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Funny that all 3 companies you mention are money-related, which is a tough nut to crack in most countries. There's so many rules and regulations which all differ from country to country that I think it's quite understandable for companies like these to focus on 1 country first.

BTW, obviously all startups handle money in some way, but for these 3 it's a bit more complicated, as they're providing financial services to third-parties. (Ebay+Kickstarter to sellers/buyers, Stripe to sellers.)




The challenges that finance related startups face on a global market are complicated and costly but to me the underlying problem is how startups are organized in the first place.

You have a small team, often located in the valley or major US city, that expects to spend years working on developing their business model, product and infrastructure. Even if they are fabulously funded all efforts seem to be US centric because there's no way you can split so few people across so many countries when you're still developing the foundations of your business.

Instead of the typical startup organization that all but guarantees that you will expand too slowly to other markets, startups should look into more flexible forms of organization that allows them to set up partnering organizations in other markets. Imagine if your startup from day 0 has co-founders that are solely responsible for offshore markets development, pr and marketing. These co-founders would be an interface between your business and a specific country or region that actively engages with his market so that customers knows what is happening and what your startup's plans are for their market.

What you pay in equity and title you get back in a vibrant presence and a highly skilled and competent person that can guide you through each country's customs, laws and regulations, and bureaucracy.


You need to have found a viable business model, AND convince someone to partner with you, instead of cloning you - though it sounds reasonable that they would if you already have the infrastructure set up.

That said, it is an interesting idea, I know of at least one startup founder that's trying to do just that.


Finding a co-founder is indeed challenging and I can see how an offshore co-founder must seem like an insurmountable challenge but I believe it's possible. There are countless of bright and driven people who are hungry for a cause, more meaning in their life or just being part of something grand. You can find and recruit these people but you should primarily focus on great ideas and passion and not equity, money, etc. Also, tech entrepreneurs are so savvy and global these days that you can expect to find them on all kinds of communities such as HN and use filter them out based on documented past experiences (e.g. Github, Stack Overflow), recommendations (LinkedIn) or their online presence (blogs, twitter). Challenging but not impossible and destined to become easier as our community, business and recruting online tools improve.

Ultimately it is a question of persuasion, to rally up interest and support for your cause and we've been doing this as long as we've been walking upright.


the regulatory environment variations between countries is a great point

to address the point more generally, the IFC (private investment arm of the World Bank) does a report ranking the ease of doing business across countries: http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings




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