Immad Akhund, CEO & Founder of Mercury, Shares His Start-Up Journey


Imad welcome to the podcast all right thanks for having me you're a cool cool cuckoo in tech startup called mercury now and we'll get into everything about challenger neo future of business banking let's get into how you got to this how you got here here we always been a startup person you've got software background right yes so i've been doing some sort of little hacky PHP things since since i was a teenager kind of thing and i mentioned it computer science at university in cambridge in the UK off after that i worked for about a year at bloomberg which is the only real job i've ever had and since then for the last eighteen years i've been doing startup so this is actually my fourth both company did you grow up in UK mostly i moved to the UK when i was nine originally born to buxton okay so you moved there you're you're like tinkering with building things and starting things and you go work for for bloomberg why'd you do that you know i i didn't i didn't necessarily know what i wanted to do at that stage i was pretty good at programming the main can a career path that seemed obvious fact then was either management consultancy or investment banking and blue blue was like somewhat toast to investment banking actually i applied for a lot of other jobs did not get the US baking and salting yeah i think the real underlying thing is i had absolutely no passion for them it was just it's like the default announcer and bloomberg does have more other jobs that that even they must been banged injustices that have like some level of programming the not really programming jobs that kinda a little bit of programming and finance jobs whereas bouma jawbone a real programming job and that's just something i've just naturally been good at an of his studied it as well so it was easier for me to just get into that kind of job and that was probably the only one that applied to that was more of a programming job how that works out because he was society pushed all this pressure on like going to get that job at golden sachs mackenzie or something i mean back then this is two two thousand and five why there was google facebook in the UK so there was a really interesting startups to work at i think i would have done that instead ed there was there was safa companies but the seemed like various IBM more microsoft is something which was like appealing to me right yeah i mean i did the investment banking path because society said that the path that i should do where we'll definitely was not right for me took me time and but i mean i'm happy happy i did it and it's good skill set but part of my journey okay so anyway so your bloomberg you're doing a real programming job did you like it no no toll the toll i was i was just really board you know that you have this likes us really know what the thing you building is full like given rough idea and it's like bloomberg has so many functionalities the term no duct can do anything i was in the fixed income group something to do with we'd like mortgage fixing something that i really can't even remember what it was a trading systems on fixed income but it was like a specific project i must have worked on and it was very interesting to me so i would but it was also very draining widely nine dollars come home i would feel no energy do news site projects or anything like that but me and my friend at bloomberg we used to reject crunch all the time this is in my opinion the heyday take ron trade lay bubbles pretty much only tech news that was and it was always very interesting who like someone selling someone's gonna start up dead etc and yeah from our perspective widows program is in it seemed like oh we could build that right we would see something and we'd be like okay that doesn't seem that hard it's user system and malaysian yeah obviously we underestimated like what it takes to make a real business it was much like we could do the software benefit do we would share these links with each other ed we would just kinda fantasize about know lugging bloomberg and then eventually after yeah we you know we had an idea the original idea was actually kind of different it was like the people in the UK that pretty obsessed with properties and we wanted to make a map where you could see all the different variables that come into a location so you could see house prices crime rates distance to public transport the restaurants all that stuff that was idea that we had and we're like oh that's a good idea actually there was a company remembers his name but just IPO that was kind of doing like trulia type thing in the UK re real move do i think anyway so we were like okay this could be a real business like this company did okay league so yeah i'm on the the thirteenth month of base give the job we both quit and then we started working on this they go to work a little bit on the side and you said you were like so tired and he came home from work so it's like so we just did it did it my view back then the thing in the UK is actually very it's not easy but it's much cheesy to be a startup us and then is in the US you have free healthcare if you actually know making money the government will pay bill house mostly the eighty percent like there's a housing benefit and though neak location is you know making money like it's not like the hasn't doesn't have to be good reasons why you think you money so actually didn't have much in savings things by we quit i had like maybe six thousand pounds and savings but i did the matt's i'm very frugal by like if housing is mostly free yeah i thought i could survive like at least a year manage yeah exactly so we started working on an my view on newborns like i knew i could get another job so it wasn't i didn't think it was like much of a risk and just quitting and doing it i thought it would be fun i could get the job if it doesn't work out i've also actually okay with maxing out greg god's in these spirits i've done it multiple times i don't recommend it i i didn't live badly and you know we were able to kind of focus complete the on this and it was fun when we were young as well like there's no responsibilities no there's no real risk of like you know now what would happen if it didn't work

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