Starting Y
Starting Y

Episode 15 · 9 months ago

Darlington Wants to Start a Trans-African Digital Bank


Our Intro is based on Quantum Jazz’s piece “Orbiting a distant planet”, published under Creative Commons

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  • Jörn is a podcaster, startup scout, and entrepreneur, who is based in Frankfurt, Germany. He has a      background of more than 12 years of management consulting, with a focus on financial services and capital markets, mainly in Europe. He hosts an      English startup podcast, covering the German startup scene ( You can learn more about Jörn      “Joe” here:

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This is a starting why podcast. Here we ask entrepreneurs, actors, investors in the native and artist on the why, why they are doing what they are doing, what motivates and drive them and why can't they stop? We will start in five, four, three, two, one. Guys, this is starting why again. This is jove coming to you from Frankfurt, Germany, and this time I have another cross continental interview, but this time I have darling in here with me, who's joining me from Nigeria. Hey, how you doing? I'm fine. Nice, a little hello, audiots, pup that. Hey, totally pleasure to have you here. I'm not one hundred percent sure how we bumped into each other, but I do believe it was really meant to be, since you are starting right now, as we speaking, in Nigeria, a digital bank, Cod Aladin. So I love you. Yes, that is something we call here, a new bank. Something like Penta, for example, comes to mind here from Germany. I don't think there's something really a competitor, something really popular. And do you ask, we could like refer to I have seen you've been spending a lot of time in many, many different positions in banking. Kenny tells a little bit about what he did, what you learned and how it makes you start Eldin about that years bunking experience Dangera. I become my bathing career because of it. So all the foremost banks in Nigeria called GTB Banti trust band in source man and then I designed the product for the bank and also need to start with the department where we strategize and design new products for the band. From there I moved them on Bang under the RETO division of them bank that I've got a still to microfinance bank upon Africa and microfibers are called Prinera, and I got to call later to become the powder mg for all cash or cast, the sourceinggarity of opera. Opera is said normal jumping. You guys are on the opera mini browser. They had the whold, a million dollar phone for Africa. So they designed OPA, which is a payment platform, and all cash the Michael Landing Platform. So I was a power that director for Okay and as the power that MD for all cash in Nageria. So over the last two or thirteen years old, I played around filtera micro finance with a banking and the likes for the last sets. It does be my twist bank, I see, and that basically gave you some food for thought, because I do believe you realized that let's say old banking model, like if we develop, is not the thing customers read need right now.

And when we thought, was there something like one event triggered huge to start and leading, or was it like a slow process? Can you take us long this journey? So I will really, because of my thirteen years designing products, creating strategies for different banks, I realize that the battle structure has not evolved in the last fifty, two hundred years. I mean all the banks have similar structure, what are called a monolithic structure, where there's Ali a vertical relationship between the bank and the customers. The customers are not allowed to have horizontal relationships. That's for me, was a no long and we had them two thousand and twenty. I left my position as the end of all cast during the pandemical match. I fell. I saw that sort of opportunity because maybe businesses in Africa we are migrating online. They did it a new kind of back the bank that has evolved alongside with them, because most of them were part we're being physical marketing before, but now they are all selling on instagram or what's up, or telegram, on Facebook, I don't Tick Tock. So I thought this was the right time for you to actually branch out and come up with a larging which is a band that has both the vertical and horizontal structure. So allot it was born out of years of at a looking at the old banking structure and when you will need that. Something has to be done in banking was to move forward in Africa, and that's how we give back to as allowed. It is the first band to break the walls, the wars between customers. In the old system, customers are kept in silos and they're just may account numbers. But in Aladdin there not gonna Act Number the human being. You have a profile page and you can interact with other Banque users on allowing platform. So that's what give back to the laddition, if I understand it right, you're a leading bank. Is Not only a digital bank but also something like a social network within your clients. Is that the way to see a lot of the free in bringing one platform, it has a bank with numbre banking, stuff like savings laws, investment payment and intersis the speedients as the likes. We also have the shower and spends on access to mortgage. So we have all those things. By the same time. Allowed has an imbuse marketplace. So we market place where this sams and these freelances can interact and by and self of each other. But the market place, to different shot off from the likes of Instagram and other places. Will have an imbut school system, payment system that protects the bias and the sellers. So a lot. It has the battle side, it has the marketplace and also has some active community act to social network. We are these guys and also interact socially, but also bringing one bank, social marketplace and banking all in one up. So That's how beautiful allowed this. Now a lot of people out there will be shocked. What Social Network End Bank? I really don't know. Don't want my business partners to...

