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The Beginning of My Fintech

The Beginning of My Fintech

It all began in the autumn of 2017, amidst the ICO boom and an influx of crypto projects. Having closed a six-year-old business, I found myself intrigued by fintech projects with the potential for boundless growth. While exploring ideas like crypto pawnshops and p2p lending platforms, I realized the competition was fierce. This led me to a crucial question: Where would these new businesses find customers in need of financing?

My research revealed Africa as a region with a massive demand for external financing. I discussed the idea of creating a digital platform to pool loan applications, providing access to this database for companies interested in issuing loans. Victor, our CTO, and Emmanuel, an expert in the African financial services market, joined the initiative, and Money Zebra (MZ) was born.

A friend suggested incorporating an auction philosophy into the platform. The auction model enables the platform to reduce interest rates on loans, offering better lending rates compared to local banks and loan providers. African banking systems, especially in second-tier countries, are not designed to serve individuals and small businesses effectively.

In December 2018, I embarked on my first business trip to Accra, Ghana, meeting with banks and financial companies to lay the groundwork for the MZ platform. By summer 2019, the idea was fully shaped, and the team assembled.

As a lean, software-focused company, we chose to work exclusively with organizations, businesses, and licensed credit institutions in Africa. These partners facilitate KYC, negotiate with borrowers, and issue loans through their licenses, enabling us to operate legally and efficiently.

We decided to begin with unsecured micro-loans, a straightforward business model with immediate returns. Eventually, we plan to expand our services through the same auction mechanism to offer investment transactions, insurance services, and a wider range of financial products.

Our team, including myself, Emmanuel, Victor, and a few software developers, has been bolstered by the addition of consultants James and Arthur. The project is now ready for a manual launch, but to scale effectively, we require external venture capital. We hope to secure funding in the coming quarter and commence the commercial launch.

As a team, we wholeheartedly believe that our striped horse, Money Zebra, will evolve into a unicorn in the fintech world, bringing financial inclusion and empowerment to underserved communities across Africa.

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