Round 9

incento

A global venmo with high yield savings accounts
$
45,000
worth of XLM on the day of pay-out*
worth of XLM on the day after voting*
Website

Business and talent are fast becoming global affairs, yet the rails that allow the two to exchange value are still stuck along domestic borders. Individuals and businesses face challenges around speed, complexity and high costs both transactional and opportunity cost of holding various local currencies. Payment rails today are optimised for local infrastructure rather than global interoperability which limit the efficiency of cross border commerce.

Incento is a 'global venmo' facilitated by crypto-financial infrastructure under the hood. Designed for users with a zero learning curve, Incento provides a user interface that resembles a traditional fintech application. By leveraging the Stellar Anchor Network, Incento provides an end to end solution that allows individuals and businesses to connect local fiat to crypto seamlessly. Giving them the ability to make fast and inexpensive global payments as well as save in dollars and earn yield in multiple geographies.

In operation since

2021

Based In

USA/INDIA

Stage

Startup

Products & Services

Incento is a global venmo facilitated by crypto-financial infrastructure under the hood. Incento offers free and instant remittances, dollar savings accounts with high yield (6-8%) and on/off ramp services to the crypto-economy. The emergence of global high speed internet connectivity and smartphone adoption has massively broadened career and financial opportunities worldwide.

However international payment rails under pin these opportunities. Individuals and businesses face many challenges with speed and cost. Rails optimised for local infrastructure, rather than global interoperability, limit the efficiency with which global commerce can transact, both with other businesses and with individuals.

Crypto dollars have been talked about as an answer to this problem for most of the last decade. The idea was interesting but always premised on global crypto adoption. The biggest challenge holding back global crypto adoption has been infrastructure and user experience. Incento resolves these challenges by providing a simple user interface that resembles a traditional fin-tech experience and abstracts the blockchain complexity in the backend by interconnecting API service providers from businesses built on top of the Stellar network. These services include custody via Circle, yield and fx swaps via SendWyre , on/off ramp infrastructure via the Stellar anchor network and compliance coverage via Finclusive.

  • Send/Request Payments - Users can instantly create a payment request, share it via any messaging application. When the recipient of the link clicks on the request, their respective local payment options will pop up. After selecting and confirming the preferred payment option, the funds are converted to sUSDC in the backend and credited to the users wallet.
  • E.g.: Thomas in Brazil creates a $300 payment request on the Incento app and shares the link via WhatsApp to Jack in the USA. Jack clicks on the link and browses the payment options available  (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Bank wire, Debit and Credit Card). Jack selects Apple pay and confirms the transaction. Incento then uses the Stellar Anchor partner in the US to instantly process the fiat payment into sUDSC and send its to Thomas's Incento wallet.


  • Earn Yield/ Cash out - Users can choose to hold onto their dollar balances which earn  8% yield and is credited weekly (via an api lending out to crypto capital markets using stellar rails) or cash out to their local currency via their preferred method whenever convenient.
  • E.g.: After Thomas receives his $300 payment from Jack. Thomas chooses to cash out $100 to his local currency by clicking withdraw on the Incento app. Incento then uses the Stellar Anchor partner in Brazil to convert sUSDC to BRL and credits Thomas's bank account via his preferred payment method PIX. Thomas can now sit back, relax and earn 8% APY on his leftover $200 balance.


  • Gift cards - Users can purchase various gift cards (airtime, shopping, etc.) using their sUSDC Incento balance through an integration with Bidali
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Goal & Budget

Top 3 goals: 1. Launch our private beta program (web app) on 25th December 2. Get our waitlist upto 50,000 signups by the 1st of February. Simultaneously onboard waitlist users in our private beta program. 3. Launch our Public beta along with android and iPhone applications on 1st of March

  1. Our web app is ready for our private beta program (Test.incento.io);
  2. Hire a digital marketer to lead our marketing efforts;
  3. Create and execute social media and influencer marketing campaigns to increase our waitlist;
  4. Hire a community manager to manage social media profiles on twitter, reddit, discord, facebook and instagram;
  5. Recruit content writers and translators to create content in multiple languages.

