Tushar Roy live on CNBC's morning show! Learn more
Australia
Co-Founder & Partner

Paul Bassat

Paul co-founded SEEK, with a vision to help people pursue their career dreams. At SEEK he learnt how to scale a global business. He co-founded Square Peg in 2012, and is passionate about backing the next generation of founders.

Square Peg Icon

"Paul has been both a mentor and a champion for Airwallex. Being a co-founder himself, he has brought a wealth of experience and perspectives. He has continuously challenged us while demonstrating that he is always on our side, supporting us throughout our journey to become one of the fastest-growing fintechs today."

-  
Michael Carden
Elad Walach
James Bowe
Natali Tshuva
Michele Ferrario
Jack Zhang
George Peppou
Emma Weston
Get to know

Paul Bassat

We're one global team but we've got our own stories. Here's what makes us tick.

Finish this sentence: Today I’m excited by…

"…Talented and passionate founders who want to change the world."

How should a company build its core values?

"The values of an organisation should be the authentic embodiment of the things that are most important to the company. They need to be real and the company needs to consistently live its values. Values should be driven bottom-up; founders, of course, have an important input but every person in the organisation should have a say in formulating them and in ensuring that everyone lives and breathes the values."

Recall a memorable first meeting with a founder?

"We are really excited by opportunities for disruption in financial services but you don’t often meet founders who “get” financial services and also have the capability and mindset to build a startup. I was excited when I first met Nathan and Michael from Athena because they possessed both attributes in spades and had a clear vision of how they were going to build an amazing business that would offer a fairer deal for home-owners around Australia. We get excited by world-class entrepreneurs and even more excited when they are making a substantial positive contribution to the community."

What advice do you live by?

"It’s better to be lucky than smart!"

What did you learn at SEEK that makes you a better investor?

"Everything looks easy when you are an investor, and everything looks much harder as a founder. My background as a founder helps me understand it is much, much harder than it looks from the outside and hopefully allows me to really empathise with founders. However, I also understand that founders sometimes need to be prodded to go outside their comfort zones; I certainly need to be pushed at times. As investors, we are able to bring to bear perspective and a diverse set of experiences which can be utilised to support founders."

What do you know to be true about business?

"Most companies focus on making money as a goal in itself. That isn't a very motivating goal and is self-defeating. If you set out to solve your users' or customers' most important needs and are passionate about solving them, you are much more likely to build a highly profitable and rewarding business. Business should be about solving important problems in a way that others can't do, with profit as an output of that."

What’s the most under-appreciated skill in founders?

"Curiosity; a desire to learn, a thirst for knowledge and a need to understand the “why” and not just the “what” is incredibly valuable."

Where did you learn the most in your career?

"You usually have the steepest learning curve in the early stage of your career and in the early stages of a new role. My first few years at SEEK was an amazing learning curve. I was young and had never founded a company or even managed people. It was so much fun and an incredible experience."

Why should someone build a startup?

"You should build a startup if you have the wisdom to have identified the solution to an important problem, the resilience to overcome huge obstacles, the capability and mindset to surround yourself with a world-class team and the preparedness to accept failure as a possible outcome. There are very few more rewarding things in the world than building your own startup."