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INTERVIEW: CEO Of Bundle, Yele Bademosi, Is Leading Bundle’s Race To Transform Finance In Africa

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Yele Bademosi, CEO of Bundle Africa
Yele Bademosi, CEO, Bundle Africa |(Forbes) Image was modified

Africans are now beginning to develop more innovative indigenous tech solutions to address the many challenges that confront the continent. In recent years, Africa has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of indigenous innovators and changemakers within the continent. 

Our startup feature series is focused on bringing to light the progress the continent is experiencing with the development of indigenous tech innovations, as well as the behind-the-scenes activities of the innovative changemakers at the forefront of these missions.

This feature will be a deep dive into the activities of fast-rising tech startup, Bundle, and how its CEO, Yele Bademosi, is spearheading Bundle’s vision of making payments and other financial transactions extremely seamless for the billions of people in Africa.

Bundle is a social payment application for crypto and cash. At slightly over 4 months after its launch in April 2020, the startup seems to be on a radical growth and high-impact streak. In an interview with Yele Bademosi, we were able to uncover some insights about the company’s activities and vision for the future. Read on to catch up on the insights we uncovered from our conversation with Yele Bademosi.

Bundle launched in April 2020. Four months down the line, how would you describe the journey? How receptive has the tech market been so far?

I think it’s been pretty good. It’s probably one of the most challenging and difficult things I’ve taken up. I think the quality of our team and how hard everyone has worked has been pretty good. In terms of the overall market, it’s been very positive. When I see the reviews, whether it’s on Twitter, the Play or App Store, and even on our telegram community,  you can tell that people are excited about what we’re building, and the future of the product. We only just clocked four months a few days ago, and so far, it has been a huge honour to build this product and try to take it mainstream. 

These past few months, we all know that Bundle has attained quite a number of milestones including hitting almost a forty thousand User Base within four months. So, what steps are currently in place to maintain this momentum that is starting to build up?

I think for us, it’s simple. First, we are very user-centric, and we are always thinking about what’s best for our users. Secondly, we know that our users want to make money on Bundle. As such, we want to make it easy for anyone to get started with crypto in a profitable way, whether it is buying and holding for an extended period of time, making some trades, or offering ways to earn interest on crypto assets. Through the number of things that we’re launching, I think our product innovation is what would keep us ahead of the curve. Unlike most crypto-only products, we are actually crypto and fiat. So, we are a cash wallet as well. We have spent a lot of time building out stuff on the crypto side, but there is still so much we can do on the non-crypto aspect of Bundle, and we think that because that overall market is actually larger than the crypto market, we would be able to bring more non-crypto users on board. We hope that when these non-crypto users are on Bundle and they begin to learn about crypto, they will possibly start to purchase and utilise crypto assets. 

Cryptocurrency is gradually becoming a household concept on the continent. Of course, coupled with that growing rate of adoption is the proliferation of crypto/tech startups. So, what exactly is the distinguishing factor that sets Bundle apart from the rest of the startups and what plans are in place to ensure that Bundle stands the test of time amidst the growing competition within the market?

We really don’t think a lot about competition. Our mindset is that only 1.4 million Africans use crypto today, and we have a continent of over 1.2 billion people. So, we are not competing over the existing crypto user base. We want to build the bridge that connects crypto to people who don’t use crypto or have crypto assets. So, because that’s our focus, we don’t really think about  the competition in the market. My personal background, pre-Bundle, was from an investment point of view, and I’m fortunate enough to have invested and supported a number of the well-known players in the space. It is a very cooperative environment because we know that the vision is larger than a single company. In terms of the differentiating factor, I think about it more from the point of view of the question: “What can we do that would attract the average user to use Bundle?”.  In my mind, I want Bundle to be the product that has mass usage potential. We are currently building a bunch of services around the wallet, to make it more mainstream. So, over the next couple of months, you’ll begin to see Bundle launch more mainstream features, whether in financial services or media or commerce, that takes us beyond what you currently know as Bundle today. 

We know that you recently launched the Bundle Alphas program to drive cryptocurrency adoption. However, some governments still remain quite indifferent about the concept of cryptocurrency whilst others have outrightly banned their use. In view of these developments, where exactly do you see cryptocurrency adoption in the next five years? Do you think these restrictive policies would largely hinder the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency in Africa?

Compared to the rest of the world, I think our regulatory environment is more supportive or more enabling than the rest of the world. I think only about two or three African countries have come out to outrightly ban crypto. I’m not sure that stance would change for the next couple of years. So, even if we have a few of them ban crypto, it wouldn’t be a change as large as 50%. We have over 50 countries on the continent, and crypto is not bound by geography. That’s why we always remind ourselves that Bundle is not a Nigerian company. We are an African company and we want to be in as many African countries as possible. So, we hope that even if a particular country comes out with restrictive regulations, we are able to survive because we are operating in multiple countries. With the product we have built,  because we are focused in Africa today doesn’t mean that we can’t be outside of Africa. There are other emerging markets like Latin America, Southeast Asia. We have seen African companies run outside of Africa, and because crypto is global, it is easy to expand.

