On 28 October 2020, CRYPTOTVPLUS, the first crypto media platform in Africa, hosted an AMA series (ask me anything) with Yele Bademosi; a former director on Binance labs,CEO and co-founder of Bundle Africa. He’s also a founding partner of microtraction.
Tony Obiajuru, media presenter for Cryptotvplus did the honours of interviewing Yele Bademosi
TONY: hello, thank you so much for joining me on the program; how are you doing today?
YELE: I’m doing very well; thanks for having me
TONY: To talk about bundle Africa basically, so let’s begin now that is actually quite a portfolio that you’ve built for yourself but for the benefit of those who are not yet familiar with Bundle Africa, can you tell us what bundle Africa is
YELE: Sure, the bundle is a social opponents app for cash and crypto make it easy for anyone to send and receive value, whether you use Nigerian naira or bitcoin or busd bitcoin, and we also allow users to exchange between those different assets right so they can go between their local currency to bitcoin (e.g., from NGN to BITCOIN) and even go from bitcoin to busd and the goal hopes to expand into other African countries, not just Nigeria so being Ghana, Kenya, South Africa the next couple of you know a couple of quarters
TONY: All right, thanks for that. Now your profile stated quite a few experiences that you’ve had working in the blockchain space. Do you mind taking us through that story? How you came or how you got yourself involved with the blockchain technology and the same microtaction here, but before we come to microtaction, would you care to tell us a little story of how you know navigated your way into the blockchain space?
YELE: sure, so I think the first time I heard about bitcoin was probably around 2014, but I didn’t do much research right. It was just kind of like, well, here’s this cool new thing that seems interesting, but that was where it stopped. It wasn’t until 2017 when there was a lot of excitement, Ethereum was breaking new all-time highs daily and i noticed a lot of tech people I followed on twitter they’re spending more time talking about crypto and bitcoin and blockchain, and I’m naturally very curious so, I spent a lot of time creating lists of various personalities on twitter within the crypto space and every morning I would just read through it, a couple of articles and some white papers and I began to understand the potential of this technology, for me I personally think that blockchain has the potential to solve some problems to some extent of finance and cryptocurrency. Though we’ve had a lot of innovation within financial service and in fin tech in general over the last couple of years the more I spend time in fin-tech the more I realize just how fragmented the ecosystem is and I believe that blockchain technology is essentially a leaf rock technology and they’re very few of them like that, right, so the same way how we’ve evolved from not using landlines through to mobile phones and I think that the current blockchain handles financials.I was excited to make more investments and in mid 2018 because while i was in the US I got connected to some other directors at Binance labs through a mutual contact. Binance was about crypto in Africa and the fact that they’re willing to commit time resources towards driving the adoption of crypto in Africa. There was that alignment between my interests and goals with what binance was trying to achieve, so that was what might have helped me decide to join Binance as a director.
So I would sort of pause there, in case you wanted to ask me any other questions.
TONY: Awesome, that’s quite an interesting journey. Now concerning microtraction,sometimes ago, it’s made by news the partnership right between Davido and Bitsaka then when I did my research right, I discovered that Bitsaka got funding from microtraction, a company that you’re part of. So how did microtraction come into the picture?
Yele: So microtaction, I would say was kind of like the first company I founded when I moved back to Nigeria, so moving back to Nigeria in December 2015, I had no connections in tech locally, I just wound down a company that I started in the UK, which was more or less a social product for university students and I was lucky to be the first employing starter got to acquire in 2016. One of the key problems I noticed then was it was very difficult for an entrepreneur without any connections to get access to capital. We wanted to solve that. We wanted to make it super easy for anyone to apply online, answer print questions, and get funding. That was what inspired my attraction, and Bitsaka happens to be one of the Twenty companies that microtraction has funded in the last three years are the relationship between my microtraction, bitcoin, and myself.
TONY: Okay, there is also the story with the stata Africa, but let’s not just go into all that. Let’s talk about Bundle. What have you guys been up to? Let’s say the past two-three years.
YELE: we just launched Bundle in April 23rd probably between five or six months, it’s been a very interesting journey. It’s not been easy. It’s been challenging and exciting. We made a lot more progress than we anticipated, as we discussed earlier in the program. We allow users to send and receive cash for crypto and exchange cash to crypto and vice versa. We’re only currently in Nigeria, but we’ve been interested in Ghana privately with some users, and hopefully, we should be running that publicly in the next couple of weeks.One of the features I’m quite excited about that we’re launching is our big USD savings product that can allow users to essentially buy the USD and lock that up and earn interest. There’s a lot more stuff coming up, and we’ve teased the fact that we will be launching a native token for a bundle within the bundle community. We’re probably more active as all sorts of people coming to groups get close to 6 000 members with about 800 active weekly. We’ve silently launched, you know, bundle college, our education platform. So there’s a lot of activity, but I’m excited about launching and expanding Bundle into other African countries, and so there we can match Africa in our name by being in more than one country.
TONY: interesting. One of the things you mentioned which interests me is the fact that Bundle is going to be having a native currency. Awesome, I can wait. I’ve used the platform myself, and have I have my own user experience. Questions from Twitter and Facebook would be entertained after. Yele, in your explanation, you talked about some of the difficulties and challenges that you experience. Do you mind sharing some of these challenges and how you were able to navigate your way through? It is very important for maybe those in the comment section or those watching this program right now who have it in mind to start a blockchain project.
YELE: yeah, so I think one of the things I always kind of keep in mind when I about think Bundle is that I didn’t have the traditional entrepreneurial experience. Hence, through Bundle, I founded microtraction, where I had a relationship with investors. My relationship as a former director with binance labs makes it’s easier for me to have access to capital. Then, something I care about is that the average African entrepreneur doesn’t have access to capital to build or solve a problem using technology. And that’s one of the problems we are trying to eradicate with our native token concept as we are keen on solving these entrepreneurs’ problems, especially those within the blockchain space. Essentially, it all begins with a particular problem that you want to solve as an entrepreneur. To kick-start that particular project,theres a need to onboard key team members that increase the odds of you being successful and successfully pitch investors or partners who will be interested in that particular journey. I was fortunate enough to convince folks like pave who have worked in microtraction and then binance itself who have worked extensively while at the director at binance labs.
Even though we haven’t raised additional funds,We have several investors who want to come on board with us in the journey to take Bundle not just to other African countries but also to other emerging markets because these problems exist across the world.
Interesting questions from Twitter and Facebook were now entertained:
QUESTION 1: Because there are many exchanges out there, big small and medium-sized exchanges, why should I prefer to trade my crypto on the Bundle?
TONY interrupted by asking, does Bundle have an exchange feature?
YELE: so when you say exchange future, we like to call ourselves a brokerage right, okay and we call ourselves a brokerage because we don’t have an order-book, an order-book is essentially .You can put in a price you want to sell at and a bunch of others that have not yet been fulfilled because of the price that the user wants to buy or sell. On Bundle, you want to buy bitcoin, we give you a price based on the aggregates from the various exchange partners we work with, and then the trade happens immediately. Hence we think of ourselves as a brokerage, but again like I said, users could go between naira and the other crypto assets or even go from crypto to crypto without touching the fiat or naira. So that’s how our exchange product works.
SO BACK TO THE AUDIENCE QUESTION: Yeah, why Bundle? it comes down to three things, which are:communication, community, and customer support. We are extremely transparent and effective in all.
You can watch more here at cryptotvplus: The first African crypto/blockchain media