Very few entrepreneurs will start a business and offer their services for free. However, for Ugo and Julian, their passion has driven them to build a product that intends to help Nigerians track their finances and interestingly, they are offering it without demanding a single dime from their users. But, we guarantee you that this will change in the near future. How and why did they decide to offer their product for free? What is KliQr about? What is the takeaway lessons for being an entrepreneur in Nigeria? This and more will be revealed in this explosive interview with Ugo Amanoh and Julian Ijere, the founders of KliQr. Enjoy!

TELL US BRIEFLY ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am Ugo Amanoh and Julian Ijere is my founding partner. We are the minds and hands who birthed KliQr. I have been in tech for the past 10 years, with my strengths being in analysis, design, development, and management of Software products. While Julian has been in tech for just as long, and his skill-set is in designing, deploying, and managing enterprise IT infrastructures using Open source technologies.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR START UP-KLIQR?
KliQr – in simple terms, is a Personal Finance Manager that truly wants to make it easier for EVERYONE to make better financial decisions, not just on Mondays, but every day. And how does KliQr achieve this? It is by analyzing your data and giving you easy to understand information to help you make positive lifestyle and financial changes. With the KliQr app, you can also efficiently schedule one-time or recurring bills so you get reminded every time a bill is due and you can even make payments right there on the app. It’s been working really well for some of our users who have used it to schedule and pay for things like their DStv and Gym subscriptions, Airtime, tithes, etc – which has been wonderful to see. KliQr will also give you reports on your financial trends like what you are spending the most on, over any period of time. One of the best things about KliQr is that – it does all this without needing your bank account or card details, and it is 100% FREE to use.

KliQr – in simple terms, is a Personal Finance Manager that truly wants to make it easier for EVERYONE to make better financial decisions, not just on Mondays, but everyday. And how does KliQr achieve this? It is by analyzing your data and giving you easy to understand information to help you make positive lifestyle and financial changes.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO SET UP KLIQR?
Just like our slogan says – help people manage money better. You know it is pretty easy to lose track of how you spend and make money – i.e, not enough visibility into how your money comes and goes. This is the problem we’re trying to solve, so we have built a tool that can assist you with personalized information and visibility to help you make better financial decisions towards saving and making more money.

WHAT WAS KICKING-OFF LIKE? HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO SECURE FUNDS TO SET THE BUSINESS ROLLING?
It has been an interesting journey so far. From ideation, to design, to MVP, to our official launch, it has been filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, you have been working for months building a product so you are excited, on the other hand – you are anxious about how the public will respond once it gets out there. A factor that has worked to our advantage though is the size of our team – because we are small in number, we are able to iterate or perform very fast. In the end, our launch went very well and we have been growing steadily ever since, and oh.. by the way, we’ve pretty much been self-funding.

We didn’t start out looking to first raise finance to build KliQr, we bootstrapped. We took this decision because we strongly believe in our product and the value it will bring our users.

HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO DEAL WITH FINANCE?
Having both been involved in IT projects at different levels, we understand that securing finance for a product is always easier than securing finance for an idea. So, we didn’t start out looking to first raise finance to build KliQr, we bootstrapped. We took this decision because we strongly believe in our product and the value it will bring our users.

HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?
We have designed KliQr as a free-to-use application. This will not change. In the future, we may have premium features, but even that is still yet to be decided. For now we are focused on providing value and solving problems and in so doing, avenues to generate revenue will become available.

WHAT IS YOUR ENTREPRENEURSHIP EXPERIENCE SO FAR?
Interestingly, this is the very first ‘real’ product we will be putting out to the public, and I think we can both say that – we’ve learned more in 1 year than at any previous time in our lives – about ideation, about product development, about finances, and even time management.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IN NIGERIA?
We believe that being able to take an idea and bring it to reality, and in the process, help people in their own lives is incredibly beneficial because you get the chance to make an impact in the world. It gives you the chance to continuously innovate and bring your ideas to bear. It’s not always very easy because you cannot reap the rewards immediately and you need to be patient and that in itself can be a big challenge, especially with funding.

You must show passion for what you do, and faith in your product, as these will translate into your product. So face your fears, and learn to fail fast. Test every advice, and never discard criticism. To build your best product yet, first build a good team – a team that will hold ‘value delivery’ over monetary gains, because the most important thing is to provide value first.

ANY ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
While being an entrepreneur offers experiences like no other, truth is – you have to be able to adapt to changes and overcome challenges very quickly. You must show passion for what you do, and faith in your product, as these will translate into your product. So face your fears, and learn to fail fast. Test every advice, and never discard criticism. To build your best product yet, first build a good team – a team that will hold ‘value delivery’ over monetary gains, because the most important thing is to provide value first.