The Fund Founder Spotlight Interview: Arjun Thyagarajan of Solid
The Fund is a founder community and early stage fund, by founders for founders.
Welcome to The Founder Spotlight where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at The Fund. This week the spotlight is on Arjun Thyagarajan, co-founder and CEO of Solid, the leading fintech-as-a-service platform that offers modern FinTech infrastructure to spin up FinTech and Crypto products via easy-to-integrate APIs.
It’s now possible for any company to become a FinTech thanks to co-founder and CEO Arjun Thyagarajan and Solid! They’re the modern FinTech platform that provides the complete backend infrastructure to spin up FinTech and Crypto products quickly. Over the past year, Solid has seen 10x growth in revenue and have processed $2 billion in transactions on their infrastructure. Solid has become the go-to provider for companies that want a one-stop shop for all their FinTech needs. Solid has had success so far and they are excited to announce their $63M Series B to accelerate their expansion into fintech-ready verticals such as travel, logistics, construction, healthcare, education, and the gig economy.
Arjun spent half his life in Bangalore and the other half in California. Solid’s set-up is a reflection of his roots, as the team is located in the U.S. and India. Arjun is a serial entrepreneur with a background in computer engineering. He and co-founder Raghav Lal have used their FinTech expertise to build Solid so companies can get their product to market quickly, deeply engage with their users, and increase their revenue.
What’s Solid’s “Northstar”?
Our North Star is to make complex things simple. More specifically, take away the complexity of FinTech, and make it more easily consumable, especially for non-FinTech savvy people. For a long time, the FinTech industry has been overly and unnecessarily complicated. The guiding principle for our team is that if you’re going to complicate it further, people will run away. We want to make everything we do more simple.
What products does Solid provide?
The best way to think of us is the AWS or Twilio of FinTech. AWS provides the infrastructure for cloud computing, Twilio provides the infrastructure for messaging, and Solid provides the infrastructure for FinTech. We offer four products, or what we call the four solid product pillars:
Banking - We provide banking infrastructure where you can programmatically use an API to offer and create bank accounts.
Payments - Once you have a bank account you can move money like an ACH wire, international wires, and all other payment rails or form factors available in API.
Cards - On our platform, any company can create and issue cards to their end users with our infrastructure. These can be physical cards, virtual cards, cards in the wallet, and any other kind of usage cards.
Crypto - This includes crypto wallets and being able to buy, sell, send, and receive payments on the blockchain and cryptocurrencies for on-chain transactions.
How does Solid inspire “customer love”?
Any company can now create bank accounts and crypto wallets, send payments, and issue cards to their users, powered by Solid. The way we go through the process with our customers is very consultative. We really are a FinTech-as-a-Service, and customers pay us a monthly fee to use our platform. We sit down with them to figure out the problem and how we can help solve it. People really like to have a partner alongside them in their journey and that’s exactly what we love to do. That inspires “customer love”!
Are there any personal experiences that have really shaped you as a founder?
I would say competing as an athlete and the dynamics of team sports have influenced how I approach running a business. Before starting Solid, I was briefly on the USA Cricket National Squad in 2016. It taught me how to deal with different personalities and get the best out of each team member – there are constant ups and downs, which is very similar to building a company. Sport is a great leveler, and so is a startup. Once you start a company, you’re not practicing anymore, and it’s game time. When you’re on the pitch (in cricket) or pitching (in business), you hear so much noise, and it’s not easy. You have to stay focused, remain confident, be persistent, and know there’s a win along the way.
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