...know where I'm banking or what I'm doing there. So, for examples, explain it from the perspective of one of your clients. Why this marketplace, this like public profile, makes sense for your clients? Okay, so do the boddy butter is that Africa's economy is powered by a service over eighty percent of adults in Africa have one business venture or the other because there are not enough nights to five jobs in Africa. Even dose that have let to five jobs, they also have a side also. So the truth is that the Africas are looking for platforms to actually sell their goods or, you know, platforms where they can buy their goods. So what we don't as a band is to provide these are similarity benefits for our customer. So we are bank. First of all, our care is banking, but what we don't is to allow our customers to interact in the market place. So we believe that if some of the bank and I have something to sell, another customer of the Bank can also buy the stuff from me, or perhaps a service to render or to offer. Some of the bank customers release that service. So what we've created is a marketplace. But for you to ask the so what, the beauty of the APP is that the APP is segmented. The social side is on one side, the market places on other side, are the banking is also on the side. For example, the banking is peo protected. You can't we would go to the banking side or see my balances or my transactions if you don't have my pa or my password. So if you said up why the social side of the market place, you can assess that every how. You can't assess the banking side without the password or the pain of the user. So there's both fear or saying that my friends, I want to know what I do with my back. There's no fear. Noble is going to Law Unless you do your pee or your password. Also create that social field we are they can interact socially. I can follow you, you can follow me on a laddy. I can go to your profile page and I can see that with business room of the educate making your programmer or insol photography or whatever. I can decide to follow your page and the follow your updates on our lady. But at the same time you can buy ourself of each other. So the APP sad went that beautifully. The same time, my findancelf clans actuals are protected. So that's how I lad works. You're always talking about Africa, like the whole continent. My understanding is that your bank right now formerly headquartered in Nigeria. Can you talk a little bit about food? The many, many people out there who are listening who are not familiar with what is the current situation of regulation in Africa? Can you offer your services, like, across the whole continent, across just one of the regions, with this current situation? One of the things have not men sure is that allot it is the power near ecosystem, but Africa, so apart from you, the Super App I rather, is also an ecosystem. Back and now how the ecosystem works. All of the best examples of ecosystem is which which are to China, you know, which are has over one...

...billion, or the mini programs that run on the Richard Platform. So does the call, which are what was a usially a messaging APP, you know, for messaging each other, but we chat, has evolved over time to involve financial transactions, the marketplace and over one million other mini programs. So what we are doing with Africa is that we have a lot of Apis, a lot of fantastic startups across Africa that will want to partner with all at on our ecosystem. Are So, for example, right now, and we're starting with Nigeria because when Nigeria we're also partnering with startups and guys that have executs Apis NI programs, yea. In Nigeria, for example, the insurance part of the APP is provided by a license insurance broker. So we're going to hold all the licenses for across Africa. All we need to do is to ride on their partnership and then integrate the ipire into our ecosystem that we were able to provide more and more services that coursed Africa, riding all the licenses, a partnershes of beautiful startups and bigger companies across Africa. So that's the plant. So we are in Nigeria, which is the most populous black country in Africa, which over two hundred and twenty billion people too are starting with Nigeria or where we're expanding across Africa, true partnerships and Apia integrations, of course. So we don't need to have offices around Africa. We have ecosystem and we just have to have those partnerships across Africa as to expand from one country to the next country so that, as a plant, you also need separate licenses if you're expanding into other African countries. Okay, like I said that, as I'm saying that on ecosystem back so we cannot appord to have licenses in fifty countries, avocas over fifty countries. So that's I'm saying. With the ecosystem model, all right, for example, proceeded to dinner. All right, all we need to do and want to provide services in Gina. We have other startups and Ping Tex in GNA that we can partner with. We already have the license. All we need to do so white the other the solution into our ecosystem. All right, and provide the same services to people in Guada. But if, for example, there's some services who want to offer that requires licenses, then we have no choice as to actually purchase those licensees in Africa and as our reason capture, you know, to expand into all these schultry but, like I say, with the ecosystem models you don't need to reduce the number of licenses that will reach you buy because you can stay in one place and offer similar services. To API integration into our ecosystem, for example, we chart has willions, I mean a hundreds of thousands of Apis, a mini programs rolling on their platform. I'm not sure that all those guys have offices in China, but I mean the riding on the reach a Plat or I'm sure they have wonderful partnership signed because the owners of these puny programs, and that's how I want to operate a course of I see. And for example, you just talked about Ghana. When somebody excesses your Aladin APP from Ghana and you're providing their services on with the help of local who license partners with, the person actually know what they're...

