Round 10
Winner
Bonafide
by

Digital dollar wallets for the rest of the world.

Budget request:  
*
WebsiteCode

Project Stage

Startup

Category

Cross-Border Payments
Defi & Wallets

Based in

Delaware, United States of America

Team size

Active since

2021
Products & Services

We are building digital dollar wallets for non-US persons making it easy for them to spend, send and save globally.


In implementing a majority of our projects, we are using the stellar blockchain as a blockchain layer to power programmatic USDC flows.

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Previous Project(s)
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Progress so far

We are in the beta stage, our B2B products currently process more than 500,000 USD per month. We operate in the US and Nigeria and have raised a pre-seed of 50,000 USD so far.

Goals

Establishing a customer base and market presence by growing the B2C userbase by 10,000 accounts and increasing B2B monthly volume by 50% month by month (we currently process more than 500,000 USD every month for B2B).

To get there, we  will use our requested budget of  
*
  to:

We plan on achieving our goal by executing a 13 weeks Product Launch framework where we plan, manage and optimize customer journeys across all the key customer touchpoints - including digital media and experiences.


This is categorised into key action plans measured by the following;

  • Product Launch Awareness;
  • Product Consideration;
  • User Acquisition;
  • Product Service Mechanism;
  • Product Loyalty Program;


Some of the needed resources include full-time personnels to oversee the recurring stages such as user acquisition, service and loyalty mechanisms essential to the product lifetime, and freelance hires including Digital marketing strategist to manage digital-media-enabled phases, client support analysts to always be available to interact with customers as proper customer interaction is needed for the growth of the business. Technology requirements include Optimized landing pages, Customer Relations Management frameworks, Product ad campaign media (Paid) Social Media networks, Promotions, Email marketing networks and SEOs.


We are partnered with an FDIC insured company that is licensed to provide regulatory support.


Additionally, we need to hire experienced developers to ensure we build quality and at a fast pace.

Overview

Problem

The world is a global village, yet 1bn people cannot easily transact in the world’s dominant currency. 1bn+ people do not have access to “globally” available money movement services like paypal. A substantial portion of the world’s trade including trade between African countries is done in United States dollars, creating problems for thousands of businesses in countries that do not have easy access to save or pay in dollars. This makes payments for imports, tuition, software, and other dollar bill payments a painful process. Current alternatives include owning domiciliary accounts with local banks that partner with a correspondent bank. This option is not easily accessible for most citizens. It is also very expensive to move money - it costs $45 on a minimum, 3-5 days.

Poor people are most disproportionately affected by unpredictable inflation. African currencies have suffered from abnormal levels of inflation over the last 3 decades. As a result, networth of Africans is halved every other 3 years due to currency devaluations and seek stable currencies to save in. The top 5 African countries with the lowest levels of inflation use the same currency the CFA which is benchmarked to France’s franc.

The coronavirus pandemic has also accelerated the growth of remote work. Companies like Deel ($5.5b) and Papaya have reached unicorn valuations by making it easy to pay remote teams. However, there are more people in the freelance (organized and unorganized) space who still find it difficult to get paid. With the increase in digital adoption and lack of local unemployment, we expect the trend of Africans working remotely with global companies to be the norm and not the exception.

Current alternatives include getting an account on Transferwise (very few people know this, even Transferwise doesn’t publicize that you can open a US bank account from Nigeria for obvious reasons), or asking a friend or family member to set up PayPal accounts on their behalf and access via VPN.

Lastly, remittance to sub-Saharan Africa still remains the most expensive (~8.02%) in the world, according to the World Bank Remittance Report March 2021. This is due to illiquidity and the high costs of movement of dollars to local currencies through the big banks


Solution

Bonafide is a USDC powered dollar wallet service that lets anyone send, receive, make online payments, and earn yield.

Communication USPs

  • Retail: Save, send and receive dollars. Stand a chance to win $2000 weekly.


Features include:

  • Receive money via USDC, wire transfer and in the future, push-to-card and paypal.
  • Send money via peer-to-peer, peer-to-business, wire transfers to any dollar account worldwide and USDC.
  • Instant peer-to-peer and peer-to-business payments.
  • Earn interest on your saved digital dollars.
  • No-loss weekly $2000 raffle draws. Users get their money back if they don’t win after 30 days.

We’ve chosen a single currency focus since the majority of international transactions from Africa (our initial focus market) are in USD. This also helps us provide a super simple app, avoid feature distraction, simplify regulatory concerns, and reduce the amount of technical effort needed to ramp up quickly were we to do multiple currencies.

There are key foundational beliefs that show the “Why” of our approach to solving the problem.

