00:03:07: Alejandro: Oh, hello!
00:03:08: Iyinoluwa: Hey Alejandro!
00:03:11: Alejandro: How you doing? How’s everything?
00:03:14: Iyinoluwa: I’m good, I’m good. I can’t complain. How you doing, man?
00:03:18: Alejandro: I’m… uh… I’m feeling… uh… I just got back from Spain and I got a bit of a cold.
00:03:27: Iyinoluwa: Oh!
00:03:27: Alejandro: Yeah. I know it sucks, but if… I…
00:03:29: Iyinoluwa: (Laughs)
00:03:29: Alejandro: I’m gonna… I’m gonna put on mute everytime I ask you a question and you’re answering. If you feel like no one’s hearing is because I put my microphone on mute
00:03:40: Iyinoluwa: I completely understand.
00:03:41: Alejandro: because I don’t wanna people like hear me sniffing every other second so…
00:03:45: Iyinoluwa: (Laughs)
00:03:50: [Can’t understand]
00:03:53: Alejandro: So, how… where are you right now?
00:03:55: Iyinoluwa: I’m at. Well, I live in Fairfield, California right now. Just about an hour from and a half from San Francisco.
00:04:03: Alejandro: Oh, nice!
00:04:03: Iyinoluwa: umhu
00:04:04: Alejandro: Fairfield. Is that at north? Where’s Fairfield?
00:04:08: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, is north…. (can’t understand)… yes, it’s a nice spot.
00:04:14: Alejandro: Oh, that’s awesome. Cool. You have family there, you said?
00:04:17: Iyinoluwa: Yes, I have family there. My wife and my mother in law live here, so.
00:04:20: Alejandro: Ok
00:04:21: Iyinoluwa: I’m here. You know how it is (laughs)
00:04:24: Alejandro: Nice. Awesome.
00:04:27: Alejandro: Thanks for the time
00:04:28: Iyinoluwa: No problem
00:04:29: Alejandro: I wanna jump into it
00:04:31: Iyinoluwa: Yes, let’s do that
00:04:32: Alejandro: And then that’s it. Feel free, at any point, to ask me things and we can always share stuff about any…
00:04:41: Iyinoluwa: No problem
00:04:45: Alejandro: oh, and by the way, for your name is “inolua”
00:04:50: Iyinoluwa: Oh, that’s close, that’s close, I mean, all the latino people get it close
00:04:54: Alejandro: (Laughs)
00:04:57: Iyinoluwa: But it’s “iolua”
00:05:00: Alejandro: “iolua, iolua”
00:05:01: Iyinoluwa: yeah, yeah. My boss just calls me “E”. It’s like super simple
00:05:03: Alejandro: “E”
00:05:09: Alejandro: I like “iolua”
00:05:10: Iyinoluwa: [can’t understand]
00:05:11: Alejandro: But it’s your name, man. We gotta stick to it.
00:05:16: Iyinoluwa: Yeah
00:05:17: Alejandro: Ok, so. Let’s… Thanks for the time and…
00:05:20: Iyinouwa: No problem. My pleasure, man
00:05:23: Alejandro: Everytime I get started I always ask these starter questions, so…
00:05:29: Iyinoluwa: I like starter questions
00:05:31: Alejandro: So, is there a morning routine that helps you get your day started in the right mindset?
00:05:38: Iyinoluwa: You know, I wanna think there is, but I’ll be honest. There’s not. (laughs)
00:05:42: Alejandro: Nothing? You don’t do a…?
00:05:45: Iyinoluwa: I just… I wake up, I wake up in the morning, most days, and I drink coffee and then I browse social media… [can’t understand] healthy habits… I’m not, I’m not a model. (laughs)
00:05:58: Alejandro: (Laughs)
00:05:59: Iyinoluwa: I read all that stuffs from [can’t understand] companies and I’m like wow. I wish my life [can’t understand]
00:06:03: Alejandro: I wish I can do that (laughs)
00:06:05: Iyinoluwa: (laughs)
00:06:06: Alejandro: Sounds like you have coffee and you usually have… give yourself an hour, two hours to read morning news
00:06:13: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah…
00:06:14: Alejandro: Or you immediately jump into work?
