093: Be Direct | Zac Liew and Curlec
Zac Liew, co-founder and CEO of Curlec joins the show to talk about the societal influences of what works well in fintech, how Curlec is enabling the subscription economy in Southeast Asia and getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
This episode is kindly sponsored by Ireland’s fintech and financial services recruitment specialists, Top Tier Recruitment. If you would like an intro to the team at Top Tier Recruitment, please click here.
For insights delivered to your inbox beyond the spoken word, subscribe to our MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter right here on Substack.
This week we talk to Zac Liew from Curlec, a fintech startup helping SMEs overlooked by traditional banks collect recurring payments with their automated platform, replacing manual methods like cash, checks and credit cards. Zac and Pete connected through their respective networks recently from one of those conversations that Pete had that went like “based on what you just said, you need to meet Zac Liew.” Being a trusting soul, Pete did just that, and this episode is the result of that decision.
In this conversation, Zac and Pete connected on a more universal level with their respective interests in societal influences, how people spend money, a cross-over reference to Islamic finance and the impact of family lineage on an individual's tendencies to build. Zac and Pete also got into how first time entrepreneurs need to get comfortable being uncomfortable, and the network effect of Zac being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 for Finance and Venture Capital. See below for some of the key takeaways:
- On Zac's upbringing "I’ve always had a desire to build something and pursue a career in entrepreneurship - that stems from my family, and growing up with parents who were both entrepreneurs."
- On one of the triggers to launch Curlec: "Living in the UK three to four years ago, I'd go back to KL (Kuala Lumpur) for holidays, and every time I came back it felt like the country was moving quicker in terms of fintech, and there was a big wave coming and the timing was right."
- On the view on Southeast Asia from the West: "A lot of people loop this region into one, but when you go into the details, not only culturally is it different from country to country but also in terms of infrastructure."
- On the big question for scaling: "Do you wait for the banking rails to homogenize across Southeast Asia, or do you homogenize your product to sit on top of multiple rails? To hedge our bets, we're adding new products as well."
- On the learning curve as a first time founder: "Just keep pushing yourself, throwing yourself into uncomfortable situations and you’ll eventually become comfortable. That was a big learning curve for me. As a first time entrepreneur, get comfortable being uncomfortable."
Please visit https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/ for all of our other episodes.
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/moneyneversleeps/support