Ollie Walsh is the co-founder and CEO of Pipit, who are bringing to market the new Konect network that is powering international cash transactions with DeFi and enabling migrants to support their families back home cheaper, safer, and now faster.
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In this episode, recorded live from Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon, Ollie Walsh riffs with Pete Townsend on:
- A recap on Ollie Walsh’s journey as co-founder and CEO of Pipit, a for-profit social impact platform powering international cash transactions and mobile money payments for unbanked migrants.
- The inspiration to bring the Konect network to market leveraging the Pipit tech stack, but with stablecoin rails, being the same singular mission of Pipit: helping migrants support their families cheaper, safer, and now faster.
- How the Konect network will leverage USDC for settlements, the impact that will have on international payments, Konect’s first partnership with Swap Bittsa, and getting approved by Circle to settle USDC directly.
- The hard yards by Pipit over the last 5 years to build the network of 1.4 million cash-in points and access to 300 million e-money wallets across 28 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and North America.
- Remittance as an accidental growth industry due to economic reasons as we’re seeing in Ukraine, and the opportunity to position the Konect platform as an on-off ramp for crypto wallets as well.
- What makes the Western African market so ripe for what Ollie Walsh and Pipit are working on with the Konect network, and how the incumbents’ fees on the $3bn in remittance that goes into Nigeria alone each year being of the magnitude to do far more impactful things in those economies.
- How the population growth in Western Africa, projected to account for 40% of the world’s population by 2050, could become a major economic opportunity with a more equitable allocation of global wealth, or an even more significant societal and humanitarian problem if we don't start addressing the inequities now.
- The other economic regions outside of Western Africa such as Latin America, and Asia Pacific from India to Japan, that are also ripe for Konect.
- “You think in the tech world it's just connecting up an API, but between the sale and agreements, legal, compliance, and then integration and testing and going live, and then connecting with merchants, it’s a long road.”
- “In Nigeria, 25% of people have bank accounts, and that's high for Africa. When you get into Senegal, Uganda, Ivory Coast and Cameroon, the numbers are way lower. But, pretty much everybody has a phone which means that people can transact, and can transact easily and cheaply as well.”
- “When remittance gets on the ground in Western Africa, it's the basics. It's literally food, clothes, followed by electricity and water, and then followed by education. Education is the number one way out of poverty. So the more money we get into emerging markets, it breaks those countries out of that loop of poverty by educating more of their young people. By bringing down the cost of remittance significantly, we can have that impact.”
- “The more transactions that we do, the more good we do, and the more we do for the migrant and their family and society and communities in emerging markets, but also for our team and our shareholders and their stakeholders.”
Connect with Ollie Walsh on Linkedin and learn more about Konect and Pipit
Follow Konect on Twitter and LinkedIn
Follow Pipit on Twitter and LinkedIn
Episode title inspired by Connected for Life by Mack 10 ft. Ice Cube, WC and Butch Cassidy
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