On the finish of the yr 2017, Blockchain expertise and cryptocurrency have been established because the expertise fields with important promise in Africa. The next years witnessed an enormous rise of gamers and a surge in investments.
SureRemit was one of many early gamers to discover a technique to harness the expertise for good. The corporate started utilizing blockchain expertise to reduce the cost of remittance to Africa.
SureRemit is a voucher-based worldwide remittance platform powered by blockchain expertise. The platform makes use of cryptocurrency tokens to generate digital vouchers that can be utilized to switch cash. And, it offered an reasonably priced, non-cash various for sending cash to household and associates at residence.
SureRemit was fixing a major drawback.
This was at a time when, in response to World Bank data, about 250 million international migrants transferred $601 billion to their residence nations. Greater than a third of that sum went to growing nations. $39 billion of that sum got here to Sub-Saharan Africa, with Nigeria receiving about $20 billion.
Many Africans needed to pay important percentages to middlemen to facilitate the transactions. In response to a report, senders to Sub Saharan Africa pay essentially the most charges, about 10% for each $200.
SureRemit claimed to cost low charges on transactions (as little as 0%) not like current platforms corresponding to Moneygram and Western Union that charged a worldwide common of about 7.45%. In response to the corporate, it bypasses the standard banking system by connecting prospects on to native retailers, who pay a small fee price on every transaction.
A part of the SureGroup
Suregroup is the guardian firm of SureGifts, SureRemit and SureCredit. The group began out in 2014 as SureGifts, a platform for reward playing cards. The corporate was based by Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, Adeoye Ojo and Babafemi Lawal to offer retail voucher options for gifting/ loyalty, for remittances in addition to provide credit score.
The three co-founders were former employees at Jumia Nigeria. Adeoye Ojo was a Senior Advertising and marketing Analyst/ Enterprise Intelligence (Advertising and marketing). Babafemi Lawal was the Head of Enterprise Intelligence (Operations) whereas Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi was Head of Enterprise Intelligence (Manufacturing and Buying).
SureCredit is a voucher-styled credit score financing platform particularly for workers of some corporations in Africa really. By some means, it didn’t scale to develop into a broadly accepted token as a lot as one would count on.
Although its tokens can’t be redeemed for money, they can be utilized to verify cost for issues corresponding to utility payments, pupil tuition and on-line client items. One essential accepted service provider is Jumia, a well-liked on-line African service provider.
Development, raises and growth plans
In January 2018, SureRemit raised $7 million in Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to scale its remittance with participation from corporations like Hashed, “South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency fund”. Technext recorded it as one of many top 10 raises by Nigerian startups in 2018.
Only one yr and 6 months later, SureRemit announced its plan to expand its operations to america, Europe and Australia. Alongside the announcement, the corporate claimed that it had on-boarded some America-based retailers on its platform.
This, in response to a tweet, included “BestBuy, Walmart, Adidas, Chipotle, and extra.”
Equally, it introduced that individuals in nations throughout Europe- which embody Finland, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Austria and Eire– will now have entry to its zero-fee remittance choices.
All appears to be quiet now…
The growth bulletins in 2019 had been the final main updates made by the corporate. This appears to be adopted by some inactivity. The social media pages, as an example, have persistently shared put up updates however there was no main product, milestones or growth bulletins.
That appears too common for a fintech firm with a $7m funding.
Additionally, the founders’ public profiles point out that they could be combining roles at completely different outfits on the similar time lately and usually are not probably targeted on constructing the corporate full time any longer.
For instance, Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi‘s profile on LinkedIn signifies that he’s Principal, ventures at Blockchain.com, a London based mostly firm that gives crypto wallets and supplies an API that permits corporations to construct on Bitcoin. He has additionally been a curator at Cryptoeconomics.com for about 5 months now. He’s nonetheless a director at SureGroup, for over 7 years now.
Co-founder and Director Of Gross sales Operations, Adeoye Ojo is now a associate at Hashed (alongside Olaoluwa), the corporate that reportedly led the $7m funding spherical in 2018. He has been for nicely over 3 years now.
Hashed Capital is alleged to have invested in comparable startups and digital property. These embody pockets.ng and crowdforce.io, digital asset change, Busha.co, and LifeHack Basis, a company that gives human capital help to the underprivileged.
Adeoye can also be a full-time director at Busha, one in all Hashed’s investees. Busha is alleged to have the mission to attach Africa to the brand new digital economic system utilizing blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Busha has been round for over 2 years however it’s comparatively unknown within the crypto area. He’s nonetheless a director at SureGroup too.
Babafemi Lawal continues to be a full director, going by his profile. Omolara Awoyemi, a Jumia alumni was the CEO of the group till 2019. She later moved to Fb and finally based Bumpa. The identification of the current CEO is unsure although.
SureRemit arrived on the scene simply when the crypto area was going to get pleasure from a major leap in Africa. 4 years down the road, the startup isn’t among the many main gamers within the area anymore, regardless of a major early elevate.
This raises numerous questions, questions which solely the crew at SureGroup can clarify. And, we hope they do.
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