The biggest startup founders in the world start out when they recognise the vast opportunities available in technology and venture on a path that leads them to find a solution that will serve the populace. If there is anyone that clearly represents this, it is Olaoluwa Awojoodu, founder and CEO of Cashenvoy – a subsidiary of Electronic Settlement Limited (ESL).
Awojoodu recognised the problem of payment at that time that implied Nigerians finding it difficult to make online payments for products and services outside the country. As a result, he founded Cashenvoy, a major Nigerian payment platform providing solutions to various businesses and stores operating online.
The Starup Story
Right from a young age, Awojoodu had always had an aptitude for entrepreneurship. While in University, he ran various kinds of businesses including recharge card sale, a weekly newspaper editorial, and fast food business. The epiphany for a payment solution, however, came to him when he set up Clickstore Africa to sell IT hardware online. This was when he realised there was a gap to be filled in the Payment Service Provision sector in Nigeria. As a result, he pitched a proposal to Paypal which was ignored and, hence resolved to start Cashenvoy in partnership with his co-founder, Segun Okin.
The next step Awojoodu took after setting up Cashenvoy was to integrate a payment gateway. This amounted to a sum of N75,000 which was raised from his mother and was essentially considered the startup capital. At first, things were not so rosy for the budding entrepreneur. In his words, “In those early days, things were very tight. Even the whole idea of the business was futuristic. Now there are maybe a million online stores. Back in 2009, they were only about 13. My job was to go to those 13 and to get them to sign up on CashEnvoy. I had help from another former school colleague called Blessing. We would dress up and visit each of these 13 stores one after the other, pitching CashEnvoy. At this point, nobody was getting paid. In all, it was an interesting experience. We kept on pushing and eventually all the hard work gave us traction.”
Achievements and Milestones
Today, Cashenvoy which began in a small room now has a full room of developers and another constituting of business people. They currently operate in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as abroad with the aim to expand all over Africa and in essence, build the largest merchant network in the continent.
Featured image source: Cashenvoy