Breaking Impact: African Emerging Markets
On this upcoming episode of Breaking Banks Europe, we have the second episode of our ‘Breaking Impact’ series, where we share stories about entrepreneurs, talents and former and current executives who are changing the world. Not only on the financial inclusion angle which might be actually a closer topic to FinTech but generally speaking, they are changing lives for the better. On this episode, Matteo and Meaghan are joined by Tiago Borges Coelho, Co-Founder of UX Information Technologies, and Andre Van Zyl, Co-Founder of CLIC.World. They shared with us their lives stories, how they came about their idea, how they developed it, the hurdles they had to overcome and their effect in the ecosystem. We’ll give you a short overview of their story, but don’t forget to tune in next Monday to the BBE podcast for the whole story.
Tiago is, first and foremost, a social serial entrepreneur. After spending many of his formative years in Portugal and the rest of the world, he decided to return home to Mozambique and create meaningful and impactful businesses. He Co-Founded UX Information Technologies in 2013, an information technology company with a strong focus on social entrepreneurship. They develop a range of online desktop and mobile applications for companies and institutions while creating their own products and solutions for social empowerment. Their two flagship products are Emprego and Biscate. An online recruitment platform for the formal sector and a mobile recruitment platform for the informal sector, respectively. These flagship products have become the biggest job boards in Mozambique and in addition to seen productivity increase for all users they have experienced some positive unforeseen consequences. “For example, some of the most highly rated workers (a la Uber) have taken to mentor other workers in the same job or formed working groups to be able to meet the demand for their services”. They are also solving pay points for the companies themselves by taking care of the payroll directly through their platform with the collaboration of Vodacom’s M-Pesa.
Andre is, to say the least, a visionary and an early adopter of new technologies (e.g. Andre had the first internet line in South Africa) Something he tells us can be problematic when navigating a regulatory environment. CLIC.World is at the moment something you could call a social financial marketplace, although Andre himself is still looking for the proper way to describe it. Despite that, he believes the end goal of CLIC.World to be that of a “Lifestyle Service Provider.” Andre is a South African expat residing in Uganda. The idea for CLIC.World came to Andre in 2008 while working an economic development consulting project in DRC Congo, where he realised that “if we don’t come up with some sort of banking or financial set of rails, you’re not going to go very far.” But in 2008 the technology was not readily available yet. They tried to get on a saturated Ripple with no success and went then to become one of the first members in the Stellar Blockchain. Founded in 2016, ‘CLIC.World is built on the Stellar blockchain and uses Stellar Lumens (XLM) as the primary mechanism of transferring value during fiat currency-based transactions’. Cryptocurrencies have been met with scepticism in many parts of the world and with its unnecessary share of fake bitcoin scams, Uganda is no exception. Meaghan posed an interesting question for Andre, “How did you educate your consumers about Stellar? How much did you have to tell users about this non-traditional banking platform?” For the sake of time, Andre gave us the short version. “We do not use the C-word. We rarely use the B-word. It’s just technology, OK?” We are all looking forward to the long version.
Tune in next Monday to learn more about how UX is transforming the labour market in Mozambique and how CLIC.World is creating a financial services ecosystem with digital identity at the foreground, as well as their hurdles and achievements.