00:06:17: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah. I try to browse news, I try to see what’s going on and all that, you know, before I jump into work and… Specially cause I schedule a lot of conversations in the morning, specially because practically speaking I communicate a lot with europe and Nigeria, so that means that I’m spending between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. on the phone with Nigeria. You know what I mean?
00:06:42: Alejandro: Ah. Ok. Wow! So that’s a really early morning…
00:06:47: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah.
00:06:50: Alejandro: What you do after that shift, you go back to sleep or…
00:06:52: Iyinoluwa: I sleep for like 2 hours (laughs) I’m a nap, I’m a nap boy
00:06:58: Alejandro That’s good
00:06:59: Iyinoluwa: Then I come back to work refreshed and start again. And then I nap again around 5 and then I wake up and then I watch movies from 8 to 11 and then I go to sleep. I don’t have the best schedule. Do not make this a model
00:07:18: Alejandro: (Laughs)
00:07:19: Iyinoluwa: You wanna be top of the world? Then I can talk hours about it
00:07:24: Alejandro: (Laughs) That’s right… Lot of people will say look man, I heard if you watch movies from 8 to 12 it really helps your productivity
00:07:32: (both laugh)
00:07:35: Alejandro: Wait, so what are. Let’s go to the next one, which is: What’s your superpower? And by that I mean, is there a trait that you have that have got you where you are now, and what would that be and what would your value and call that superpower?
00:07:52: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, I think that I would say yes, definitely. It’s a bunch of things, but I think I’ll summarize a set of skills over building trust, right? Being able to build trust with people, specially when you need to work with them, right? When you’re from where I come from, there’s a lot… I come from Nigeria, and the first thing everybody ask me is: do I know the Nigerian Prince and does he emails you? (laughs) So is very critical that… trust them becomes the real issue. People wanna be able to do with people they can trust and so my superpower is basically being able to build trust and I do that by being very vulnerable, right? So I’m not trying to see myself as a perfect person. I tell you what things are odd and I [can’t understand] my own ideas freely and my own ideas freely with other people, so that’s…
00:08:47: Alejandro: So when you’re vulnerable and you share things about yourself with others
00:08:52: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, they get comfortable
00:08:53: Alejandro: It creates a comfortable environment for them to share anything
00:08:59: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, for them to understand we’re on the same team and then I protect that trust because that’s my superpower (laughs)
00:09:05: Iyinoluwa: I try my best to not be that guy who promises and doesn’t do what he says, although that happens too (laughs) Or also to be the guy who, uh, cheats people. I’ve never been associated with anything that involves cheating people. I really like to act with my integrity and when I’m not in a comfortable situation I can find my way out without damaging the relationship, so I love [can’t understand]
00:09:32: Alejandro: So, never over-promising, always trying to stick to whatever you have said to someone and sticking to it
00:09:44: Iyinoluwa: Yeah
00:09:45: Alejandro: And never over-promise. Those are good ways to keeping your word and building a good brand for yourself.
00:09:50: Iyinoluwa: Yeah. Just be the good man, you know. Just being the gentleman. It’s nothing crazy or out of this world, but it’s so underrated in this world like the [can’t understand] be the kind of people can trust is important for building [can’t understand]
00:10:09: Alejandro: Before I forget, do you have headphones?
00:10:15: Iyinoluwa: Oh, do I have headphones… uh… I do (background noise) I have earphones but not headphones. There’s a lot of background noise I guess?