  • Stablecoins is an innovation that combines the stability of being pegged to a fiat currency and the speed and efficiency of crypto-money movements on blockchains. We have chosen the USDC for simplicity of communication, stability, and backing from Circle, Coinbase, and Stellar. Also, USDC is a top 10 digital currency and on leading blockchains, with interoperability with Mastercard and Visa. Bonafide uses USDC specifically in the following ways:
  • To store value in secure circle wallets and interoperable with 5 different blockchains.
  • On-ramp and off-ramp from and to exchanges, other wallet services, and financial partners.
  • Yield provision via staking in defi-protocols and fixed deposits.

  • By providing dollar wallets to Africans where they can receive money swiftly, we would be solving multiple challenges of transactions today with one solution.
  • Receiving money (remittances, salaries)
  • We want to remove friction 100% for the sender of money. They should be able to use payment methods and currency they are already used to. Users will be able to receive money via USDC, wire transfer and in the future, push-to-card and paypal. The problem of off-ramping to local currency is transferred from the sender to the beneficiary who has this figured out already through local bureau de changes. Nonetheless, we will overtime provide off-boarding to other currencies via APIs provided by Flutterwave and Venture Garden Group in countries where it makes sense to do so.
  • Sending money (purchases, personal dollar transactions)
  • Payments in dollars will be seamless. Any user will be able to send money via peer-to-peer, peer-to-business, wire transfers to any dollar account worldwide and USDC.
  • Users love short-term rewards, however current methods are not sustainable for startups , do not build loyalty nor is it healthy for consumers. Bonafide’s no loss prize taps into the reward-loving behavior of users and offers them an opportunity to win $2000 weekly.


Target Market

While we are targeting Africans anywhere, we will be focusing our firepower on a beachhead market - audiences based in Africa that currently need to engage in dollar-related transactions at least once a month OR wants to save and earn in foreign currency.

  • Upper and middle-class income earners who pay bills in dollars. These bills include tuition, investments, and family support.
  • Individuals earning from remote freelance work. These are not structured employment contracts and payments are made on a per-job basis. These include freelance developers, writers, and designers.
  • Small and mid-sized African entrepreneurs, side-hustlers and businesses making global payments. These include tech-enabled companies, investment firms, startups, and traders.
  • Upwardly mobile youth in East and West Africa esp. Nigeria and Ghana who desire to keep their wealth in dollars and partake of more opportunities globally.
  • P.S. We have not mentioned Africans in the diaspora as a target audience because the would be major“senders” on our network. Having taken the stress of on onboarding out, we expect remittance senders to also increase exponentially as wallet holders increase.

We estimate the 3 personas combined is over 500,000 businesses and 22.8 million users across Africa (2% of Sub-saharan Africa population living on > $15 per day).


How we grow

  • Business
  • Seminars, content, and offers for businesses doing business in the US and foreign-owned Delaware registered companies. Seminar topics will include crypto asset recovery, payments, tax, and accounting.
  • Targeted Outreach based on referrals to our already identified B2B Personas.
  • PR (Blogs, Interviews, Linkedin)
  • In country Sales & BD (West and East Africa)
  • Retail
  • Our beta retail customers are pooled from clients of investment firms who desire to own dollar accounts to make it easy to invest and receive their returns on investment. We are in talks with a venture investment syndicate and another investment club with a total of 3000 users who want to pilot with us. We will be holding zoom calls with these groups in December to onboard them.
  • Bonafide users will be able to stake money in no-loss weekly $2000 raffle draws. Users get their money back if they don’t win after 30 days. 60m Nigerians bet and lose their staked money. This is more than the number of banked accounts in the country.
  • Bonafide is adopting an age-long discovery method attributed to Paypal, which is the ability to transfer value to non-users. Bonafide users will be able to send USD to email addresses and phone number of non-users. This will be further amplified via Twitter/Instagram giveaways of micro-amounts to users.
  • 3 - 6 months of sustained community growth through conversation and interaction through discord, clubhouse, facebook, newsletters, twitter, instagram and youtube.
  • Student ambassadors
  • Leverage well-known African influencers to reach new users.


Traction

In 6 months of piloting stablecoin based digital wallets and payments, we’ve done $6m in payments with more than 25 business clients ranging from tech startups, international trading firms to investment firms. We are confident we can 20x this and more by Dec 2022. Bonafide also won the Stellar DFS Blockchain Hackathon ($15,000) and got accepted into Stellar Community Fund with a strong chance of Stellar participating in our round.


Future Opportunities

In the future, We will have the opportunity to offer dollar-based financial services directly or in partnership with other players such as cards, locked savings, DEFI ETF, investments, crypto payouts exchange, offline crypto agency, p2p fx, and release of our APIs. (see timed roadmap in the deck).


