An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Matt Pierce (founder and CEO) of Immediate, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Immediate – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Since the beginning, Immediate has been focused on solving two problems – one for businesses one for their employees. The focus for businesses is on helping retention and recruitment efforts. Turnover rates have skyrocketed over the last few years, which can lead to expensive downturns in productivity and long processes to replace lost employees. The focus for employees is on providing them with a financial safety net as an alternative to predatory lending services for unexpected expenses.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
It took us eight months of conversations with nearly 20 financial institutions before we could find a bank that would allow us to utilize their payment rails for our on-demand pay solution. Earned Wage Access (EWA) is still so new that most of the groups we spoke with simply couldn’t wrap their heads around how our service worked without being considered a loan. Ultimately, our first banking partner recognized the forward-thinking nature of what Immediate offers, along with the guardrails and financial wellness tools we put in place to help our users avoid turning to predatory lending, and helped us service our first customers nearly one year after formalizing the business.
What does the future hold for Immediate?
After posting 600% growth in 2021, I am expecting more of the same for Immediate in 2022. Companies continue to see the value of offering an EWA solution. They recognize that the flexibility of the Immediate solution will help create a more positive work experience, leading to improved loyalty and job performance. With a focus on overall financial wellbeing, Immediate will continue to introduce innovative ways to help our user community find and sustain financial happiness for years to come.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Birmingham?
The Birmingham tech ecosystem is on fire. I have seen so many sharp, ambitious entrepreneurs come onto the scene and I believe a big part of that is the excitement generated by the fast-growing tech companies around town like Landing, Fleetio, Shipt, and many more. Success begets success, and many startups here are being launched by people who have experienced the startup journey at other companies and decided to take the leap themselves. I think this is what truly drives an entrepreneurial ecosystem and it excites me to see what comes out of Birmingham in the years to come!
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Failure is the most sure thing that is going to happen along the way as an entrepreneur. My best advice is to reframe failure in your mind as just another obstacle you must overcome to achieve your goals and, ultimately, achieve success in your business. If you embrace failure, learn from it, and build a plan to not repeat the same mistakes again, you’ll be on the right track.