00:10:22: Alejandro: No, no, but it’s so much better when there’s like a mic always…
00:10:26: Iyinoluwa: close to your … Yeah, I see. I don’t have, I don’t have them I’ll be honest
00:10:32: Alejandro: No? Is there… Do you have any air, air… uh… like even airpods, air, anything apple, your phone or…
00:10:40: Iyinoluwa: Give me a moment, give me a moment. I should have some earphones in my bag… I’ll check
00:10:47: Alejandro: Yeah, take a look, take your time
00:10:50: Iyinoluwa: Yeah. No problem, man. I just don’t wanna waste your time
00:10:53: Alejandro: No, I don’t want with yours because the sound quality is much better whenever there’s something
00:11:00: Iyinoluwa: I know I hear you. I actually should have thought about that. That’s my bad (background noise)
00:11:12: Alejandro: (Laughs). It’s always in one pocket
00:11:18: Iyinoluwa: Always, always (silence)
00:11:23: Iyinoluwa: I’ll find it, don’t worry (background noise)
00:11:26: Alejandro: That’s all right. Take your time
00:11:28: Iyinoluwa: (background noise)
00:11:35: Alejandro: Now you gotta start asking: what pocket? The pants, your jacket…
00:11:38: Iyinoluwa: Yeah. I’ll find them. Where do you think there is… Wait wait wait
00:11:43: I’s wife: Let me go get them
00:11:44: Iyinoluwa: You sure? Ok (silence)
00:11:51: Alejandro: You have a much better chance if she’s looking for it
00:11:53: Iyinoluwa: I hear you
00:11:56: Alejandro: My, my wife… It’s so embarrassing, man. Like it happens to me too. Where I leave something like I think I know where it is and I look and I look… and no, honey, I don’t have it, and then she literally leaves the room and comes back with whatever it was in like 20 seconds. Always makes me…
00:12:18: Iyinoluwa: Story of my life
00:12:19: Alejandro: Yeah. I’m like: HOW?! Where did you find that? And she’s like “it was right under here, you just had to lower your head”… I’m like…
00:12:28: Iyinoluwa: Yeah. It just happens… basically
00:12:30: Alejandro: Talking about personal brand
00:12:38: I’s Wife: I just put it over there
00:12:40: Iyinoluwa: Let me check. Sorry, there’s another piece to it ‘cause I use…
00:12:45: Alejandro: Oh, right, like a converter connector
00:12:47: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, man. Apple people
00:12:50: Alejandro: Whatever money, whatever more they can charge…
00:12:53: Iyinoluwa: (laughs)
00:12:56: Alejandro: Yeah, I have that too. The converter thing for these headphones
00:13:01: Iyinoluwa: Yeah that’s all I can afford. I don’t want new headphones.. I have 2012 [can’t understand] and this phone, so, what the heck.
00:13:08: Alejandro: Did you find them? Did you have the converter?
00:13:09: Iyinoluwa: I did, I did. I found everything
00:13:11: Alejandro: Nice!
00:13:13: Iyinoluwa: Well, not me. I didn’t find it. My wife
00:13:15: Alejandro: Yeah, I know (both laugh)
00:13:23: Iyinoluwa: Can you hear me better now?
00:13:24: Alejandro: Oh, yeah. Much better
00:13:27: Iyinoluwa: OK, awesome. You wanna start from the top or you wanna continue?
00:13:29: Alejandro: No, that was good. I mean, the sound quality was good. We’ll just continue
00:13:34: Iyinoluwa: Ok, no problem.
00:13:36: Alejandro: Can you put your phone so I can see you a little better?
00:13:39: Iyinoluwa: umju, umju. Yes, sorry. Let’s do that.
00:13:45: Alejandro: Ok, cool. So, let’s go into your [can’t understand] Where did you grow up and what were your parents up to?
00:13:55: Iyinoluwa: I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, in a neighborhood called “Yaba” which I [can’t understand] I came back when I turned 22 to start my first company, right? (laughs) But I was born in that neighborhood and I went to primary school there. When I was 9, my parents decided to move so they moved down south to the Niger Delta. Right at the turn of democracy in Nigeria and that was because, you know, democracy. My dad, had to, you know. Back in the day when the military era, you know, they really need to like, manage communities. They could just go plunder with old companies and all that so my dad was really in charge of, like.. having the human face to the old company and helping the community figure out what they needed from the old companies and then also helping all companies understand what the communities challenges were. They just call it community relations, so my dad did that. At the turn of the decade, when it got pretty violent, my dad ended up becoming kind of like the mayor hostages negotiator, you know…
00:15:10: Alejandro: Wow
00:15:11: Iyinoluwa: [can’t understand] So we grew up in a lot of straight. I pretty much lived in the war zone, to be quite franc, you know…
00:15:18: Alejandro: And when you say negotiator for hostages, it was because of gorillas that would capture for the company?