In the first edition of the Bundle Rewind that was published by Bundle, you mentioned that you were planning on launching a Bundle Vault. Could you tell us more about that?

Sure. Bundle Vault is one of the features we are excited about, wherein users can take some of their crypto assets, whether it’s Bitcoin or the USD, and lock those assets to generate interest on their locked assets.  We have not yet published what it’s going to be, but compared to treasury bills right now, that is 2 to 3% on naira, you can be able to earn interest on your crypto assets, getting between 4, 5 to 7 percent per annum. We think that it will be an interesting product to a number of people. That is what we are trying to do with Vault, and we can’t wait to launch it to see what the reception in the market will be. 

At Bundle’s launch, you mentioned that you were planning on supporting 30 African countries before the end of the year. We would like to know if the expansion process has been kick-started and, if any, some of the challenges you have encountered during the expansion. 

It’s been a lot more challenging than we would have liked, in terms of expanding to other African countries. It seems challenging to identify partners that we could work with. We are making some headway there.  We probably wouldn’t make that initial target, in terms of fiat, but we are working on something that would allow us launch in as many African countries as possible although we wouldn’t initially support fiat in those countries. Over the next couple of months, we would, maybe, have a lot more on fiat channels. 

So, you think this goal is still quite achievable given the challenges you just mentioned? 

Yes.  I would say we wouldn’t launch in 30 plus countries and have the fiat in all of them, but launch in a number of countries where we are live and users from those countries can use Bundle.

What should Africans expect from Bundle in subsequent years? 

Success to me, is a product that is widely used across as many African countries as possible, and our users don’t even realize that they are using cryptocurrency. The vision for Bundle in the future is to ultimately be the product that you can’t help using frequently or multiple times in a day. We really want to be one of those applications that stay alongside Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and we know that we are African-based.


Decentralize Africa startup series features individuals and teams building indigenous tech-startups that help people at large scale.

Have taken the plunge into startup life in any of these fields: Crypto and Blockchain, AI, Fintech. Would you like to get featured in our startup series? Please contact our editor-in-chief to learn more. 

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Kehinde is a driven human who is passionate about leveraging technology to transform the future of humanity and the way we all live. His interest lies in constantly getting valuable information and being part of a mission that seeks to create a transformative radical shift.

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Crypto Assets

Crypto prices drop as global market fear increases

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Top cryptocurrency prices have fallen amidst a drop in stocks and fears over China’s Evergrande debt crisis. In the last 24hour, Bitcoin dropped from $47,772 to $42,630 shedding about 8.58%. this is the lowest in price since another bull run began on Sept 5 after the April crash.

El- Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele sees the fall as an opportunity to invest more. Recall that the country adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender on September 7. Despite the adoption, the price of Bitcoin has fallen by almost 14% since then.

Other coins have experienced dramatic crashes within the last 24hours. Solana, a coin that has experienced 355% growth within the last 3 months fell from $162 to $130 shedding about 11.39% within the last 24hours. Solana’s fall may be categorized by the 17-hour outage which the founder, Anatoly Yakovenko said was caused by bots “flooding the networks”

Ethereum fell by 9.37% while Dogecoin and Axie Infinity fell by 11.22% and 14.14% respectively within the last 24hrs hours. While crypto experiences dark Monday, El-Salvador keeps investing more money in Bitcoin.

A look at the global market

The global market is experiencing fear due to the Evergrande debt crisis. A report published by the University of Michigan shows that consumer’s sentiment is beginning to decline. This trend alone may impact the crypto market as well.

On the other hand, the global market downturn must have been spurred by the Evergrande debt crisis. The company grew to be one of China’s biggest companies by borrowing more than $300bn. Last year, Beijing made rules to control the debt owed by big real estate developers. This led Evergrande to offer its properties at major discounts to raise more money to keep the business afloat. Right now, the company is struggling to meet the interest on payment of debts.

Why would it matter if Evergrande fails?

The collapse of the multi-million dollars company would affect the global market; including the crypto market. Many people bought properties from Evergrande and they expect to make gains. If Evergrande falls, crypto investors will be forced to withdraw more money to keep their business running without the means to invest more. When one business fails, the other gets affected indirectly. This also applies to other firms that do businesses with Evergrande.

