In this insightful conversation, Jason Gardner, founder and executive chairman of Marqeta, shares his journey of building the company from an idea sparked by a friend to becoming a leading provider in payment solutions.
He discusses the importance of product-market fit, strategic partnerships, and customer focus for early-stage startups.
The Birth of Marqeta
Marqeta was born out of an idea to put Groupon coupons on a card to eliminate the need for carrying around physical paper.
This led to the development of an issuing processing system that could manage multiple cards on one card.
Building their MVP took about 15 months and marked a significant step in their journey.
Finding Product-Market Fit
Marqeta went through two major pivots before finding its product-market fit.
The first pivot came when they shifted from consumer-focused services to providing infrastructure after working with Facebook.
The second pivot led them to build debit card issuing API where they found product-market fit by targeting companies like DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats and eBay which were looking for payment solutions but lacked deep knowledge of the payments industry.
Co-Building with Customers
As Marqeta worked closely with its customers, it recognized their needs for more data, faster processing times, and better control over card products.
By listening closely to customer needs and watching their growth, Marqeta was able to tailor its services accordingly.