00:15:27: Iyinoluwa: Exactly from the company because of the destructions of their resources, right? So that was kind of a lot of struggle for my dad… find peace between the gorillas and the company, so it was an interesting time, but in between all that straight I went into lot of TV, to use computers when I started to live in [can’t understand] that was a time I lived in [can’t understand]. You know, it’s a very peaceful place now, but almost all the companies have left
00:16:01: Alejandro: What does it look like? Is it very green? Is it dried? Very human?
00:16:06: Iyinoluwa: When I was growing up there it was really [can’t understand] lot of skilled workers, lot of company workers. Now it’s slightly different, you know what I mean?
00:16:16: Alejandro: Uhm
00:16:17: Iyinoluwa: And Yaba, where I was living before, actually changed. When I was growing up it was a university town, very sleepy, but now it’s a you know, it’s crazy. Lion people everywhere. Very vibrant ecosystem and community, proper values rising. It’s crazy, I mean, and that’s primarily because of the tech ecosystem that decided to settle there
00:16:43: Alejandro: But back in the, in your youthful days, when you were a kid, in terms of technology, that wasn’t around
00:16:52: Iyinoluwa: I mean there was in trickles, like the way a few people who were really kind of build stuff back when I was a kid. But no one knew about them, to be quite franc, like an average, like your [can’t understand] or whatever. But no one knew about them, but they existed, I later discovered.
00:17:20:Alejandro: They weren’t in your ecosystem
00:17:21: Iyinoluwa: Yeah. There was not social media in excess when I was growing up. No way to learn about anything except what the government wanted you to learn, so you never knew about them, except being directly connected to them. So it’s actually amazing the extent to which people from all over the world can find of the work what I’m doing, or what my peers are doing in Nigeria, and really I wish the last generation of entrepreneurs have that privilege as well, ‘cause they build some really sick shit! Oh, I’m sorry, my bad
00:17:49: Alejandro: Don’t worry
00:17:53: Iyinoluwa: (laughs) They build some real sick stuff, like for example, there was one of them who I recall one of the world’s best human resource management platforms called “human manager”
00:18:05: Alejandro: Uhum
00:18:06: Iyinoluwa: There was another guy, actually funny enough [can’t understand] Nigeria from Canada, I’m calling doctor Burian Karu (?) and another lady called Nadim Ndoye (?). They both built two of the most iconic, I say, early infrastructure company, one was called Interswitch, it was like the national switch, and the other one was called ipNX which is like the fiber [can’t understand] Interswitch is very successful, ipNX kinda modelling around, but you know
00:18:41: Alejandro: So these were the companies that were getting started back when you were
00:18:45: Iyinoluwa: When I was born, yeah, when I was born, right. There was a bunch of other companies. There was a company called TAS Systems, and TAS Systems was basically the world’s first [can’t understand] banking platforms, on the oracle platform, right. So there’s a lot of shit that was built back then, and not in [can’t understand] knows about it [can’t understand]
00:19:12: Alejandro: Yeah, no I get it
00:19:13: Iyinoluwa: This is fun to see, yeah
00:19:15: Alejandro: What’s the common misconception whenever you share with people that you’re from Nigeria?
00:19:23: Iyinoluwa: I think a lot of people just see Nigeria like a place where there’s a lot of [can’t understand], a lot of email fraud
00:19:31: Alejandro: (Laughs)
00:19:32: Iyinoluwa: I’ll be honest
00:19:33: Alejandro: Email fraud (laughs)
00:19:34: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, [can’t understand], and what people don’t realize is this is a country with very long tradition of innovation, right? Like, we have some really bad-ass tech entrepreneurs for a long time, you know. People don’t know that. All these nigerian developers you see is not just because Andela showed up on the scene, although that’s a big part of why we’re now global. Like, Nigeria has always had from super early days and [can’t understand] we have a lot of computer groups, all type in the way. Back in the day when I was growing up, we have my uncles taking something called the CCNA, CCIE all these networks in exams. We used to have…
00:20:25: Alejandro: Who provided those, like…
00:20:30: Iyinoluwa: An IT Ad-Tech, and the schools were also really good back in the day, they got worse, but back in the day the schools were cool. So they actually turned out really really high quality guys and then a lot of folks went to like HBC and the US, who ended up learning about the computer and the computer system and coming back to the country and giving back the same thing
00:21:00: Alejandro: You gave a TED-X Talk where you shared the biggest lesson at 14
00:21:06: Iyinoluwa: Yeah
?00:21:07: Alejandro: Could you share a bit about what that was and how it shaped who you become?
