In this edition of our Friday Feature blog series, we feature a tech startup called Paytagz that helps people sell merchandise through Instagram. Founded by a young entrepreneur, Kris Hamoud, this company is taking the Instagram and online shopping world by storm. A former University of Michigan student and Michigan cheerleader, Kris headed to California to work for a startup before founding his own company.
Kris is a pretty cool guy with a lot of wisdom to share, so I did a little Q & A with him about how he became an entrepreneur and founder of Paytagz.
Lauren: What made you interested in the startup community?
Kris: I have always been kind of interested in the startup scene, but it was the summer of 2013 when I was interning at a startup. I loved the internship and when it ended I tried to start my own and it was the site that turned into Paytagz.
Lauren: That’s awesome. So, where did you come up with the idea for Paytagz?
Kris: Originally, Paytagz was a payment processor on Twitter where you could tweet money to people. I got that idea when I found out that Twitter makes most of its money by selling ads and followers. I didn’t think that was a good business model and I thought I could do better, so I did exactly that. It got me accepted into an accelerator, which is where I got advice that I should go after Instagram instead because it’s more visual and purchases could be made there.
Lauren: So, people use Instagram to display their products. But how does Paytagz come in? What exactly do you do?
Kris: So, when you use Instagram, you take a picture of something you’re trying to sell and add #forsale and the dollar amount of how much you’re trying to get for it. Paytagz grabs those images and handles the card charging, shipping, fulfillment and refunds. So, someone can browse items on Paytagz with the intent of buying something, and then I take care of all the hard stuff.
Lauren: That’s awesome! So how many products are currently listed on Paytagz?
Lauren: Whoa! And how many users do you currently have?
Kris: 8,751 registered sellers and around 2,500 people have bought something.
Lauren: Wow! What are your ultimate goals for the company?
Kris: To be the best and easiest mobile first commerce platform.
Lauren: What’s the best thing you have seen listed on Paytagz so far?
Kris: The funniest thing I’ve seen listed was an iPhone 5 with Flappy Bird installed selling for $700.
Lauren: Any advice you would give to someone looking to start their own business?
Kris: Just start. Most people have business ideas, but very few actually attempt to execute them.
If you have any more questions for Kris about Paytagz, feel free to send him an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you know of a great startup that should be featured in our Friday Feature series? Send Lauren an email, email@example.com, with some info about the company!