Product/market fit or fraudsters trying to trick you

An interesting post-mortem for the US-based fintech company Braid.

One thing that stuck out to me, as I went through something similar 25 (!!!) years ago when being part of, a first generation video games e-commerce retailer that extended invoices to consumer buyers in Sweden (of the first 2000-3000 buyers there was a lot of fraud and non-payments, and as it was 8-9 years before Klarna (or Kreditor at the time) there were no good alternatives):

“There are two types of product-market fit for a fintech company: fake PMF and real PMF. Many fintechs, including us, dupe themselves into thinking their PMF is real when it’s not. All the signs are there: enviable early traction, organic growth, and real payment volume. It’s easy to look at the numbers and say, wow, there’s such demand for what we’ve built. We’ve found our cohort of wildly passionate early adopters.

Unfortunately, these people are criminals. They were there to steal our money. They’re early adopters because they’re fraud sharks patrolling coastal waters for fresh meat. And our little payments app? Well, you can guess.”

Author: Henrik Torstensson

Partner at Alliance VC. Investing in Nordic early-stage tech startups.

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