Daniel Simon, Founder & CEO of Coast | Episode 182

My guest this week is a Boston University graduate with a law degree from Yale and a passion for “building really great software products in complex spaces that make them seem easy.” So, what does that have to do with payments? Well, besides the fact that fintech is most definitely a wildly complex space, it also doesn’t hurt that Coast CEO and Founder Daniel Simon can’t seem to talk about anything but the future of fleet and fuel payments.

For those of you who may not know, Coast is proactively working to build the financial platform for the future of the transportation industry, beginning specifically with fleet and fuel payments. According to Daniel, fleet is a massive space dominated by a handful of players with huge margins and, for whatever reason, the industry never really thinks about it, even though he himself can’t stop. And it’s because of his passion for this under supported industry vertical that he proactively created a modern fleet card entirely from the ground up, “reimagined for how it should be if it were born online and spoke a modern digital language.”

Coast’s core benefit is that it offers a sophisticated solution that allows fleet managers to set policies and rules to proactively control spend. Daniel refers to it as a “vertical-specific expense management solution.” Their target audience is the $4 million local commercial fleet company, but they have customers transacting billions of dollars in revenue over a sales cycle managed in a handful of days. And as for the future vision of the company, Daniel sees Coast eventually offering other financial services to cater to the complex financial lives of their customers, including fleet management software, dispatch software and the like.

Tune in this week to hear Daniel talk about his journey to CEO, including the real reason he went to Yale, the start of his first company, and where he sees the industry going in the next 2 to 3 years as it relates to verticalization, specialization, the need to embed financial services in order to add value in vertical SaaS, and why he’s not betting against the inevitable disappearance of Visa and MasterCard anytime soon.