If last year was witness to a Crypto Winter, then it certainly seems as if the leaves are beginning to turn on the tech industry more broadly. Fast falling levels of funding and layoffs have become routine, with the fintech sector taking it on the chin.
In the long view, this will likely be seen as a necessary winnowing that removed much of the froth and instability from the market with the stronger companies and teams left standing on firmer ground. But in the short term, the pain is acute and a number of companies are scrambling to secure runway and stave off winter for just a little longer.
As a gray hair personally with over 40 years in the banking and fintech business, I’ve navigated more than a few of these cycles. Ingo Money, operating now for 22 years, has also thrived through several down cycles as well. We are fortunate this time around in that we are no longer in need of outside funding, we have a diversified client base including large Fortune 500 clients and rapidly scaling FinTech’s, and we have historically experienced near zero client churn. But that enviable perch was attained through some hard-won lessons that those who outlast this downturn will also learn.
Performance Over Growth
Popular mantras in tech are “move fast and break things” and “growth at any cost”. While those sound sexy and can seem like enviable philosophies, the truth is that they can be unsustainable without fundamentals. They work well when capital is cheap and readily available but fall apart as funding slows.
We are already seeing this emphasis shift with proclamations like “The Year of Efficiency” at Meta. While there will always be exceptions to the rule and outliers, most businesses that survive beyond five or ten years do so by exhibiting fiscal discipline and responsible spending. Companies that are built to last emphasize client performance and financial discipline to earn financial independence.
Over the last two decades, Ingo Money has prioritized expansion into a wide range of industries across many different types of companies. Today, we are trusted by a range of clients from FinTech’s to Fortune 500 to large banks and virtually all payment networks.
That client mix affords stability. While big enterprises can seem slow and frustrating during periods of growth, they are not as subject to market turbulence. Like investors that flock to safety during market downturns, so too should savvy Chief Revenue Officers at tech companies begin charting a path to customer diversification right now.
Extreme Customer Service
Happy customers are loyal ones. In the tech industry, it’s easy to prioritize pricing strategies and APIs to earn new business. But the hard work of keeping those customers is what prevents churn and locks in lifetime value. We’ve learned that deep partnerships with customers, 24/7 availability and a willingness to go the extra mile can help separate you from the crowd. For Ingo, it’s a big part of our secret sauce and a proven way to both win and keep clients over the long term.
Invest in the Downturn
Ingo is hiring and we generally pick up some of our best talent either through acquisitions or during these economic downturns when great talent is displaced and available. Now is the time to continue or increase investments in product and talent. We are also doubling down on our client relationships and proving ourselves as a “partner” when times are tough helping with creative strategies to cut costs and increase productivity for our clients.
At the end of the day, we’re entrepreneurs at heart and hold compassion for our fellow entrepreneurs and innovators. We sincerely hope that everyone finds a way to innovate and succeed in pursuit of their visions for a brighter tomorrow. Ingo Money is here to help for the long game.