A payment streaming platform that enables customers to pay in real time for services.
The company is developing a payment streaming platform called Paystreme that enables users to pay in real time for services. By using a Layer 2 payment channel on Stellar called Starlight, we will create the effect of streaming payments. Users will be able to send payments on a per-second basis as they consume any service.
Consumers will not be required to pay monthly subscriptions to access streaming platforms like Netflix and Spotify or sign up for any service eliminating the need for usernames and passwords. Consumers only need a pre-funded compatible wallet on their PC or mobile phone and choose what they want to read, see, listen or use.
By further applying this technology, we will develop the concept of payment bandwidth, which will translate to some amount of money per minute or second. Cell phone carriers, for example, could opt to charge different payment bandwidths for 3G, 4G, or 5G pay-as-you-go download speeds.
Today, 70% of Latin America's population remains unbanked or underbanked, and 58% of point-of-sales purchases are still made in cash. Consequently, over 400 million prepaid aggregate service subscribers in Latin America struggle with paying for utility services every month. Being excluded from the financial system and paying for recurring services is not only inconvenient, and tiring; it is expensive.
When handling prepaid customers, utility companies and merchants are subject to high fees, deductions, commissions from prepaid cards by vendors, and sometimes even interest. Paradoxically these inefficiencies make the poor pay higher rates for services, making it expensive to be poor.
By building on Stellar, Paystreme will provide the fastest, most convenient, and most efficient way of paying for services. By using Stellar's Layer 2 payment channel, Starlight, we can process over 1 million payments per second per channel, making our platform highly scalable and efficient. Also, by partnering with MoneyGram and Stellar, we will be able to use hundreds of thousands of locations to onboard cash clients onto crypto. Unbanked consumers can use cash to pay for services at more competitive rates than before. Lastly, by integrating into Stellar´s Anchor Platform we will access traditional FIAT rails and allow banked users to easily top off their wallets.
Since we last submitted to SCF, we have made the following progress:
Our revenue model and pricing strategy are simple: Guru and Paystreme will be free for consumers and cost 1% - 1.5% for service providers. We will grow our business quickly and obtain economies of scale by offering more functionality than traditional payment rails at more competitive rates for utility companies.
We plan to allow third-party wallets to integrate via an API at no cost onto Paystreme to achieve strong network effects quickly. The added functionality of Paystreme will incentivize third-party wallets to integrate. This feature opens up the possibility of allowing utility companies to launch their wallets and enter LatAm's exciting fintech market.
Wallet Guru's initial strategy will target medium to large-sized cell phone carriers, internet service providers, pay-TV, and SVOD providers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico to reach a critical mass quickly. We chose these five countries as they account for approximately 75% of the region's subscribers and sales. According to a 2020 study from Dataxis, these industries have a combined aggregate user base of 618 million and an approximate annual revenue of USD 131 billion in these five countries alone. They are all still in their growth stage, except for Paid-TV, which is declining by 1-3% annually.
Although our target market operates in different industries, they all have a fundamental similarity: they struggle with payments. The phone carrier market in these five countries alone has to collect $67.7 billion a year in prepaid users since their customers are either unbanked or underbanked and cannot afford a credit or debit card. Having such a sizeable prepaid customer costs billions of dollars yearly in subscriber churn and customer acquisition.
The mobile phone carrier, ISP, pay-TV, and VSOD markets are growing in LatAm and beyond. They have an aggregate user base of 815 million and an approximate annual revenue of USD 174 billion in the region. They are all still in their growth stage, except for Paid-TV, which is declining by 1-3% annually. The broadband, SVOD, and mobile industries are approximately growing at 5%, 11%, and 1%, respectively.
The industries are expected to keep benefiting from the rapid development of mobile devices. Households have chosen to disconnect landlines to cut costs, suggesting that consumers no longer view mobile device purchases as discretionary. According to the World Bank, smartphone penetration reached over 100% in some markets, such as Colombia and Peru, while only 46% and 43% of the population have bank accounts in these countries.
