By Anna Lardinois, Startup Storyteller
Founder Bobola Odebiyi wants you to know CrossKudi is not just another money transfer platform.
The CPA with a business degree from UW-Milwaukee has been fascinated with blockchain and other Web3 technologies since 2017. As he became more involved in the field, he started seeking “real use cases” for the technology.
In 2020, he found what he was looking for in the business of international money transfers.
Today, when a person sends funds to a foreign country, the customer pays an upfront fee for the transfer. The transfer company adds to the profit made on that transaction by keeping the gains made when foreign currency is exchanged. It is a profitable business model for the transfer company but is costly and inefficient for the users.
Odebiyi knew the market was ripe for disruption.
He created a way for immigrants and international travelers to use blockchain technology to send money to their families back home. His plan made these money transfers cheaper and faster than anything else on the market. And, best of all, it creates passive income opportunities for its users.
International money transfer businesses like Western Union are bank-centered businesses. Traditional transfers are expensive, in part because of the time it takes to process them.
“They lose funds at every step of the transfer process,” Odebiyi said. “But with CrossKudi using blockchain technology, we are able to avoid some of these steps, which save costs that would have been passed on to the users.”
That means users who send money through CrossKudi aren’t charged transaction fees.
“The recipients are able to receive more (money), and instantly,” Odebiyi said, “instead of waiting up to seven business days to pay for rent, buy groceries, or pay hospital bills, (or other) immediate needs.”
From that epiphany, CrossKudi was launched.
The company name is a reference to the international transactions that have been a central part of his life as an African living abroad. Cross refers to the crossing of borders. Kudi is a term for money in Odebiyi’s native Nigeria.
The company quickly gained supporters in the Milwaukee tech ecosystem. In 2021, CrossKudi received $5,000 in grant money from Milky Way Tech Hub and a $10,000 grant from FOR-M. Later that year, the company joined the gener8tor-led Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator program and received $100,000 in funding.
“Where we are today is because of the support that we’ve gotten from the Milwaukee tech ecosystem and hopefully we can continue together with support (in the form of) investments and also the skills and guidance of industry leaders,” Odebiyi said.
2021 showed that there is a lot of enthusiasm for this blockchain product. In 2022, the focus at CrossKudi is on the execution of the business plan that won the company legions of Milwaukee fans.
The CEO is currently working on staffing his technical team and maneuvering through the compliance laws in the United States. After that, his team will work on adherence to Indian law, as he anticipates a majority of the platform’s users will send funds to the world’s second-most populated country.
Odebiyi is planning for the release of an initial version of CrossKudi sometime in the fourth quarter of 2022.
To learn more about this innovative approach to international fund transfers, view the company website here.