As our team celebrates Laybuy’s first birthday I have been reflecting on the roller coaster ride that is part and parcel of being a start-up.
It is hard to believe that just 12 months ago we launched our Laybuy.com platform with four merchants and a group of friends and family as our first consumer sign-ups.
Fast forward and today Laybuy is available in more than 2,000 online and physical stores, has more than 180,000 consumers signed up - and we launched in Australia last week!
None of this would have been possible without the support and commitment from my wife Robyn, our two sons James and Alex and the team of James Abbott, Sammy Pexton and Craig Franchi. We have had outstanding help from our commercial partners - you know who you are!. To all, especially my family, Thank You - those words never seem enough!
Laybuy has rapidly become the dominant player in the Buy Now/Pay Later space in New Zealand and we have been humbled by the support and feedback we have had from merchants and consumers right across the country.
Our merchants range from publicly listed national retailers to start up boutique pure play retailers and everything in between. The launch this week of our partnership with Mix and Match, a division of House of Travel, further reinforces the lifestyle brand we set out to create when we developed our original business plan.
The difference between the start-up world and the corporate environment, that was my previous life for 35 plus years, is like chalk and cheese. This has meant some huge personal adjustments and at times I confess I have struggled (and continue to from time to time). Trying to draw a line between being the businessman/leader and being a husband and father has been more difficult than I can have ever imagined. I have always tried to leave work at work (most of the time!) and that is a whole lot harder when the people you work with are the same people you sit down for dinner with or walk with on the beach every morning.
I am lucky to have such a strong family bond that is unquestionably held together by my wife Robyn. Watching her evolve from a Mum who stopped work 25 years ago, when James was born, to a director and hands on executive of a company like this has been beyond inspirational. Robyn’s ability and willingness to learn new skills and contribute to the growth and success of the business has been sensational.
Our two boys, James and Alex have been huge contributors too. James left a promising career in the advertising world to join Laybuy and Alex chose to leave his university studies half way through his degree to forge a career with the family business instead. Both these young men have stepped up and owned their roles - and I couldn’t be prouder of them both.
As we plan our next 12 months it is exciting to think where we will be and the adventures we will have. Our product development pipeline is huge. We have some fantastic innovations to roll out over the coming weeks and months. Watch this space!
Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to where we are today. We are all looking forward to working with you to take Laybuy to even greater heights in the weeks and months to come.
- Gary Rohloff, May 2018