00:21:13: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah. When I was 14, basically like narrowly missed a plane crash (laughs)
00:21:22: Alejandro: Wow!
00:21:23: Iyinoluwa: I slept in, like I always do (laughs)
00:21:27: Alejandro: Your habit helped you
00:21:31: Iyinoluwa: (Laughs) Yeah. The one thing successful people do is [can’t understand]
00:21:38: Alejandro: Tell me a bit more. So, you fell asleep, you didn’t wake up in time and you missed your flight?
00:21:45: Iyinoluwa: So I missed my flight. Yeah, I basically missed my flight so I had to take another flight
00:21:49: Alejandro: Where were you going to?
00:21:51: Iyinoluwa: I went to [can’t understand] school. I went to a school for the talented in Nagoya, which is a capital city. The school of Loyola it was Jesuit School And so that day, December 10th, 2005. You know, I was supposed to travel with the bus to the airport and I was supposed to get earlier flight, but it turns out that the flight was actually merged at the end of the day. Imagine like a little flight in the day with a lot of kids going back to Bohaka, and I was also going back to Bohaka because I lived a few hours by road from Bohaka, so my plan was to get to Bohaka and jump in another flight later in the day after I finish playing with my friends, or ride a bus to Worry where I actually lived. But it was crazy because I missed it, I missed the bus, I thought the flight left but it didn’t it just got merged with a later flight, so I took another kind of flight options with a few friends, so.
00:22:53: Alejandro: You were in a different plane
00:22:54: Iyinoluwa: I was in a different plane and so, yeah, we were like mid air an we hear these guys crashed. I was crazy, you know.
00:23:02: Alejandro: Holy
00:23:05: Iyinoluwa: It was amazing. But it taught me a number things, right, like I learned a lot about how futality it is to be like.. you know the slob people who look at life and say “I’m the exception to the rule. I’m exceptional, I’m this”, you know, and what they look at themselves is lucky or not because they see at success is something that is individual, that is unique to them, right? And you know leverage to other people but you know. What I learned basically is that at the end of the day what individual success is the end to end, that’s the end of it. You wake up one day and the next day you don’t wake up and that’s it, but when you leverage your success in the interest of public, and become the kind of person who’s building things that leave legacy because you want to serve the public, you leave. You’re basically a different kind of person, so I think that day I, I was very conceded, I tell you. Very smart
00:24:05: Alejandro: Cocky
00:23:07: Iyinoluwa: Very conceded, you know, very [can’t understand], I had my ways, you know, and very very confident, and that day I just adopted a different sense and it helped me really understand where I was going to serve, to serve other people and to serve community, and I think that was one of the moments that really changed my life.
00:24:28:Alejandro: I know that your quote you’re retired and we can we jump in to to that, right? Am I correct???00:24:34: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, well, not that money [can’t understand] from working, because I tried the retirement thing and it didn’t work.
00:24:34: (both laugh)
00:24:44: Iyinoluwa: I’m officially out of retirement (laughs)
00:24:46: Alejandro: Before we jump into the present, I wanna continue with this which is, so, you’ve launched a number of companies
00:24:47: Iyinoluwa: Yeah
00:24:56: Alejandro: The two that are most renowned and successful in terms of clients, in terms of the amount of funds that were raised
00:25:06: Iyinoluwa: Yeah
00:25:07: Alejandro: Are Andela and FlutterWave
00:25:10: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, absolutely
00:25:11: Alejandro: Andela, you launched that first, before flutterwave, so it received a ton of attention because 24 millions in funding came from Mark Zuckerberg, is that correct?
00:25:22: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah. It came from CCI, Zuckerberg’s fund
00:25:27: Alejandro: So, tell me, can you share what it took to actually receive that type of backing from Mark Zuckerberg? can you share a little about that journey? And before you being, what is Andela and you can…
00:25:44: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, absolutely. Andela basically is a new model of education, but more importantly a new way to work remotely with developers content or present. Basically is [can’t understand] reliances equally distributed, but [can’t understand] is not, quite franckly, but at the heart of this is the idea of… there’s a lot of people in Africa, super talented, super smart, unable to get work, unable to access global opportunities and quite frankly haven’t prepared for them, and on the other hand you have millions of old puns, technology jobs in the US that no one’s filling. So, what would happen if you basically brought those two together? Right? You took the young people, invested in them, and skill them up for work, and help companies in the US were scaling really quickly [can’t understand] to be able to access that talent and build things faster. In an environment that means that they don’t necessarily have to leave their home countries, which is amazing for the economy for those countries.
