We absolutely love highlighting the movers and shakers of the Boston startup community. Next up in this unique blog series we're highlighting Mo Saeed, the Founder and CEO of Boston-based financial wellness platform for employees, OrbisPay.
Mo is a serial entrepreneur. Prior to founding OrbisPay, Mo cofounded OMEX Systems, an order management system for emerging and mid-tier firms. Their goal was to support trading and brokerage firms. Additionally, he founded Firefly Capital, an electronic brokerage firm during an evolutionary period in trading technology. The experiences from both of these companies led him to where he is today.
As we head into the "new normal" we caught up with Mo Saeed to catch-up on what he learned through the pandemic, what motivates him, and why he loves the Boston startup community. Here are the 5 things he has to say.
Tell me a bit about yourself and OrbisPay?
Mo Saeed, CEO, and founder of OrbisPay, is a social entrepreneur on a mission to help all Americans gain financial inclusion. Mo has been working in finance for years. Upon reflection, he realized that he wanted to go on his own path as an entrepreneur. He wanted to develop something that would have a significant impact on people’s lives. He would have continued working on wall street, but instead, he decided to venture out into the world of entrepreneurship with hopes that he’ll make a difference.
A problem with society today is that only the wealthy have access to financial services. There is a vastly underserved market in the everyday American population. The everyday American doesn't even have $400 worth of saving in their bank. What happens when people face unforeseen emergencies like your car breaks down or you need to make a down payment. People go to Payday loans which accumulate to a 500% interest on that loan.
What is it about the Boston Startup scene that excites you?
The great thing about Boston is that it has the big city vibes without being overwhelmingly big. What really makes the place is it’s people, and Boston is full of amazingly talented people. Pre covid I loved to go to CIC and Founders Livevents, and it was just a great sense of community. The startup community in Boston is filled with brilliant people who are solving real-world problems.
How was your experience running a startup during a global pandemic? How has your strategy changed?
I run a team scattered across many walks of life, with employees in Boston, Pakistan, and Mongolia. He feels that having such a diverse team has helped during the pandemic, with everything going on globally. Tech companies have been doing well, seeing as though they have more time working from home to sit down and work.
The pandemic has been tragic for millions, but Mo doesn’t feel as though he has had to change his strategy drastically. This is just due to the nature of his team and how the team was set up even pre-pandemic.
What got them through it and what has been helpful is the suite of technologies we have become accustomed to. Zoom, Google meet, slack, etc. Without the pandemic, he would never actually sit down and work on his company.
Imagine yourself in ten years, kicking back on a beach and thinking over the arc of your startup. What makes you satisfied? What would you have done differently?
I don’t see long-term success as any kind of financial gain but rather the evidence that I have made a difference in the world. Proof that people are getting equal access to financial services no matter who they are.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The potential of Orbispay, not only providing our current suite of services. But providing a whole financial wellness platform that helps millions of Americans get access to credit products.
We hope you enjoyed this rapid-fire interview! Are you ready to hear from more thought leaders in the startup community? Then don't wait, get your free ticket to Startup Boston Week 2021 today!