Jarred Baker, 29, is the Founder and CEO of Groupee – a mobile app that makes it a hell of a lot easier to split bills amongst friends. Jarred came up with the idea of Groupee while taking a career break after selling off his clothing business, Saveus. He was working at Sydney’s Catalina Rose Bay when he discovered what a pain it is for both customers, and restaurants to split bills. Jarred shares his journey from studying HR and Business to jumping into the tech world.
I always wanted to do something in business as both my parents were company directors and they totally inspired me to do something on my own. My choice to pick Business with a HR major was a combination of the content and how versatile it was, but also because of the group of people I was studying with and wanting to experience uni with them.
I tend to take each opportunity on the basis of how excited I am by the business, with an emphasis on working with purpose driven people when I take on new projects. My career is varied and I’m so glad that I have had the opportunity to work across such a broad spectrum of projects. It makes me far more agile in business with all this diversity under my belt.
I met my business partner of Saveus through work and she immediately inspired me to back her talent and go into a partnership where we could leverage her creative talents and I could bring my business experience to create a business that we ran for almost 4 years, including 5 stores, employing over 15 people.
The changing fashion landscape both locally and internationally made it very difficult for a new label to grow without access to significant capital investment. It was a difficult decision to close the label, but the decision was made because we felt we were working so hard for so little, it was killing our passion for the industry and we couldn’t see this changing in the foreseeable future. We offloaded the production side of the business and the label itself, after our last international fashion week in Malaysia, was put to bed.
I was burnt out from working on my own business that I wanted something that was flexible and stress free so I decided to take a career break and work in my friend’s family restaurant. I had absolutely no idea what my next move was going to be at the time, but I knew that my end game wasn’t to work for someone else. I still really wanted to do my own thing.
I realised through my work that split bills universally sucked. Restaurants couldn’t stand offering it to their customers. It created errors, it kept customers that had stopped spending money in the restaurant and they almost always lost the tip they’d worked hours for. For customers, they hated it just as much. It was always a dampener on a meal – this cringe worthy moment at the end of a lunch took the shine off even the loveliest of events. As I walked around a table of 10 people, swiping cards over and over, listening to people squabble about their bill, knowing very well that I wasn’t getting any kickback, I knew there had to be a way to fix it. 2 years later – Groupee was born!
This article was published by Career Crush. Click HERE to read it in full.