00:27:08: Alejandro: ‘Cause the money stays
00:27:08: Iyinoluwa: Money stays, right. So that’s basically what we’re doing at Andela. It’s remarcable the kind of progress it has made. I’m no longer and active member of the team, but I was there first three years
00:27:26: Alejandro: Were you one of the, you were one of the co-founders?
00:27:28: Iyinoluwa: Yes, I was one of the co-founders
00:27:30: Alejandro: How old were you when that happened?
00:27:31: Iyinoluwa: Man, I co-founded Andela in , when I was 23, that was how old I was when I did that
00:27:41: Alejandro: Wow
00:27:41: Iyinoluwa: It was crazy
00:27:42: Alejandro: When you co-founded Andela were you in California…
00:27:48: Iyinoluwa: I was in Lagos, I was literally heads down, always in Lagos. I love Lagos. So i was in Yaba, actually, back when I lived in Yaba, and then we built the business out of that
00:28:04: Alejandro: And you built that business you had a ton of traction. And when was it that you decided to go overseas and start talking to a number of investors here
00:28:16: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah, I mean, When we started out, I’d say, we started out primarily because we reached out to a friend of ours, his name is Jeremy Johnson, Jeremy Johnson is the CEO now of Andela, and essentially, Jeremy and I were having a conversation in New York, one of the times I came through for some mental share and a bit of investors chit-chat, and he was telling me about the challenges he was having finding a salesforce engineer at the time, and literally I was like… there’s a lot of people in Nigeria who would gladly be salesforce engineer if somebody would just show them how, and basically that was the conversation that began Andela, so he was a huge early supporter, helped us really think our business model and helped us you know, helped us with the first class and everything and then ultimately we decided we both couldn’t stop thinking about this new idea because I was doing something different at the time and that’s how Andela basically started.
00:29:20: Alejandro: did you receive funds for Andela right away or [can’t understand]
00:28:29: Iyinoluwa: We used a little bit of our money and also Jeremy gave some money initially and then once we started to see some traction, Jeremy started to re-talk to investors, right? Cause he taking the company public right away. Jeremy is one of the co-founders of Company Corps CU, which is public, so he’s a very, very, very great entrepreneur as well based in New York, and he basically build the online education pristine brand. Kind of like University of Phoenix for [can’t understand], so yeah, he basically told us a lot about building businesses and I’m incredibly thankful for his mentorship. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t be able to… I wouldn’t have that conversation with investors if I hadn’t being mentored by him.
00:30:21: Alejandro: When you raised 24 millions from the Mark Zuckerberg fund, did you pitched directly to him or was it to his team, or
00:30:34: Iyinoluwa: The way that works… first I’ll say it wasn’t me who did it personally, like there was a whole team behind it and led by Jeremy, quite frankly, however we did get a chance to meet with his team and that was primarily late because Vivian Woo, who basically I think is the partner at the fund, she’s a nice amazing, woman, and very inspirational. and she was basically the one behind the conversation with about [can’t understand] I’d say with Mark.. We did get to see him when in Niger, I don’t know if you know about that
00:31:11: Alejandro: I saw it, you have it in your LinkedIn
00:31:14: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah, so he visited Nigeria so we did get to see the facilities, we basically met up at an [can’t understand] that Facebook had, but that was kinda, I wouldn’t say like a…
00:31:30: Alejandro: Yeah, a 20 minutes one-on-one
00:31:33: Iyinoluwa: You know, yeah, yeah. I think it was more, you know, he really saw this as something that was boring for the wealth, and I think so too, and he want to support us and I think it was really, really, cool. It’s one of those things… I can0t call him a monster (laughs)
00:31:49: (both laugh)
00:31:50: Alejandro: You always [can’t understand] the good side
00:31:52: Iyinoluwa: Officially [can’t understand] (laugh)
00:31:57: Alejandro: As long as you know that… They’re investing a ton, Facebook is investing a ton in Nigeria is that going on, is it actually happening? Because I remember hearing about and placing huge emphasis, has Facebook actually invested?
