Describe your company and its product.
Buyatab is a leading and an award-winning provider of advanced online gift card infrastructure solutions used by hundreds of prominent brands in their Canadian, US and International operations. Buyatab provides online gift card services to clients in a wide variety of sectors, including retail, hospitality, restaurant, online shopping, hotel and others.
Which city (or cities) are you located?
Our head office is located in downtown Vancouver and we also have a corporate office in the UK.
Describe your company culture in three words.
EGC: Entrepreneurial, Genuine, Creative. These are our core values embodied by every employee at Buyatab.
How do you celebrate company or employee wins?
Throughout the year, we host company-wide events to celebrate all of our wins, big and small. Our company summer event and holiday parties are two of the main celebrations, but we also have mini department-sized events regularly!
What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
Buyatab started by solving a problem: In today’s modern economy, leading brands need to sell their gift cards online and in a digital format. Buyatab helps brands make their gift cards more accessible and instant by selling their digitized cards.
What is your biggest milestone to date?
We’ve been fortunate to experience several milestones over the last 10 years. This year, Buyatab was 100% acquired by a large US public company, a momentous goal that was 10 years in the making. The acquiring company is a global market leader in prepaid products, now enabling Buyatab to grow even faster. Read the official press release here.
What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is trying to keep up with our amount of growth we’ve experienced in the past couple years – not just with our clients, but also the number of employees we’ve on-boarded as well (including our office dogs).
What is your motto?
Our motto is to listen to our brand partners – we are immensely fortunate to have hundreds of brands who use our service and provide us with meaningful feedback. Our brand partners drive our road map and regularly contribute to the development and implementation of our new features.
How are you making an impact?
Our vision is: a world where all stored value cards are digital. With the continued growth of online channels, we are making an impact transitioning brands to digital gift cards. Buyatab’s most impactful practice is partnering with brands, giving them the tools to succeed, helping them sell their cards online and transitioning them into digital.
What is your hope for the future of tech in BC?
Over the course of ten years, Buyatab has grown to become an international market leader in digital gift cards that started right here in BC. Our hope for the future of BC Tech is to see more BC companies make an impact on a global stage. With the continued growth of the BC Tech Association and with a more developed ecosystem, we are hopeful and are excited to see and witness the growth of our technology community.
Lightning Round with Matias Marquez, CEO of Buyatab
What excites you about your job?
Without a doubt – our team. The people that make up our team are extraordinary, it is an absolute thrill to work with such intelligent individuals who are passionate and dedicated to our shared vision and goals.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
Our biggest obstacles have always been related to the challenges associated with developing new markets. Our industry strongly values existing relationships and existing geographic footprints (for good reasons). With the recent acquisition, we are now poised to accelerate growth in new markets and have already begun in a very meaningful way.
If you can give advice to your 20-year-old self, what would you say?
You’ll never regret working hard and for long hours, if it’s good work.
What are your pet peeves?
Unnecessary cables and cords. The world could do with less cables!
Words of wisdom to other tech CEOs or founders?
Always play the long game, stay persistent and care deeply about the people you work with.
Favourite city you visited?
Louisville, during the Kentucky Derby.
What is your formula for success?
Be very aware of what you under-index on and really appreciate the ones who can and do help you.
Name one book that everyone should read.
Lord of the Flies, a timeless classic.
How do you decompress?
Six-mile runs. I find a good run can really help you appreciate life, think through challenges with a focused lens and bring to life different perspectives.
The Dark Knight