Pace Enterprise & the Future of Finance in Asia Pacific with Turochas Fuad

Pace Enterprise & the Future of Finance in Asia Pacific with Turochas Fuad
Turochas Fuad shares the vision and mission of Pace Enterprise, and shares the future of finance across Asia Pacific in the next decade.

Fresh out of the studio, Turochas "T" Fuad, CEO and co-founder of Pace Enterprise joined us in a conversation to discuss his latest venture, Pace Enterprise and dived deep into the weeds of the "Buy Now, Pay Later" (or BNPL) space. He shared his thoughts on why BNPL can lead to sustainable companies and not just being a feature of a fintech company. Last but not least, Turochas offered his perspectives on how the different accelerating trends: fintech, decentralized finance and web3 are converging towards a coherent future of finance.


"If the goal is to really democratize finance of businesses and consumers imagine that Mastercard and Visa has built an interchange network to facilitate payments across the globe. What if Pace can establish a similar global interchange network for digital financing, covering a myriad of services to consumers, businesses, and even financial institutions, basically building the digital financing engine that lives on the cloud powered by blockchain on a web3 infrastructure and serving the needs of future consumers, businesses, and even financial institutions down the road." - Turochas Fuad

Introduction

  • Turochas “T” Fuad, CEO and co-founder of Pace Enterprise (@turochas , LinkedIn)
  • Since our last conversation between then and just before the start of this new venture with Pace Enterprise, what were you up to and any lessons you have learnt that you might want to share with others who aspire to be an entrepreneur like yourself?

Pace Enterprise

  • To baseline everyone for the conversation, it will be great to introduce the buy now pay later space or what people called BNPL and why it is such an interesting area that many have ventured into the space, given the recent 29 billion buyout of Afterpay in Australia by Square which was founded by the ex-CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey?
  • A great way to start this, is that I recalled that you often put the word “mob” behind your last two startups: travelmob and spacemob before they are acquired. This time, you took a different approach in the naming. What is the inspiration or the origin story behind Pace Enterprise?
  • What is the mission and vision of Pace Enterprise?
  • What is the market that Pace Enterprise is addressing?
  • How does the Pace app work for the normal consumer and the merchant?
  • What is the business model behind the Pace app that allows a consumer to spread purchases into 3 interest-free installments?
  • The discussion on how Pace Enterprise leverages on real time data analytics and machine learning to understand their customer.
  • There are some people who believe that BNPL is a feature rather than a company, because there are wallets in the region, for example, Grab or Gojek Pay, Fave or the super app within the country itself. I believe that you must have seen something different with your sterling track record. What is your mental model on this point of view?  
  • Who are the key investors to Pace Enterprise? (Vertex Ventures, Alpha JWC in Indonesia, Atinum Partners in South Korea, Marubeni Ventures, UOB Ventures, Genesis Alternative Ventures AppWorks).
  • What has Pace done to address the regulatory agency’s concerns of rising debt from younger people who tend to use BNPL services?
  • We have observed that different BNPL players earlier than Pace are acquired, for example, Hoolah was acquired by Shopback and Octifi, a y-combinator startup that was being acquired by Latitude Pay. What do you think about the consolidation of the industry in general and what it means for Pace moving forward?
  • One interesting read I got from McKinsey on the BNPL and the five different business models to compete article, I thought it is interesting to talk about that in the US, point of sale financing services in the US has grown significantly during the COVID period, They proposed 5 different offerings that integrates across the purchasing journey of the customer: integrated shopping apps, card linked installment offerings, off-card financial offerings, virtual rent to own models, vertical focus larger tickets play and SME sales financing. What do you think about these models and how can they be adapted to Pace’s regional play?
  • Pace adapting their payments hyperlocally in Japan thru the konbini stores (convenient stores).
  • What are the trends in the fintech and payments space that you observe in the Asia Pacific region?
  • What does great look like for Pace Enterprise in the next few years?

Closing

Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian and the episode is mixed edited by Geoffrey Thomas Craig (LinkedIn).