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What problem does your solution solve?
For the average well-to-do individual, saving is difficult. For individuals with limited financial access and income saving is next to impossible. Millions in America, and billions across the globe struggle to safely storing money, accumulate savings, access capital, and integrate into the mainstream financial system.
Esusu aims to tackle this challenge head on by creating a platform which leverages community based savings to empower each user to better save their income, access larger amounts of capital, and build credit profiles.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
There are over 2 billion unbanked people across the globe, many of which simply don't have the ability to access formalized financial institutions. In the long run we see Esusu to be a powerful tool for poverty alleviation and empowerment in emerging markets. However, today we see a massive market opportunity in the United States. In the USA approximately 106M people are unbanked causing them to struggle with saving and securely storing their money. Of those 106M we want to focus primarily on immigrant/second gen populations particularly from the African Dispora Region, the Caribbean/Latin America, and East Asia. These are the communities that will find this the most culturally relevant and gravitate toward a solution like ours. This sets our target market at around 50 million users. As this grows in popularity we see higher income communities gaining more interest.
Who are your customers?
Esusu is primarily a B2C business but includes some aspects of B2B. Users will join the platform as communities or groups. This makes social groups a crucial part of acquisition strategy and the platforms natural growth. These communities will be brought together by something substancial such as religion, workplace, neighborhood etc, as there needs to be a pre-existing level of trust. A portion of our income is made through the savings and investing process on the user side but we will also explore revenue streams through business by working with major banking and financial service organizations.
How will you reach your customers?
Esusu plans on building traction by targeting communities already invested in and familiar with rotational savings and credit associations. Many of these can be found in immigrant dominated communities, churches and other religious institutions, community centers, and workplaces with a influx of international talent. Each team member has committed to bringing a certain numbers of users on board for our beta so that we can hit a certain amount of transaction volume.
We have also begun and will continue building with a graphics and video campaign where we have created a number of visually stunning photos that incorporate Esusu in someway. We will supplement this with some short videos some dramatic and others comedic to gain virality.
Finally we will explore commission for number of groups brought onto the platform. Success for us is NOT downloads but active users and particularly users in groups, regularly saving through the platform.
How will you make money?
Esusu has a multi-year revenue plan. Our original platform will be 100 percent based on savings. We will make income on our bidding system to determine the order of distribution for funds. Esusu works by distributing a lump sum of savings to each group member at a different point of time. By letting users bid on each pay period they are paying for the convenience of early access to capital fund rather than for the ability to save their incomes. Furthermore we will offered deferred payment plans if users financial situation changes which will allow us to charge interest.
In our second year (post beta) we will incorporation community based lending and investing and we will make income on the profits from these transitions. This way we will only be taking from excess capital made on our platform rather than people's general income. We will also build revenue generating partnerships with banking institutions for credit reporting as this will open up an entire population segment for them.
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
Esusu will look to build a variety of unique partnerships. The first is with payment processors to reduce transaction costs as our organization is geared toward economic empowerment and this will substancial increase their transaction volume. We will also build package with luxury providers such as all-inclusive vacation packages or sports clubs so that way groups that save toward a specific goal can clinch a lower rate. Thus if a group of 10 wants to save for a 1000 vacation to the Caribbean together, since there is a big group it could be slashed to 750. Addtionally we want to build partnerships with banking institutions once we have traction so that we can be a gateway to permanent financial inclusion, we can use our data and metrics to provide low-income communities opportunities otherwise inaccessible. Finally as we expand to emerging markets we will seek to work with mobile money providers like M-Pesa, Vodaphone, Glo, Airtel and others.
What will your expenses include?
Our expenses are pretty low to begin. The primary cost for our beta is the development work. We've paid substantially out of pocket for startup expenses including registration, domain/hosting, google apps, etc. Going forward our costs will be completing the iOS beta, developing an android/web platform version, marketing and user testing/acquisition (we are great at low budget with this). We will need some funds to act as an insurance policy and to take out some insurance policies as well.
As we prove the concept we will need more overhead funding for staffing, expansion, and technological investment.