AiDEMONEY is a fast and secure money remittance service that is committed to sending money - and progress - back home. They are solely focused on providing services to Africans.
We spoke to Uzoma Eze, the co-founder and CEO of AiDEMONEY, to better understand the challenges of creating a remittance business that serves both Africans and Africans in the Diaspora.
Why did you start AiDEMONEY, and who is your target audience?
We have about half a million Nigerians living in the US, and these individuals send somewhere in the range of 50 to $25 billion per year. Also, there is no formalized, aggregated product or platform to bring these individuals and their money back.
Since the fund transfer between Nigeria or sub-Saharan Africa and the US has forever been loaded with issues, we, the Africans in Diaspora (AiDEMONEY), decided to put our hands out there and attempt to create a solution and concoct the arrangement that is equipped towards a specific people and their problem.
Our target market is the African American population which is about 44 million. More and more people within this population are beginning to identify and reconnect with their African roots. They are looking for opportunities to do so physically, spiritually, or financially.
Therefore, we wish to be that platform for people who would invest in Africa, donate to Africa for philanthropic purposes, and remit money to Africa. We created this platform because we anticipate a need, and AiDEMONEY will be available to meet the need when it arises.
Can you share some of the reasons you decided to partner with Machnet?
When I started AiDEMONEY, my primary intention was never to earn a profit. So, for me, getting the human aspect right in any partnership is very important. A ton of my dealings are with individuals in the monetary and law space, where people are more money-oriented, but that is not my focus with AiDEMONEY. Dealing with the team of Machnet at the start, I got the feeling that I was dealing with individuals who understood.
I like the way the Machnet team communicates and the way problems and issues are addressed. Machnet’s team will constantly find approaches to co-create. That was the impression I got while dealing with Machnet, and I feel that was enough for me.
That's what I trust; assuming you get the human part right, we will co-figure out the money aspect and the innovation part and will grow together as people and improve business and work. Machnet gave my team and me that energy, and we've been blissful up to this point.
We have a lot of brainstorming sessions with Machnet- we bounce ideas off of one another. The team has been incredibly helpful.
What are the challenges of building a product like AiDEMONEY?
Licensing was brutal. Establishing a bank account is almost impossible when they learn that you're of Nigerian descent. Given the license and technical requirements, it would have been extremely expensive to construct the entire product by ourselves from the start.
However, Machnet took care of all these aspects for us. AiDEMONEY drastically reduced the initial time to market partnering with Machnet. We were also able to save some costs.
How did Machnet help you in building AiDEMONEY?
We would still be a business plan on an Excel spreadsheet right now had it not been for a solution like Machnet. It enabled us to begin doing transactions, utilize our branding, learn the business, and develop within it.
Machnet is a stepping stone that any startup in this highly regulated and high technology industry needs at least to get out there and experience the business in real terms.
What are your future plans?
Currently, we are on the verge of migrating to a new tier in Machnet, which means we open up our services to a bigger market, reduce our price, and, all in all, provide better quality services. Our next step is to expand our platform in a way that lowers expenses so that we can achieve greater transaction volume.
In the long run, we wish to expand from C2C remittances to B2B or B2C transactions. Hence, customers can invest money, save money, and pay their phone bills which are enabled by Machnet's solutions. We eventually want to be able to support Africa with a charitable giving platform or charitable giving product.