00:32:16: Iyinoluwa: Oh, yeah, dead crazy
00:32:18: Alejandro: What programs?
00:32:19: Iyinoluwa: They’re deep in Nigeria and I’ll tell you, ensuring [can’t understand], you know? Beyond Andela, they invested in a Hub in Nigeria, like partnered with a local organization called Co-Creation Hub, where we first built our bases, to invest in a hub called EngiHub which focuses on the team tag. So it’s not the kind of [can’t understand] you’d think about in emerging markets but’s like super critical, because there’s so many problems at deep tech lecture, AI, Virtual Reality and VR and all the stuff and so basically they built like a team tech accelerator called EngiHub in Nigeria and they have a Hub for creators as well that they back, specially for folks making stuff in Instagram, in Facebook Watch. So they’re in very deep and showing in the dominance. Facebook has 21 million users in Nigeria, maybe more in Instagram. The whole country uses WhatsApp, you know, so it’s showing. I think they’re one of the few people who really got it right. It’s kind of sad because Google got there first, to be quite frank, they got to Nigeria first, but I don’t think the level of local partnership and integration that facebook has manages to command, is pretty stunning given to the period of time within which is start to really take a job seriously.
00:33:38: Alejandro: Wow, I didn’t know that. When you launched Andela and then was doing incredible, how long did you last at Andela before you retired?
00:33:47: Iyinoluwa: 3 years, 3 years (laughs) 3 years and I got ditched
00:33:55: Alejandro: Where did you go… did you immediately launched Flutterway right afterwards?
00:34:01: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, pretty much. I mean, I took some time off. I pretty much left a lot earlier than people thought I did, but basically the guys at Andela were gracious and had give me some time to roll around and experiment and I tried a few other things, I tried to built an [can’t understand] platform for the country to basically do an Andela. It worked out [can’t understand] but not as well as I thought it would, and then I went and I did FlutterWave with two other folks
00:34:36: Alejandro: And tell me what is FlutterWave and what were you tackling?
00:34:41: Iyinoluwa: That’s a great question. FlutterWave is basically to solve a very simple problem. Africa is generally cut off from the global economy, so what do I mean by that? If you’re an African consumer maybe you own an M-Pesa, you use M-pesa, you really.. let me rephrase that. The broad majority of people in the world belong to one or two class, or both, Mastercard and Visa, then if you’re from China, you belong to China [can’t understand], but that’s a whole bunch of weird stuff, and maybe then you [can’t understand] AliBaba.
00:35:18: Alejandro: Yeap
00:35:19: Iyinoluwa: But you know, China [can’t understand] world, so franckly, not many people really care, but the rest of the world is Mastercard or Visa. The problem in Africa is that only 5% of people have Mastercard or Visa, so
00:35:36: Alejandro: In Africa, in the whole Continent
00:35:38: Iyinoluwa: The whole Africa, 5% have Mastercard and Visa, so all the other people are using cash for the most part, but then when they want to use electronic payment methods, they’re using [can’t understand] by [can’t understand], they’re using M-Pesa, they’re using some other MTN Mobile Money, you know what I mean?
00:35:57: Alejandro: Yeah and M-PEsa, when you say M-Pesa, are these like debit cards, is that what you’re saying or what
00:36:03: Iyinoluwa: No, they just, like, literally, mobile money, mobile wallets, they’re like
00:36:06: Alejandro: Oh, like Venmo
00:36:08: Iyinoluwa: Like Venmo but built into your SIM Card
00:36:11: Alejandro: Aaah, right, Ok, uhu
00:36:14: Iyinoluwa: You know what I mean? So
00:36:15: Alejandro: Yeah … And when you say SIM Card is because most people, in terms of mobiles and their service, whatever the carrier they have, is usually paid by the minute and
00:36:25: Iyinoluwa: Yes, yes
00:36:26: Alejandro: They don’t, is not like they offer these unlimited plans
00:36:29: Iyinoluwa: No
00:36:29: Alejandro: Like Verizon offers or whatever
00:36:31: Iyinoluwa: No, what?