Risks

Governments’ Policies on Crypto

Bonafide expects 95% of its 1st half-year users to have Nigerian origination or affinity. However, Nigeria, Africa’s largest country by population has banned financial institutions from processing crypto transactions thus forcing Nigerian crypto-users to P2P transactions. Here is how we are handling this:

  • Avoid specifying countries in marketing and push Canada and Fintrac licensure as the base of operations and regulating body respectively.
  • Own no bank accounts in Nigeria nor transact through Nigerian banks in such a way that brings Bonafide under Nigerian oversight.
  • Let users handle their conversion from local currency in Naira to USD through other means


Risk of custody questionable assets due to fuzzy insights on source of funds

  • Consistently monitor country of origin for users and push towards derisking of Nigeria to 40% of the user base by End of 2022.
  • Deploy blockchain analytics tool (chainalysis) to monitor incoming and outgoing exposures to illicit activities of cryptoassets up that passes through our platform.


Marketing and Advertisement

Bonafide is introduced to prospective users through relevant paid and/or owned means on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn amongst others, and social physical/ virtual clusters that appeal to our product target group, including blogs and events.


Converting prospective users into paying customers is at the core of our marketing strategy. We deploy the power of email marketing to nurture right after the collection of the prospective users’ email addresses (leads) upon first interaction at the awareness stage.

Email marketing helps us to keep prospective and existing customers in the loop on product benefits and how to begin the journey as a new user, upcoming features and upgrades, promotions and user tips that subtly integrate the product use into their lifestyle with periodic well-curated, beautifully designed newsletter.


Our marketing objectives and strategy consist of many moving pieces and channels. However, they overall boil down to the three main goals of expanding our individual and commercial user base, increasing engagement, and improving customer relationships.

These deliver a two-way result that improves customer lifetime value and encourages repeat purchases from customers.


Customer lifetime value (CLV) is one of the most important factors that determine our product’s present and future success. We plan to achieve and keep this growth through the initiation and execution of action-ready programs that focus on building customer loyalty, focusing on customer needs and investing in an emotionally pleasing experience that thrives on effective customer service, support and feedback systems.


Also, increasing the average service value can help improve our customer lifetime value. This can be achieved by upselling and cross-selling upgraded and complimentary mini products, and

positioning the brand to unlock partnerships with other brands/ merchants to sell and provide value beyond our immediate reach and scope.


Ultimately, to build brand credibility and equity across our product introduction and growth stages, we intend to stay at the top of our customers’ minds with an engaging and fun social presence across relevant relatable media. Our team is prepared and raise to double as brand ambassadors who actively provide support on social media and cluster groups to create a great customer experience and improve impression. This equally contributes to an increase in customer lifetime value.


We plan to reinforce and consolidate the credibility of our marketing and sales plan by repeating our blueprint processes every 6 months, using data-driven insights, feedback from users and partners, and market growth potential to unlock new business opportunities.


Competition

As identified in our problem statements, our competitors include Transferwise and Paypal. Whilst these two provide wallet infrastructures, only Transferwise supports remittance between the two. We provide these two services (wallet and remittance) in addition to USD business payments to Africa, Interest on wallet value and availability to a Billion African population.


Resources and Relationships

Bonafide, a Delaware company (6796553) relies on licenses owned by Moneymie, from which it was spun off.

Bonafide will be based in the United States, Canada and Estonia.

Moneymie is a financial technology company. Moneymie offers its products and services in partnership with banking software provider Sila and Evolve Bank & Trust (Member FDIC).


Licenses & Partnerships

USD Fund Custodian and FDIC Coverage: Evolve Bank

KYC, KYB, ACH: Silamoney

FINTRAC License in Canada (M21927651)

Registered Investment Advisor CRD: 305368

Money Transmitter Licenses

  • Washington, Illinois

Money Transmitter Licenses in progress

  • Texas, Georgia, and Delaware (MSB Registration Number: 31000192196127)

Estonia Crypto License (coming soon)

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Team

Name Adebayo Tiamiyu

CEO and Co-Founder

Crypto Compliance @ Kraken  ($20B crypto exchange), Anti-financial Crimes @ EasyCrypto, Risk and Compliance @ DigitalJewels, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia (Masters in Digital Transformation), FUTMinna (BTech in Cyber Security)

https://www.linkedin.com/in/adebayogates/


Name Oluwaseun Omopekun

CTO and Co-Founder

Engineering Lead @ Moneymie, Engineering Lead @ TeamApt, BSc OAU, Electrical Engineering

https://www.linkedin.com/in/omopekun-smart/