SCF #9

Choose convenience.

Budget request:

Project Stage



No items found.

Based in

Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Team size

Active since

Products & Services


Currently, there is no way for online businesses to accept online payment in Ethiopia. Despite businesses providing their services online, they all have to find a way of accepting money.

Eg 1: Sports betting companies only operate through physical stores due to lack of online payment options. They can only accept payment over the counter.

Eg 2: Ride hailing drivers have to physically/over the counter buy “Ride Miles” from Ride hailing companies before the driver can make a trip. Online payment would solve this challenge.

This issue has made it difficult for companies to operate online and has slowed down the development of the online economy in Ethiopia.


Windpay connects businesses and individuals through its super app and facilitates payment between the two. Windpay is aiming to be the Alipay of Africa.

How does it work/ customer experience?

As mentioned above our customer segment is divided into two: Online businesses and Individuals.

  • Online businesses: We partner with online businesses such as telcos, ride hailing, food delivery and sports betting companies in order to host their app on Windpay in the form of a mini-apps which enables them to provide their services and accept payment online.

  • Individuals: Individual users first download, sign up and register to Windpay. Once registered, they will be able to find the various services that Windpay hosts such as ride hailing, sports betting and food delivery. After using these services, individuals can make payment instantly. In addition, they can send/pay money to any Windpay users.

How and why we used Stellar

We are going to issue a stablecoin that is tethered to the Ethiopian national currency Ethiopian “Birr” and maintain the equivalent fiat reserve with our partner bank (in progress). Our plan to enable our customers to recharge and withdraw (on off-ramp) is through the following methods:

  • Mobile banking:  Windpay will host mobile banking apps within the Super app so that our customers can easily recharge or withdraw Ethiopian Birr (Stablecoin).
  • Agents: Windpay agents are individuals that earn commission by helping our customers recharge or withdraw Ethiopian Birr (Stablecoin).

The reason we used Stellar:

  1. We needed affordable, secure and fast transactions
  2. Allows our app to hold multiple currencies
  3. Simple and fast to integrate
  4. Future innovation opportunities. It fits our future goal of introducing cryptocurrency purchase, storage, currency exchange and more.
No items found.
Previous Project(s)
No items found.
Progress so far

We’ve been working on Windpay since 2019 following a number of pivots and forging new partnerships.

Stage: We are on track to complete the Beta version by the end of December and start piloting in early January.

We have roughly 30 ride-hailing drivers ready to pilot our superapp in our January launch. 

Funding: We have raised a total of $45K. A pre-seed of 40K from investors and a $5k grant  from Stellar through DFS Lab bootcamp,

We incorporated in the USA and we are currently finalising our incorporation in Ethiopia.

  1. Launch Pilot program by January 2022
  2. Acquire 10-100 ride hailing drivers (users) over the period of 6 months
  3. Achieve a transaction volume of $5,000 - $50,000 within our 6 month piloting period
  4. Raise seed funding round of +$5 million by the end of the 6 month program (June)
To get there, we request a budget of  

Acceleration program: Joined Orange Fab, subsidiary of Orange Telecom and Orange ventures which will give us access to investment communities, legal council, business development and technical advice.

Using our existing network: we plan to leverage the strong local and international networks of our existing investors for raising seed funding and ease operation locally.

Partnerships: We are in talks with various online businesses such as Betway for exclusive service delivery.


Policy and regulation_: _We have a positive relationship with government representatives and strong legal support.

Staff: We already hired 2 software developers, making our team a total of 7. We still need to hire 5 more software developers to continue building and innovating our product. 

Finance: We have enough funding from our pre-seed to launch our pilot but are looking for additional funding to onboard more developers and expand agent networks to improve delivery of our service

Additional information

Our ultimate goal is to be able to host millions of businesses in Windpay, to help them provide services and accept payment online. We are starting one business at a time. For that reason, we decided to do our pilot program on the ride hailing sector that desperately needs alternative online payment solutions. The Problem we identified in this sector is below:


Context: Ride Hailing is a thriving industry in Ethiopia, but drivers and ride hailing companies are losing time, money and users to poor payment methods.

Problem: Ride Hailing drivers have to purchase “Ride Miles” from Ride Hailing Companies to start accepting clients through the Drivers App. To buy Ride Miles, Drivers must deposit money to the Ride Hailing Company Bank account, send proof of payment, and wait from 2- 9 hours to receive “Ride Miles” on the Drivers App. They cannot take on clients through the app until they have received the “Ride Miles” so drivers and the Ride hailing companies lose time and money.

Pain Point: Slow and time consuming payment process meaning fewer clients

Solution: We will support ride hailing drivers and companies by:

1. Allowing drivers to add money to windpay app and buy “Ride Miles” instantly

2. Offering BNPL option to enable drivers to buy “Ride Miles” on credit

Drivers can also access additional payment features like Airtime Top and Sending Money to other Windpay users.

How do you use Stellar in your solution?

We are going to issue a stablecoin that is tethered to the Ethiopian national currency Ethiopian “Birr” and maintain the equivalent fiat reserve with our partner bank (in progress). Our plan to enable our customers to recharge and withdraw (on off-ramp) is through the following methods:

  1. Mobile banking:  Windpay will host mobile banking apps within the Super app so that our customers can easily recharge or withdraw Ethiopian Birr (Stablecoin).
  2. Agents: Windpay agents are individuals that earn commission by helping our customers recharge or withdraw Ethiopian Birr (Stablecoin).