...interacting with? Or would it just be alid in all across the screen? Your mother for us is to wide label your IPI. Well, the same time, based on the kind of partners will have, the partner sugar will tell you this is the particular service is powered by this cost Cola service provide. For example, right now we're talking to a company called Tangierin Tangili, is a big insurance company Duria and across the world. Approached toss sort of one would use a lot to offer our services through your ecosystem. So, for example, if you come to the insurance page, that page can say powered by Tangline, so that we do that Allad it is some kind in short as broke up, but it's in partnership with Tangerine well, their entire look and feel, the entire user experience. We allowed it in a standard so we want at the entire use of reps are experience uniform across the APP. You can standard what we can write, powered by our partner joy, because we are the owners of the license and that owners of day brokers for this solution. So that's how I want to run. If now somebody in Africa or somewhere else in the world here's this, we will provide an access and link to website where they can learn more about how to tie in your ecosystem. And right now, in how many places are you active by yourself or on behalf of partners, and where you go? Okay, so, like I said, another it is just, opersonally speaking, a lots. About six months old. All right. So we are still in Nigeria. We are doing our proceed well. So, personally, Nangeria, so and in Nigeria already we really have partnerships. So we have a lot of partnership on q where doing some integrations right now, for example, on the writing process of our lending, we have to partner San Francisco in America, who's providing the on the writing process for our loans. So I knows are being provided by our partners in the United States. We stand partners with them and we'll have that partner for the retence in London for want to offer our some so we retiens are so that guys into the seven countries of the world. I mean in that school I can send money back home. You know from true our partnership in London. So we're in Nigeria, are already do some partnerships. Already were retired in a partners in the evening of these payments. We have the partnership with the don't ALOP UNICON cont interests with intersted, has access to four thousand dealers, you know, four thousand Beilas. You can take government taxes, you can take complete school fees, you can do a whole lot to interest with so im partners with them already to provide access to four thousand dealers on the apple. So when we're still in Nigeria, were already exploring the ecosystem model here in Nigeria and in less up eighteen months or more twelve to etems. We tend to be good to spread out to other African countries also. Read are SIS were right now whereasing a press ground and we found Acom. That's when we can find a ladding but reaching the one wing on dollar prices gram that is just the beginning of the journey. Of course, you also provide to link and we will link it down here in the show, not and you just said, you just write at the start.

