Two weeks ago, Russia was closely tied to the rest of the world in big and small matters, important and unimportant ones. One of such smaller connections was the Western SaaS. Zoom, Github, Salesforce, Mailchimp were standard instruments for thousands of businesses.
I haven’t heard about these companies massively blocking Russian accounts yet, but they don’t need to, Visa and Mastercard took care of everything. Cross-border card payment no longer works. As soon as the month ends, the client goes down to the limited free package – which, probably, doesn’t suffice, since the client was using the paid subscription. For someone, it is a minor nuisance, for someone else it is a catastrophe, an instrument from the West may have been absolutely necessary.
But it’s an opportunity for Oh My Bills – the startup of the day. The startup offers intermediary services of paying for such services. It takes money in Russia, transfers them to Armenia, exchanges them to dollars there, and pays for Zoom or whatever. Considering the growing exchange rate, the subscription becomes golden – but there’s no alternative anyway. There may be no analogous services in Russia or moving one’s business may be complicated, but one still needs to keep working tomorrow.
The new market came to be four days ago. The fact that the startup got itself a landing over such a short time is already excellent news. I don’t know whether an actual real transaction has gone through the project. I haven’t even inquired about commercial terms and conditions – those obviously still have plenty of time to get updated.
Welcome, new Russian venture.
#russia #bootstrapped #fintech
Translation: Kostiantyn Tupikov
Alexander made his career in Russian internet companies including Mail.Ru, Rambler, RBC. From 2016 to 2018 he was Chief Strategy and Analytics officer in Mail.Ru Group. In this position, he worked on M&A, investments, and new project launches. In 2018 he became Deputy CEO in Citymobil, a Russian Uber-like company that was invested by Mail.Ru Group and Sberbank (the biggest Russian bank), then he left the company to launch his own projects. Now Alexander is a co-founder of United Investors – the platform for co-investments in Russian early-stage startups. His blog #startupoftheday (#стартапдня) is one of the most popular blogs about startups in Russia.