With the proliferation of smartphone use, the region has also been entering an exciting moment in the payment sector over the last two years: a considerable part of the population has adopted new payment methods. They are becoming increasingly digital (even in a region where cash is still king), bringing consumers to e-commerce, video, music streaming platforms, and other previously unavailable services.
The overall market conditions seem ideal for Wallet Guru's digital payment solutions. The significant target market size continues to grow, yet it struggles with high subscriber churn and customer acquisition costs caused by antiquated previous-century payments. At the same time, the population has shown a remarkable openness to adopting new forms of payments, making the market conditions ripe for disruption.
We will divide our marketing and sales campaign into two stages. We will focus our initial efforts on utility companies. Our marketing intentions to target utility companies at this stage will allow us to gain critical mass in a short time. They will eventually allow us to expand to other industries. After gaining traction, we will implement the second stage of our strategy, which will consist of strong marketing and sales campaigns to a broader industry range and even direct-to-consumer targeting.
Some key and effective marketing tactics will consist of but are not limited to:
Marketing will be a key component in driving sales and creating brand awareness. As an international business with a global customer base, we intend to use funds to support carrying out marketing strategies worldwide strategically.
As we mentioned previously, the payments market has been in a transformational moment. The population adopted alternative payment methods to purchase goods and services during lockdowns. These payment methods are led by fintech companies and, in one case, by the Brazilian government. However, none of these initiatives target large utility companies, and to our knowledge, none are working on a project with streaming payment capabilities.
We are working closely with Coinqvest (previous SCF winner) to operate our Guru Payment Gateway. The proven platform has been battle-tested in over 1000 clients worldwide and is actively marketed by Wallet Guru in numerous countries in LatAm.
Wallet Guru's management team has vast experience operating businesses of all sizes in the region for decades. Our long trajectory has allowed us to establish direct relationships with many of the targeted utility companies' decision-makers, enabling us to fast-track our marketing and sales processes.
Wallet Guru is an American financial technology company operating digital currency payment solutions with an initial focus in Latin America. It provides digital alternatives to traditional payment methods such as credit or debit cards, checks, and cash. The company will initially offer its solutions to large utility companies located in Latin America that offer cell phone coverage, broadband internet, pay-TV, and streaming video on demand.
Emilio Rubio is a highly respected global CEO known for his business acumen and drive, long-standing customer relations, and development of high-performing teams. Emilio has been a trailblazer in the Digital Media Industry for over two decades. In 2021 he founded Mywalletguru, LLC with his daughter Emiliana and Fernando Almiñana with the vision to enable companies in Latin America (initially) to operate in the digital economy and accelerate the adoption of Cryptocurrencies in the region where there is a significant portion of the population unbanked.
From 2015 to 2020, Emilio Rubio served as CEO of HBO Latin America after rejoining the company for the second time in 1999 as Senior Vice President of Operations. As CEO of HBO Latin America, he assumed leadership of all joint venture areas, including Distribution, Programming, Production, Finance, Administration, H.R., Legal, Shareholders Relations, Board of Directors, and Operations. During his tenure, the company underwent one of the largest and most significant transformations from initially being a B2B only Business into a B2B + B2C Organization with the launch of HBOGO in all Digital Stores (in 2017) and multiple Broadband Distributors (Mobile and Fix) in the region as an OTT Service. As of 2020, he completed the plan offering HBOGO as a Direct-to-Consumer platform in 5 countries. Most recently, WarnerMedia finalized the strategic acquisition of HBO Latin America, retaining Mr. Rubio as an Executive Advisor, a role he will continue through Q3, 2021.
