ThinkBusiness talks to Charles Dowd, co-founder of Plynk about bootstrapping and belief.
Speaking to ThinkBusiness, Charles Dowd (left), a former product manager at Facebook, and now co-founder of Plynk is in a good mood.
His new business Plynk has just announced a €25m Series A investment led by private investment trust, Swiss Privée Ltd.
Headquartered in Dublin, Plynk, the money-messaging app was co-founded by Dowd and Clive Foley (right). The solution was clear – to remove the complexities of money transfers, making it simple, fast and free for young people to send money phone-to-phone.
“The idea was simple, and our ambition was evident from the start,” says Dowd. “We wanted to be a pan-European money messaging app, but more than that we want to be a social network based on money. We make money more shareable, just like content is shared between friends across mobile. We had belief in our idea and we needed to validate it in Dublin, so we launched it in Trinity (TCD).”
Having spent over four years working on the product side of things at Facebook, Dowd says the idea for Plynk came from observations he made while working for the world’s largest social network.
“People tend to take money very seriously. Recent research suggests that 42% of people in Europe have lost a friend over a small personal debt. The problem is mainly felt by millennials,” says Dowd.
“Young people want immediate solutions. They are not going to invoice someone if they are owed money.”
Linked to users’ social networks, Plynk users can send money as a message to a single contact or in-group chats instantly and with no fees. Once an account is created, users receive a payment account with a dedicated IBAN and virtual Mastercard for online payments.
Dublin is where it’s at
Plynk started in Dublin in 2015.
“We bootstrapped this from the get go,” says Dowd. “We just walked into the Bank of Ireland Workbench in Grand Canal Square and got to work. When the Innovation team at the bank saw what we were doing, they rolled in behind us and supported us. I think they could see we were serious and had a product that had significant potential.”
The next markets for Plynk are Spain and Portugal.
“I worked in Portugal, and we know Spain and both are very mobile and social markets with large, young populations that are quick to adapt to new, useful technologies. Our target market is 18-24-year-olds, and our strategy is to launch Plynk in University campuses.”
Will Plynk stay headquartered in Dublin?
“Yes, no doubt,” says Dowd. “Dublin is where it’s at regarding finding the right talent to expand. The people are here. The business culture is real. It’s the perfect launchpad to Europe. We will open up other offices in Europe but our HQ will stay in Ireland.”
Plynk is available on Android and iOS.