Luca de Angelis
What Venmo does is simplifying mobile payments among customers. In order to break into the payment market, however, Venmo needs to insert itself into the weeds of not only C2C transactions, but B2B and B2C transactions. $2.1BN transactions per quarter is very little compared to the total non-cash payments volume valued at $79TN in 2012 by the Fed. I believe that had the operations been truly aligned, Venmo could reach a substantially higher payment volume. The reason it doesn’t are its operations: security features (low), usability (no sense of “banking”), and reach (need for credit card, bank account) limit the growth of its business model.
Similar systems like BKash or M-pesa in developing countries have reached a larger degree of success because their operating model was better aligned to their mission of increasing financial access.
I cannot echo enough LaToya’s comment, this is really inspiring.
Rather than a comment I have a question. The alignment you describe is perfect but I was wondering how the RDB fits within the overall country’s “business model” and it the operating model of RDB not only fits RDB itself, but the overall Rwandan ecosystem. Especially, I was wondering how the RDB attracts investors, of what kind, for which purposes and to do what. I was also wondering what are the boundaries, the contracts they can sing and so on and so forth.
The risk in many countries, mine included, is to court investors “too much” to the detriment of their own people. I would love to know more about RDB manages this operating and “business” tension.
This is a nice comment, but I wonder the extent of the company’s operating flexibility. The UK housing market is, as you say, know for its cycles, but it has also several times been questioned for its stability. The UK government home-to-buy, for example, was allegedly implemented to foster housing market and house prices and prevent a likely decline in price result in higher mortgage NPLs just when the UK was getting out of a recession.
In other words I am wondering how much operating flexibility is actually built in should house prices and housing starts in the UK come to a significant halt. Being not very geographically diversified and vertically integrated, it seems like its operating model could be quite prone to shocks. As a consequence the alignment you describe might be a mere result of favorable economic and regulatory conditions. I would be happy to know more about this and let you answer this doubt.
Part of YOOX’s perfect alignment stems from the relationships that its CEO was able to establish with flagship brands and convince them to sell their goods for either a discounted price (old seasons) or same (new seasons) for a commission on their own platform. Fashion houses, in turn, benefit from YOOX’s global reach in the online fashion market.
Operationally, however, they are not dissimilar from other online retails stores that sell over the long tail (Amazon). The big question I see for YOOX is how are they going to differentiate their operating model in order to erect barriers to entry in this market. Otherwise fashion houses, like various LVMH attempts, will be inclined either to create their own platforms or use more efficient ones that can protect their brand equity.
In other words, alignment for YOOX comes from better relationships and mass reach, rather than superior operations with respect to other online retail stores. I wonder how long it is going to last and if they will be able to maintain their market dominance given the absence of barriers to entry.