In 2004 he was promoted to President. During his tenure, he managed the distribution of 23 Pay T.V. channels in LATAM, including, but not limited to, HBO Family, Max Prime, Disney Channel, Jetix, History Channel, Animax, and Biography (some of them through acquisitions). He also headed the launch of HBOOD as the first nonlinear service and HBO HD, the first Premium H.D. channel in LATAM. As acting President of HBO LAG for ten years, Emilio led the Management Teams through very significant restructurings, including Business Strategy, Product and Brand Offering, Shareholders, and Joint Ventures agreements, with particular importance to the sale of Grupo Abril, The Walt Disney Company, and Sony Equities in the ventures (with respective spin-off Channels and Services).
Fernando has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience. He has actively specialized in business development in the areas of telecommunications, electronic security, finance and real estate development and operations.
Fernando worked in the mission-critical communications industry for over 16 years where he developed a deep understanding of telecommunications infrastructure design and operations. He began mining bitcoin in 2017 and has been actively investing in digital assets since 2018. Fernando is passionate about crypto and digital currencies and possesses ample knowledge of the industry's current trends. As a co-founder of Wallet Guru, Fernando has led the company in its strategic planning and software development. He is also a General Partner of Astram Capital, a multi-strategy investment company that specializes in investing in blockchain technology and digital assets.
Fernando has a magna cum laude BS from Babson College in Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship and has completed a Fintech Specialization from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Emiliana comes from a background in Business Development and Sales. With 6+ years of experience working for the International Luxury Market, she was responsible for managing the development and growth of luxury brands such as Christian Louboutin and Gabriela Hearst (NY).
After obtaining a Masters degree in Visual & Digital Media from IE Business School, Emiliana became quickly fascinated by the ever growing crypto market. Shifting her career focus in developing payment solutions that will enable companies to participate in the digital economy. As a co-founder of Wallet Guru, Emiliana’s goal is to continue to create products that not only serve our consumers but change the way we conduct business.
Emiliana is also the founder of bonnieandlilac.com an e-commerce company that focuses on kids party supplies. She is also an experienced freelancer in marketing, creative directing, and web designing.
Péter has worked in the media and streaming industries for more than 20 years as a digital media, content delivery & distribution specialist, and Blue Guava CEO. Péter specializes in complex services development in the Entertainment industry. He knows the market inside out and is eager to make it better for everyone involved – companies and consumers alike.
As the CEO of Blue Guava, Péter led and developed the End-to-End HBO GO platform in 3 continents (EU, Asia, Latin America, Brasil, and the Caribbeans), 54 countries, and 17 localizations (Central European, Latin, Cyrill, Chinese), and 15 different device platforms. He maintained the entire media supply chain from content preparation, management, distribution, and playout with more than 50k content cases, from SD up to 4K UHD/HDR!
As a member of the Wallet Guru team with over three decades of experience, Péter takes great pleasure in the fact that he can translate highly specialized content into a language that everyone understands – while emphasizing the tangible business benefits these solutions bring.
Johnni Rodriguez Hernandez
Operations & Strategic Technology
Johnni comes from an intensive career path focused on operations, strategic planning, and direction of information technology and systems functions that support enterprise-wide business processes.
In his previous role, Johnni was the Corporate Vice President of Operations for HBO Latin America. He was responsible for the strategic direction of broadcast scheduling technical programming of HBO Latin America, along with implementing business strategies to assure profitable short- and long-term programs and processes to optimize and unify the broadcasting operations workflow within the regional offices. Delivery modes include traditional on-air broadcasting over linear networks (both standard and high definition), on-demand products to digital networks, and specialized content to cellular and broadband networks.
Johnni specializes in integrations with distributors, broadcast, studio production, live television, post-production, streaming video, linear distribution, on-demand products, digital distribution, and specialized content to OTT platforms and broadband networks. His intensive background in industry solutions practice in Media, Entertainment, and Telecom Business, has been a great asset in developing Wallet Guru.
The USD valuation of the budget request in XLM will be calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 5, 2022 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). Learn more in the SCF Handbook.
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on July 5th 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)
*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)
*This budget request has not been fully awarded to the project. The USD valuation of the budget request in XLM will be calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on day of payment 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). Learn more in the SCF Handbook.