Our initial customers will be the Ride Hailing Drivers

  • Pain Points: Losing money
  • Needs: Better payment options, buying on credit =
  • Wants: Side Hustles
  • How to reach them: Telegram, Door-to-door
  • Age: Licensed age 18-45
  • Gender: Typically Male but occasionally female
  • Characteristics: Vehicle Owners, Smartphone Owners, multi-company drivers
  • Language: Amharic, English

Ride Hailing Companies are beneficiaries of our service

  • Pain Points: Losing money, losing drivers, less customers
  • Needs: Better payment options, Driver retention and more drivers, more customers better payment options,
  • Wants: More Profit, more drivers, more customers, time efficient recharge methods for drivers
  • Platforms: Ride Hailing Apps, Banks
  • Age: SMEs
  • Characteristics: Fast Growing
  • Company Size: Large and SME


  1. 1% fixed transaction fee for P2P
  2. We charge online companies 2% + $0.021 for every payment accepted
  3. Fixed subscription fee for BNPL

    Note: We are making things freemium for the piloting program.


  1. 1% fixed transaction fee for P2P - Our competitors are charging fees according to the amount of money transacted making it challenging for consumers to understand the cost of transactions. We wanted to leverage a simple pricing strategy so customers always know how much transactions cost because affordability is a priority.
  2. We charge online companies 2% + $0.021 for every payment accepted: Our pricing was based on considering competitor price points- our competitors charge 50% more for online businesses generally to accept payment online and have subject charges based on industry
  3. Fixed subscription fee for BNPL:  More profitable for us to utilise fixed subscription, and interest is an unknown concept amongst our individual user demographic so they are likely to be more comfortable with a fixed subscription to access this feature.

Our piloting program will be freemium.


Predicted Transaction Volume: the potential transaction volume of the ride-hailing sector. Currently, there are around +100K Ride hailing drivers each buying Ride Miles of $85 per month on average. There is a potential of transacting $8.5 million per month. We are confident that the majority of drivers will use our app because the incumbent process consumes the time and energy of the drivers.


For 12 months our costs are as follows:

Cost Break Down in USD

Total Capital (Pre-seed): $40,000

Allocation Pilot Programme: $16,000

Other Costs: $24,000

Capital cost: $19,628.00

Fixed Cost: $17,102

Variable Cost: $3,612.00

Total: $40,342.00

Deficit: $342

Profit: $0


  1. In-person Survey of 32 Drivers showed demand for faster and simpler digital methods of recharging Ride Miles.
  2. Number of ride-hailing companies: +38 (only 6 operating visibly)
  3. Number of drivers: +100K



Product versatility, the app can be adjusted to offer multiple services, Ability to host millions of apps (online businesses)


Access to human capital, funding


  1. Untapped market with Africa’s second biggest population and youth population at +118 Million people, Ethiopia has become a very attractive market for payment solutions.
  2. First movers in the space
  3. Providing other financial services (micro loan, micro-insurance, saving)  that promote financial inclusion


Political instability


Competition is growing due to the size of the opportunity in Ethiopia: key competitors currently are Telebirr that just started operations a few months ago and M-pesa (Billion dollar company) that will start operation next year.  


Target Market: Ride Hailing Drivers

Ride-hailing drivers typically don’t use email, they do have smartphones and use Telegram Messenger and groups to communicate.

Marketing strategy: Door-to-Door & Referral Incentives. We will have to speak directly to many drivers to onboard them and get them ready to use the app. We will also utilise a referral incentive strategy e.g. gaining free Ride Miles for every driver who signs up.

Digital Strategy: We will leverage Telegram Messenger Marketing Campaigns to communicate to the various drivers  through their support and communications groups. We can broadcast messaging to up to 500K people in a matter of minutes with Telegram at no cost.

Our goal for the pilot is quite small at maximum 100 users  in 6 months so we are confident that these two approaches will assure us success and allow us to engage with customers and gain more learnings about improving the app. Once we have the customer database, we can communicate updates, changes and additions to the app and as we onboard more services it will allow us to retain customers beyond their needs as ride hailing drivers.

Pitch deck
No items found.
First Deliverable

We are looking for $31,500 in funding from Stellar to expand our development team and continue building and testing our product.

  1. Salary (Employing 3 developers at $1,000 monthly salary for a period of 8 months) $24,000
  2. 2 laptop: $3,000
  3. Agent reward: $250 - $2,500
  4. Server (just in case it increases from our current budget): $2,000


Muluken Mengesha Bekele


Muluken is a co-founder/CEO of WindPay. Graduated with a degree in Business Management from the African Leadership University in Mauritius. Muluken is primarily responsible for business development, UI/UX, raising capital and stakeholder management. Muluken is passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and fintech.

LinkedIn or other social channel:

Eyob Mengesha Bekele

Eyob is a co-founder of Smile-Pay and leads the system architecture and design for the super app. Eyob is skilled in data management and systems building. He is a computer science graduate from Hilco School of Computer Science and Technology - Ethiopia.

Salim Abdella Nuru

Salim is a co-founder and leads the WindPay team as a CTO and is in charge of building the core payment infrastructure for the application. Salim is a creative software developer and has a special interest in cyber-security. Salim is a certified penetration tester from Trend Micro. He is a computer science graduate of Hilco School of Computer Science and Technology - Ethiopia.

Fikremariam Awoke

Fikremariam is a co-founder and is a qualified developer specialising in mobile app development. Fikremariam is a computer science graduate from Hilco School of Computer Science and Technology - Ethiopia and is passionate about fintech as a tool for development.

Clarke Dhana

Clarke is a co-founder of WindPay and leads the branding, marketing and communication efforts as well as supporting the team with design and business development. Clarke is a graduate of The African Leadership University and is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs in Africa with fintech solutions. Clarke is skilled in marketing particularly social media and digital media platforms within the African context.