The views and opinions expressed in the interviews published on Made in CA are those of the interviewees and do not reflect the official policy or position of Made in CA.

The information provided through these interviews is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any products, services, or individuals featured. We strongly encourage readers to consult with appropriate professionals or authorities in the relevant fields for accurate information and advice.

Uchi Uchibeke

Chimoney is a Fintech Startup based in Toronto, Canada, with talents joining forces from four countries across the world. Our mission is to unlock economic opportunity for everyone, and every day we follow our vision to improve the quality of life for all through fair access to rewards.

Today, we build payment infrastructure that enables fast, secure, and effective global payouts for businesses and an API for unlocking utility in crypto wallets and reward apps.

Tell us about yourself?

I am a software developer who loves building things, especially at Hackathons. I particularly love participating in hackathons as they allow me to flex my critical thinking and building skills. I even founded AfricaHacks and NaijaHacks to encourage these in other young Africans like myself. My first real developer job was at IBM. I worked at the IBM Software Lab in Canada as an intern. I got it by winning a hackathon as a student and a referral from a former schoolmate who interned there. Before IBM, my first job was as a Campus Ambassador for Microsoft. My experience spans developer and product leader roles at Shopify, SecureKey (acquired by Avast), Royal Bank of Canada, etc., and I founded other projects – including Chimoney.

Chimoney was an idea borne out of the frustration I faced during hackathons in disbursing money and rewards to a community of persons from across the globe. I saw how we could increase the value of the rewards and make people happy, both senders and receivers. The product offering has since evolved greatly, beyond just rewards, to a broader sense of moving value freely. This unlocks opportunities for people to easily get rewarded for their hard work through bulk payout processing.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back in time a year or two, I would tell myself to focus more on the fundamentals of my business. The fundamentals are the foundation of success, and it’s important to keep them at the forefront to prevent distractions. Additionally, I would remind myself to take time off and spend time with family and friends. Even as a founder, having a solid support system is crucial for maintaining balance and perspective. Lastly, I would remind myself to always do my best work. Doing the bare minimum is not an option, and settling for less is not something that winners do. So, my advice is to always put your best foot forward and give your 100 per cent in whatever you do.

What problem does your business solve?

We build payment infrastructure that enables fast, secure, and effective global payouts for businesses. We also have an API that unlocks utility in wallets through a programmable shopping experience, i.e. people can easily buy items ranging from gift cards to swags with the crypto in their wallets.

Our global clients can now engage more with their community or clients or contractors by being able to reward them easily wherever they are, in a fast manner. The end users or beneficiaries enjoy an instant cash out with the ability to cash out in different forms, including 1,000 plus global gift card products, airtime in 10 countries, mobile money in 21 countries, and 10,000 plus banks in 20 countries.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The inspiration behind our business, Chimoney, came from a problem we encountered while trying to issue rewards (internet subscriptions) to participants of a global tech competition, AfricaHacks. We searched for payment platforms that could cover the payouts to countries and currencies for all active participants, regardless of where in the world they lived, but we couldn’t find a suitable option.

Our frustration inspired us to come up with Chimoney, a platform that enables seamless gifting and value exchange for community members at hackathons and events. Our goal is to solve the problem of limited options and lack of transparency for both event organisers and receivers by providing a platform that is easy to use and offers a variety of options for redeeming rewards. Today, we connect multiple currencies, countries, payment networks, and banks to enable a seamless exchange of value.

Our ChiPay, the bulk payment management solution, is perfect for DevRel, community management, HR, and many more to seamlessly send payment to a large group of people in one go and let the receivers cash out in the form that they really love. ChiConnect, our super API and the backbone of our service is an ideal solution for all fintech startups who provide value exchange services and look forward to increasing brand loyalty with world-class and ever-increasing reward products.

Today, we are working with the likes of Google, Stax, and Microsoft to oversee their payouts for their respective communities. Plus, we are an embedded dApp on the XUMM app, which has 500,000 plus users across the world and Valora. Anyone with MetaMask can also connect to our Web3 dApp, which is also powered by Chimoney.

What is your magic sauce?

The magic sauce behind Chimoney is its flexibility – we enable seamless payouts and exchange of value regardless of location, currency, or country. Chimoney differs from other African fintech platforms by providing more options for the receivers, including the ability to redeem to bank, airtime, cash, Crypto, hold Chimoney, or other value instantly. Additionally, Chimoney offers price transparency policed by the receiver and currently supports the exchange between traditional payment networks and new payment networks like Blockchain.

Plus, we’re continually improving the product offering lineup to ensure we have exactly what you need to exchange value no matter who you are and where you live. The best part? We love to work as a team. We call Chimoney’s employees “ChiHeroes” as we encourage amazing ideas and collaboration and always celebrate wins together so everyone enjoys what they’re doing.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our vision is to improve the quality of life for all through fair access to rewards. People should not be limited by their geographical location or roadblocks associated with receiving funds.

We want to make it easier for people everywhere to get the rewards they deserve. We believe everyone should have equal access to economic opportunities, regardless of geographical location.

We’re working to become the top payout API service provider in the next five years, both in Africa and around the world.

We’re always looking for new ways to improve our service and make it easier for our customers to use. We’re developing new products and partnerships and using new technology like contactless payments and AI to make our service even better. We’re also working to make our service more widely available and helping people who might have had trouble getting financial services in the past.

As we expand, we’re also giving our team members the chance to travel, work in other countries, and learn from one another. We’re always looking for new ways to grow and improve, so we can keep providing the best service we can.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Running a business is generally challenging. You have to worry about everything from making tough business calls to the welfare of teammates, investor relationship management, and all the way down to client satisfaction. I couldn’t pick out anything more challenging than others, as they are all moving parts of the business and require equal attention. I am excited to draw from my experience at Shopify, IBM, Coil, and other leadership roles and fully focus on making Chimoney the best company in the world.

How can people get involved?

Join us in our mission to revolutionize the financial industry and bring fairness to the world of payments at