, but decentralized for all the other brands. So it helps us with conversion, it helps retailers sell more, convert more, reduce software development costs.”

Similar Challenges, Bigger Market

Olivas said retailers in the United States and emerging markets face similar challenges: finding top-of-funnel growth, getting more conversions, and making more sales. In addition to its ties to the region, having previously worked for companies such as RS Software, Klarna and ChargeAfter locally, Olivas said DFW offers a number of advantages for establishing QisstPay’s headquarters here. Noting things like tax advantages and the pool of local talent, he added that the area is home to several big retailers like JCPenney and Fossil Group.

“In Pakistan, there is less infrastructure. But here in the United States, there is not enough targeted infrastructure,” Olivas said. “You have all these payment methods, literally hundreds and hundreds of payment methods. Retailers make decisions based on no real factual data. They just say, ‘Hey, I saw Macy’s has Klarna or I’ saw that Steve Madden has Afterpay.’

Starting a Business in North Texas

Powered by a $15 million combined seed and pre-seed QisstPay raised in October – led by MSA Capital and joined by individual investors including executives from Venmo, Scalapay and Splitit – Olivas said his company is planning a further raise to reach unicorn status and focus on expanding into the United States.

In addition to actively recruiting for positions such as chief technology officer and chief revenue officer locally, Olivas said he hopes to hire between 30 and 100 new employees in the Dallas area. Overall, he said he hopes to have around 80% of QisstPay’s global workforce based in Dallas.

“It’s a much, much bigger market, so we really expect to be on a massive growth path here,” Olivas said. “I want to build another business here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

Dallas Innovates sat down with Olivas to learn more about QisstPay, its journey, and e-commerce trends. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation:

Can you explain how the QisstPay platform works?

(Companies) integrate with us once and they have access to all payment methods. The other advantage of our solution is that we allow consumers to pay using only their phone number. So we aggregate all consumer data on our network related to consumer phone number, globally. (Companies) give us their API keys and they can, without code, create what we call different views. A view is basically the checkout page you see. And they can test that between different providers.

How did a New Mexico native and former DFW resident become the co-founder and CEO of a Pakistani startup?

I grew up in a small town in New Mexico called Grants. So my big goal in life was to become a general manager at Macy’s in the big city of Albuquerque. At the height of the recession, it was literally the worst year. I applied for over 200 jobs and got a job offer from a company called ARI, based in Grapevine. This is where I really got into payments.

I looked at Pakistan and said, “Listen, everyone is overlooking this huge, huge opportunity.” It is the fifth largest population in the world, a young and tech-savvy population. It was India five years ago. I said, ‘Yeah, that’s a perfect fit.’ Fortunately, my timing was good. Last year they saw a 600% increase in venture capital in the country compared to the previous year. We came in and quickly dominated.

How has the pandemic-fueled growth of e-commerce impacted you, and where do you see the industry heading in the future?

Overall, this had a positive impact in terms of bottom line. But I think we’re going to start to see the growth slow down. What it does is make people realize you’re always gonna go through those ebbs and flows

This made retailers aware of the fragility of their brand image. If you choose to ignore any part of your business, whether it’s logistics, payments, or customer service, all of those things have an effect. You need to have those uncomfortable conversations about things you may not understand in order to optimize your business. So I think what’s been positive about it is that it forces companies to look at all aspects of their business.

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