Serial entrepreneur, Mick Dempsey is no stranger to fintech. His first venture Ezidebit, a payment solution for small businesses, helped change the way payments were processed for SMEs.
Started in Brisbane in 1999, the business grew to become one of Australia’s leading payment processors. By the time Dempsey and his brother sold Ezidebit for a cool $305 million in 2014, it was transacting $3.5 billion in payments each year.
“It cost me $10,000 to get a uni student to write the application,” Dempsey explains, saying back in the day, that was a considerable sum for a cash-strapped individual.
“In those days it was difficult to go out and raise capital -so we relied on the bank. In hindsight that was great as when it came time to sell we hadn’t given away equity.”
You’d think with a $150 million in his pocket Dempsey would be set to retire, but it wasn’t long before the entrepreneur set his sights on a new business.
His latest venture is another tech-based solution. This time he has targeted the real estate industry and his app OntheHouse, provides an integrated platform for real estate agents and property professionals. It delivers tools to manage office admin, advertising and business performance.
Dempsey tells KBB he’s not one to rest on his laurels.
“It’s Important for me to still be out there, building a business,” he says.
He suggests he could not have come this far without the help of his financial services provider.
“It’s important to have a good bank that trusts you and is willing to go on the journey with you to fund you. It can actually mean a lot to you and what you end up with in terms of your equity portion at the end.
“NAB has been extremely helpful in enabling me to raise debt instead of selling off equity,” he says.
Dempsey believes that to be successful as an entrepreneur you need to have a certain type of personality.
“You have to be prepared to go ten rounds with Mike Tyson and be knocked down then get up again, and again…”
Watch Mick’s story