Use six months, Holwood, and we will be the timetable, like looking into the future, like tomorrow, the rest of Africa the day after the rest of the world. What is your plan here? Our focus is actually Africa, because Africa ecodomy, like I said earlier, is powered by SBS, freelancers, good workers. Most of them are did too, natives. Africa have the youngest population in the world. We have the youngest continent, a lot of jerseys, over four hundred million Gerses, some of them for the first time. They encounter the computer through their mobile phone and they are used to the mobile devices. So we feel that the African market is the best place to start because a lot of these genesis are going to be out of job in the next two years and when there out of job, the next thing to do is anger going into business or become freelancers. So we need a platform that has support, that really hustle. That is why you, all these we see will support your really hustle. So if your freelancer or SMB will support so Africa. That's well, both beyond Africa that are order taught, what countries or developing countries, in other places that still have the same type of demography or demography like Africa. Well, also target in those countries. But the first spot of call for us is Africa. Want to empower as many Essamis, as many feels, as many individuals as possible in Africa, and then we can now export the model that's working Africa to other developing nations of the world. I do you understand, and I do believe the African market is quite a lot there. We are talking a lot about the mental framework of how you make decision, how an entrepreneurial endeavor works for you, talking about mindset, making decisions. What would you say is something that is unique to African entrepreneurs? Some of the ve futures of Africa in proness is that one, they're not structure. So most of them are not structured and most of the so called essents w have in Africa. There not even realist. Most of them have bank accounts in your names. Why? Somebody will have bad accounts. So these are some of the uniquees about them. So we're trying to provide a realistic solution for them. For example, what we have. Some of them gets registered with the appropriate bodies in their countries to then provide structure by giving them a business account. You know, most of them don't have business account to sub accounts so that they can manage their finances better. Most of them are both. will use some tools to have to manage their employees or to manage the eventually. So we're looking at the constructured nature of Essel is happy because the wagory on structure, while also providing the tools to have structure them. They are just Haustle as. Most of them are hustle as. Just will copy the money and you go out there to put food on the table and they do not follow themselves of a structure. But for the two work. I mean that we also have to find, with a part of the empowering them with a market place, the social network, a banking products, also find ways to have their structure their business, and that is why we are attracted to the African market, because the opportunities actually endless. But I will structure amount business is willed... play. Subscription feeds, because you are provided, you with most lead, are tools to en, maybelim organize this business better and have access to more capital police business. So the Africa backet is right. It is under developed and is quite attractive being to anybody who was to actually provide solutions to a normal salvagees that is Africa. So that not only means you're also open to partners, from my understanding, but also that you do some entrepreneurial training, giving them some structure. As he said, what is like the first fundamental steps you help them to achieve in order to structure. They're sometimes not that small of a business. So for us, what we're taking a step by stuffs were provided. Prevails already. Our A is already in the market place. Store the fund it with Google, plastore on, iows, because of all provided the bank inside already. Would William some tools to really nomber banking. They can found their wallets, they can do transfer as they can see and get good each other, can do investment and stuff like that. It can prey abuse who provided them with the market place and protection, use on the school system to protect them the marketplace and the community where they can actually expand their network with new friends, with your partners. So that's the first MPP. Then the next step is to start helping them to registration to really start their businesses. But I set up a team in the house. That's so some of them can help them with documentation. As far helping them to get really start them, provide them with all the business to work created on sm hole within the APP, with you can subscribe on the most in business and have a set to choose that can help you organize a business as an essen. So we have a game plan for executing on the game plan rage and that's flung with her pass. Well, there is a quite a lot of stuff you have ahead of you. Does it sometimes scare you, like the size of your plans? Yes, if your vision does no scare you, the division is no bigger enough. That's so for me, I will advocase one point three billion for more people. THATRE's a lot of people, with seventy eighty percent of them being my favorite market. For the time of almost it's on the billion dollars I being that's a very big vision and it scares me sometimes because I ask myself, are you able to pull it off? But, like I said, if you took it gradually, one step at a time, before in the right direction, with the right team behind you, with the right partners behind, the right investalls behind you, can conquer the markets. Who can dominate the market and we can impact, but just in Africa, but in all that develocaations of the world. Even like now, we caused in the media region easy to buy Carta if they like, the name allowed them. I know the name allowed. It's quite beautiful. I mean it reminds us of the cartoon a ladd and the genie and the flying carpets and magic. So we're here to be magic to the world of banking. So I mean I think a lot of people in the region also want to see a lady the easy Moro Code. You buy another spaces because allowed, as in books, some kind of wonderful fill for magical flying cappus. So a lot of people, Young Bos, also want a lobby. I have my kids. My children said that you have a young...

I had our route. So not. I said we see that the VI show is usually be we don't people want to be taught how to manage finances, how to be rewarded when you do their jobs or do your stuff, as you will be. Essence, there's probably young version for all this. Well, I provided magic alongside with finance. There is a very good you said that sometimes are scared about the sure, but I actually really like this statement and Aladdin print magic to banking. Yes, that would be a good headline and I don't want to take away much more from me time. As I said, you pretty early new journey and I would like to reconnect, let's say some month down the road that we have an update for our audience and actually we can learn with you a few things you've learned along the way to also add into our own mental framework. Yes, thank you so much for yourpportunity. I, like I said, well, looking for partners, while looking for investors. You can tell more about. We can learn more about a load it by going to we foundercom slash alladdy. I will just go there and gree upon alladding on our story, our journey. I will have much to raish so far out what we want, that we rispose to four hundred thousand dollars already all the way found that campaign, I was still needed to actually command invest and support the dream as we try to quate wonderful impacts across Africa. Really prompts to be here. I really wonderful are connected with the audience across differentation blot for your opportunity. Thank you so much. Youly my pleasure and at the time of recording this you've almost surpassed a four hundred thou years dollars, so I think you're very well on your way to reach your funding goal. Yes, thank you, so look forward to that. I will pressok. Thank you very much, Darling. It was totally my pleasure and I'm looking forward to have you back. Thank you so much everyone. I Ans Youtube. Bye. Bye.

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