Ekechi Nwokah is the CEO and founder at mines.io, a startup that provides technology infrastructure which enables local institutions such as banks, mobile phone operators, retailers in the emerging market to offer credit to their customers.
Mines use a combination of big data, AI and Machine learning algorithm to provide on-demand credit ratings and decision-making where there is no existing credit history.
In 2018, Mines raised $13 million Series A funding from several VC within and outside Africa.
I have a strong view and criticism against micro-lending businesses, especially in places where the poor pay disproportionately high-interest rate, Ekechi made a strong counter-argument to my criticism and offered a good explanation that changed my mind on a lot of them.
Ekechi has PhD in computer engineering and has extensive experience working as a software engineer at Amazon
In this episode you’ll learn:
- Lessons from his early days as an upcoming musician in the United States
- How he fought depression after his music career did not take off
- How was MINE-IO ideated?
- Why did he go back to paid employment for 8 years?
- How and why did his milk importation business from Uganda to Nigeria fail? What were the challenges?
- That Ekechi tried for ten years to create a successful business before he finally hit with Mines.io
- What was driving him in the midst of all that failure and challenges?
- Moving back to Nigeria, the challenges and overcoming them.
- How to mitigate business risks without the support of a strong legal system.
- Why does he think the banks do not need to be disrupted?
- The importance of local founders in building the Nigerian future
- The importance of partnerships in the success of a business
- At Mines.io, how do they intend to deal with the challenge of people not paying their loans?
- What delivers business success in Nigeria?
- Taking tech built in Nigeria outside the continent
- And more
Selected links from this episode
Don’t miss new episodes of Building the Future Podcast
Flutterwave drives growth for banks and businesses across Africa through digital payment technology. You can learn more about their activities here.