International money transfer company, CoinFling wants you to be Santa every Christmas by allowing you to send money to your loved ones via mobile applications, conveniently.
With transfers starting from $2.99 and 50,000 cash pickup locations, the app is available for both Android and iPhone.
CoinFling was founded by Roble Musse – CEO, with over10 years of management consulting and corporate finance experience working for Microsoft, KPMG, Toyota, Washington Mutual Bank, Mohammad Sarhan– CTO, with over 7 years experience working with Zillow (largest online real estate co. in USA), backend & front end development, mobile, cloud and Abdi Fayoke – Head of Finance, with 8 years of financial reporting experience working for Farmers Insurance and smaller companies.
Speaking to TechMoran, Musse, who has roots in family Somalia said the startup company was launched due to frustrations he experienced when he wanted to send cash back home, he therefore sat down with friends and after hardwork, CoinFling was born.
“Our own personal frustrations with the options we had with money transfer service providers inspired us,” he said. “With CoinFling we are seeking to offer a convenient, fast, and affordable service by leveraging technology.”
The team launched CoinFling in private beta in late August 2013 and are working towards full launch in first quarter 2014. The team says they chose the name CoinFling because it “best describes the speed and ease of using CoinFling’s app i.e. its like filking/flinging a coin, also I think it sounds pretty cool.”
However, they did not just stumble upon an idea and developed a product.
Musse says that they saw the biggest need and also there hadn’t been as much innovation in the money transfer field not only with leveraging available technology but also expanding the service offering in this sector. Apart from having cash trasnfers, CoinFling also allows one to send cash to mobile wallets like M-Pesa. The firm’s first corridor is USA to Kenya and USA to Somalia and they are working with Safaricom (M-Pesa), Airtel Money, and Gulf African Bank.
Though not as big as their traditional counterparts like Western Union and MoneyGram, Dahabshil among others, CoinFling says they are very proud of the support they have received from the East African Community in the USA that helped them raise their initial seed funding of $300,000. The firm also currently going through a funding round it expects to close.
To use the service, one has to download the app, sign up and choose the pickup point the receiver will pick the money and then they chose whether to send cash or via a mobile wallet.
One big challenge however are the restrictive regulations for money transmitters, especially in the USA where a money transmitter is required to get licensing in each state they operate. Some of the states require minimum net asset value of $500,000 and surety bonds of up to $300,000.
Away with challenges, Musse says they are opportunistic of their full launch soon. With increasing number of smartphone users, the team began with mobile apps and are set to launch their web service early next year.
The team also want to be part of Africa’s digital revolution, where young entrepreneurs are taking to technology to solve local problems.
“I believe there is “real” innovation in Africa,” Musse told TechMoran, ” The African continent to becoming a “digital economy” faster than the west with the adoption of mobile wallet services. Also, the innovating services that are being developed to help farmers is really promising.”