Our Request

$45,000

Progress so far

  • Current stage - Private beta
  • Previously raised $150,000k from Consensys
  • Graduated from the Consensys Tachyon Accelerator w20
  • Winner of Circles Moneyhacks hackathon (Judged by Jeremy Allaire)
  • Grant from 0xPolygon - $25,000 in $MATIC
  • Existing waitlist has 5000 + signups

Problem & Solution

Millions of online workers around the world, many of them citizens of emerging markets make a living on the internet. These remittance payments are an economic lifeline for individuals in these emerging markets. Though billions still lack access to banking services or remain at the mercy of exploitative financial middlemen and the opportunity cost of holding their local inflationary currency. By the middle of this decade the vast majority of people on earth are expected to have access to a smartphone – the only technology needed to transmit, store, and save the value of their labor via decentralized crypto-based financial services, mainly stablecoins.

However using crypto-based financial services has a significant challenge - the user experience.

Incento is designed to resemble a traditional fin-tech application and hides the blockchain complexity in the backend. This is possible via using a wide range of API service providers that are built on top of the Stellar Network. These services include custody via Circle, yield and fx swaps via SendWyre , on/off ramp infrastructure via the Stellar anchor network and compliance coverage via Finclusive.

Target Market/ Market Research

p2p remittances, freelancers and businesses engaged in global commerce and living in emerging markets. Mainly focused on :

  • Asia - One popular blockchain used for cross-border payments in Southeast Asia saw its transaction volume increase tenfold in 2020.
  • Africa. According to figures from Chainanalysis, roughly “$562 million worth of cryptocurrency was transferred directly from overseas addresses to ones based in Africa in retail-sized payments,” in the year 2020. That number likely represents just a portion of the total amount of crypto remitted to Africa during that time. Nigeria is so worried about the popularity of unlicensed remittances there that the government is actually paying people to avoid crypto when sending money.
  • Latin America. In the United States, foreign workers from Latin America have been using crypto exchanges as a means of sending salaries back home instantly and at minimal cost, while sidestepping the international transfer companies that have gotten comfortable with their privileged middlemen roles in the system. Many Latin American leaders have expressed their support for cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular. Bitcoin payments sent to the region more than doubled from under $1.5 Billion in 2019 to over $3 billion in 2020.


Revenue model and Pricing strategy

Incento uses 'zero fee' remittance to attract users. Revenue is generated via taking a 1% fee of interest earned on high yield accounts.

No items found.

Problem & Solution

Millions of online workers around the world, many of them citizens of emerging markets make a living on the internet. These remittance payments are an economic lifeline for individuals in these emerging markets. Though billions still lack access to banking services or remain at the mercy of exploitative financial middlemen and the opportunity cost of holding their local inflationary currency. By the middle of this decade the vast majority of people on earth are expected to have access to a smartphone – the only technology needed to transmit, store, and save the value of their labor via decentralized crypto-based financial services, mainly stablecoins.

However using crypto-based financial services has a significant challenge - the user experience.

Incento is designed to resemble a traditional fin-tech application and hides the blockchain complexity in the backend. This is possible via using a wide range of API service providers that are built on top of the Stellar Network. These services include custody via Circle, yield and fx swaps via SendWyre , on/off ramp infrastructure via the Stellar anchor network and compliance coverage via Finclusive.

Target Market/ Market Research

p2p remittances, freelancers and businesses engaged in global commerce and living in emerging markets. Mainly focused on :

  • Asia - One popular blockchain used for cross-border payments in Southeast Asia saw its transaction volume increase tenfold in 2020.
  • Africa. According to figures from Chainanalysis, roughly “$562 million worth of cryptocurrency was transferred directly from overseas addresses to ones based in Africa in retail-sized payments,” in the year 2020. That number likely represents just a portion of the total amount of crypto remitted to Africa during that time. Nigeria is so worried about the popularity of unlicensed remittances there that the government is actually paying people to avoid crypto when sending money.
  • Latin America. In the United States, foreign workers from Latin America have been using crypto exchanges as a means of sending salaries back home instantly and at minimal cost, while sidestepping the international transfer companies that have gotten comfortable with their privileged middlemen roles in the system. Many Latin American leaders have expressed their support for cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin in particular. Bitcoin payments sent to the region more than doubled from under $1.5 Billion in 2019 to over $3 billion in 2020.


Revenue model and Pricing strategy

Incento uses 'zero fee' remittance to attract users. Revenue is generated via taking a 1% fee of interest earned on high yield accounts.

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*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on September 27, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
* The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on the date of transfer as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 16, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)