Having a clear vision of what problem you are trying to solve with your product

Azimo make money transfer better

Please introduce yourself and your FinTech Startup Azimo to our readers!
I’m Dora and I have joined the Azimo team in 2014 bringing in experience from across the financial sector.
As Head of Business Development, my main responsibility is instrumental in building up Azimo’s network of partners across more than 190 countries and scaling the business into new markets. It’s a constantly evolving role as the company is growing so fast – day-to- day tasks can involve anything from building relationships with partner banks, buildup of strategic partnerships and fundraising to the planning and implementation of international expansion.
I’m also a passionate advocate of diversity within the FinTech industry and so I volunteer as a coach for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards. Having experienced life as one of only a handful of female traders at various firms, I know all about the importance of gender equality in the modern workplace.

AzimoHow did you get the idea to Azimo?
Originally, the idea for Azimo came from our founder, Michael Kent, who had set up Small World Financial Services before Azimo. He had the early idea that the “Mobile Technology” trend could lead to more social justice. He partnered with Marta Krupinska, who had already gained experience as the founder of a start-up and who was also aware of the difficulty of sending money to her home country.

Today, four years later, Azimo has created the world’s largest digital payment network, linking more than a million people sending money to their home countries – at a fraction of the cost of traditional providers.

Why did you decide to found a business?
Our founder Marta Krupinska is originally from Poland facing the challenge of the remittance industry whenever she wanted to send money from her new homeland to her mother country. This is when she realized that one of the main pains for migrants is having not a user friendly and cheap way to send money abroad. That social problem prompted her to launch Azimo in 2012.

From idea to launch: What was most challenging and how did you finance yourself?
In the beginning, we got financed by Angel investors, good friends and family. Our first institutional funding then was by e.ventures, a global venture investor located in Germany. Nowadays a row of well-known investors support us, such as Frog Capital, Rakuten and many more. Until now we earned 46 million dollar in A and B round financing.

Who is the target group of Azimo?
We have traditionally focused on an often overlooked demographic: migrants who are regularly sending a portion of their income back home, typically to Africa, Latin America or eastern Europe. That means we’re very driven to keep costs down so that their hard-earned money gets where it needs to be and they don’t lose out to unfair transfer fees.

However, in harnessing the power of tech to make international transfers faster, safer, simpler and cheaper we realised that when money can move freely between people the world’s a better place. And we’d rather like to make the world a better place for everyone, not just people moving money between countries.

So we’ve taken everything we’ve learnt about moving money digitally and developed a function in our app to enable users to send money either both internationally or domestically. So now our average customer could be someone living away from home and sending financial support each month, or a group of friends paying each other back for dinner, cabs, restaurant bills etc

How does Azimo work?
Our business model is explained easily:make money transfer better. Therefore we focus on online service only without expensive representation and infrastructure in the individual countries. Our concept is easy as well: after registration, users fill out an online form with the transfers details. Any amount can be transferred to bank accounts, mobile wallets and even to private addresses. The sender then gets an automatic status message. The recipient usually gets the money transfer within one working day. Since lately we also offer the opportunity to transfer money directly between phone numbers. According to an official study, 80% of users are annoyed by constantly need to ask for IBAN numbers. We developed a solution which enables to transfer money leaving this annoying step behind. And this for national as well as international transactions.

What are the advantages?
At Azimo everything is concentrated on making money transfer faster, cheaper and easier. In focus is the aim to allow our customers to be able to transfer money abroad from anywhere at anytime.

Azimo, where does it lead you? Where will you be in 5 years from now?
We already have some quite innovative features since the end of 2016! For example, we recently have integrated the Facebook messenger in our system. So you can transfer money to your facebook friends via messenger very easily. Besides we developed a facebook-chatbot with which customers get the latest exchange rate without having to wait for customer service. We are a technology business, that’s why it’s in our DNA to constantly working on innovative solutions.

Our long term goal is to turn “Azimo” into a verb. Instead of saying: “I need to transfer money”, we want people to say: “I need to azimo some money ”.

For 2017 we have a full product roadmap with a lot of exciting innovations as well. Unfortunately I cannot reveal much more at this point, we are daily working on solutions to make it easier to transfer money abroad though.

At the end: What tips can you give entrepreneurs to be to take along?
● Having a clear vision of what problem you are trying to solve with your product: your mission and overall goal needs to be very clear before you start. I think that many entrepreneurs have an idea and run with it without checking the fundamentals.
● Developing a detailed roadmap to achieve key objectives: converting an idea into action takes some strategic thinking. Asking yourself questions such as: “Why hasn’t anyone done this before, are there any roadblocks?
● Remaining flexible along the way: growing a business is not a straight line. Remaining agile, listening to the market and responding or adjusting accordingly is essential.

More information you will find here

Thank you Dora Ziambra for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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