The potential impact on China’s financial system is another effect of Evergrande’s fall. In his statement to BBC, Mattie Berkink, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), said that “the financial fallout would be far-reaching. Evergrande reportedly owes money to around 171 domestic banks 121 other financial firms” if the company fails, other lenders or businesses may be forced to lend less. Thereby leading to a credit crunch- a situation where companies struggle to borrow money.

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Bitcoin in Africa

The rise of CBDC in African economies

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Many nations have taken cues from the world of crypto and its resounding successes over the last decade. In order to avoid getting left behind, governments worldwide are increasingly turning their attention towards implementing some form of digital currency, a CBDC which in full is Central Bank Digital Currency. Although inspired by cryptocurrencies, CBDC’s are quite different from traditional crypto platforms. The main differences are that CBDC’s are unlikely to be decentralized, the supply of this currency regulated by the host’s country’s central bank as the CBDC is designed to operate as a sovereign legal tender, the digitized form of the host country’s fiat currency. Thus, a central bank may issue digitized tokens of its currency of which their value is pegged to the fiat currency of the nation in question, making CBDC’s stablecoins.

Africa has seen a rise in the use of cryptocurrencies and it’s still pushing frontiers in this sector. Although the use of crypto in many African nations is becoming more and more pervasive by the day, the tone of governments in many of these countries toward the sector is cautious at best and threatening at worst. However, a few nations have voiced interests in creating digitized versions of their legal tender to function as a CBDC. Amongst these are Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya and Tunisia.

Many of these projects are still in the research phase or developmental phase however. A good example is Ghana’s proposed CBDC, the E-cedi being developed in partnership with German company, Giesecke + Devrient. Nigeria’s CBDC project, the eNaira has been announced and according to Nigeria’s central bank, this CBDC will be launched sometime in 2021. To that end, the CBN has partnered with fintech company, Bitt Inc. to serve as the technical partner in the eNaira’s development. Reportedly, the CBN had made the decision to digitize the Nigerian Naira in 2017.

While the pursuance of digital currencies in African nations is a welcome development, implementation of these schemes isn’t without challenges. Chief among the issues countries in Africa face would be the already existing financial service inequality and poor penetration of internet access in the continent. These challenges must be tackled in order to allow for mainstream adoption of CBDCs and the subsequent provision of financial inclusion. The benefits largely depend on the peculiarities of the nation deploying them. For instance, a digital currency is thought to help Nigeria increase foreign remittances, it’s second largest source of forex after oil. Whatever the outcome of these projects, it is becoming apparent that CBDC’s have come to stay.

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Decentralize Brief

Bitcoin trades above $51k ahead of El Salvador’s adoption

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Bitcoin growth

Bitcoin price has rallied above $51,000 ahead of El Salvador’s adoption. The immediate surge in price may be due to the social media campaign that everyone should buy sats of Bitcoin to support El Salvador’s plan to make the coin a legal tender or it may be due to the news of El Salvador’s adoption of the coin as a legal tender on September 7. Users of social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit are discussing how they will buy Bitcoin of $30 each to mark the new El Salvador Bitcoin law.

The surge in Bitcoin’s price began in the last 24hrs with the price rallying around $51,955 with a 3.37% increase. This is an all-time high after the April crash that brought the price of Bitcoin from $64k down to $28k. The move by El Salvador to be the first country that accepts Bitcoin as a legal tender and the social media campaign that leads to a surge in price ahead September 7 are a repetition of events that occurred late last year and early this year with regards to institutional investors and how the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed.

El Salvador, a country in Central America, has been preparing heavily to adopt Bitcoin by installing ATMs to allow citizens to convert the token into US dollars. Last week, the country’s Legislative Assembly passed a law to allow for the creation of a $150m Trust to support the conversion of Bitcoins to US dollars.

To promote the use of Bitcoin, the government states that it will give the adult population of El Salvador $30 in Bitcoin once they download “Chivo” the wallet issued by the government. This was confirmed by the Finance Minister, Alejandro Zelaya.

What this means for Bitcoin investors

Apart from the adoption by Salvadorians, on-chain analytics show that Bitcoin is in high demand. The fourth halving that occurred will make Bitcoin become a scarce token in the nearest future. Thereby increasing the price sporadically.

With El Salvador’s interest in Bitcoin, other countries are likely to follow suit- Panama is considering following El Salvador’s lead. History will repeat itself as this development will serve as another crypto rout that occurred early this year when Tesla and MicroStrategy announced their support for Bitcoin.

El Salvador’s new law allows the use of Bitcoin as a legal tender it can be used to buy goods, pay for taxes and bank loans. This means more demand for Bitcoin, with the fourth halving that occurred, it means less supply. A common rule of economics for demand and supply will apply. Prices are projected to keep rising. At the time of writing this report, Bitcoin is trading at $51,839 with a projection of $52k before the end of today and higher tomorrow when Salvadorians begin to use the token.

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