00:36:31: Alejandro: Most people, the most common thing is you paid for the amount of time that you talk. Pre-paid
00:36:41: Iyinoluwa: Pre-paid. Simple. [can’t understand] so, basically, like, they build this thing called mobile money and it’s very wide, very active, the number of people who use it and the agents who support it, [can’t understand] moneys, it’s crazy, that’s what most people use. Now, imagine emerging in Africa. You may have multiple competing payment systems that you have to accept and most time they’re very technical. You’re not technical, so what are your uber, who we used to work with, or we still work with them. FlutterWave, or a small merchant [can’t understand] will have the same problem, which is if you want to cover Africa, you have to find a way to collect all these different payment methods and you don’t have technical resources to go [can’t understand] with each one and accept them; so in Flutterwave what we basically did is help you accept it with one technical integration, right? That’s the first step.
00:37:41: Alejandro: So, let’s give an example. When you’re a merchant, let’s say, I own a shoe store and I accept payments, whether is cash or also I accept it through credit card or mobile money. In order for me to figure out if someone wants to pay me, lets say, using a card or any other method, what’s their [can’t understand] point?
00:38:18: Iyinoluwa: So, before we showed up in the escene [can’t understand] we gotta go talk to Visa, one, we gotta go talk to Mastercard, two, we gotta go talk to M-Pesa, three, we gotta go talk to MTN Mobile Money, four, we gotta go to.. you know what I mean… and if you’re a small shoe merchant that’s not possible, so you’re just gonna say: dude, just pay me cash (laugh) [can’t understand] even worse because they could get robbed, there’s a lot of issues, they can’t get loans, there’s no data, they don’t know who is paying them, [can’t understand] who their regular customers are… So they get completely cut off in that way, and then, what we’re able to do is say: hey! you don’t have to worry about [can’t understand] integration, just sign up here and we’ll give you a merchant account that accept all these different payment methods once.
00:39:10: Alejandro: An dhow much does that usually cost them?
00:39:16: Iyinoluwa: I mean, ultimately what it really cost them is a lot of time because, you know, typically you’re collecting some other [can’t understand], so to speak, regardless because , if you know… a payment that comes to Visa or Mastercard doesn’t go to M-PEsa at the same time, you know what I mean? so you stick to whatever the merchant [can’t understand], so we do that, steal with the business model
00:39:40: Alejandro: And FlutterWave grabs a, like a commission based
00:39:43: Iyinoluwa: Yes
00:39:43: Alejandro: on the transaction
00:39:44: Iyinoluwa: Yes, it does, it takes a chance, actually, a fee on every transaction, but what’s really cool for the merchant is they don’t have to worry about integrating with all these different payment methods at the same time, they can just focus on their business [can’t understand]
00:40:01: Alejandro: How did you, who were the first client? How did you get that started?
00:40:05: Iyinoluwa: It’s funny, the first client was a bank which had like thousands of small merchants, so imagine a big bank that have a lot of small business banking with them and they wanted to provide some extra value, so what they did was help us. They basically told us: look, our merchants need a solution [can’t understand] so those were like our first core merchants, hen we landed Uber through the same bank called Access Bank, they’re really a cool bank in Africa, they’re like the largest bank in Nigeria right now, so they landed Uber. Uber wanted to accept payments locally [can’t understand], so they wanted to accept payments locally, so they used us to accept.
00:40:54: Alejandro: Wow
00:40:55: Iyinoluwa: And then we accepted to land [can’t understand] … Transferwise [can’t understand] a lot of folks, and it’s funny how both ways, both people wanted to send money to Africa but don’t necessarily interact with the African payment system, so there’s a [can’t understand] … take money from Africans and don’t know how to [can’t understand] with it, they [can’t understand], so it’s both ways, actually.
00:41:28: Alejandro: Wow. An dos, how big of a market is this?
00:41:32: Iyinoluwa: Man so, if I use just remittances, just pure remittances
00:41:38: Alejandro: Money that people send back there
00:41:40: Iyinoluwa: Money people send back home. That in Nigeria alone is like 25 billion dollar market
00:41:45: Alejandro: In Nigeria? Just in Nigeria
00:41:47: Iyinoluwa: Just Nigeria
00:41:48: Alejandro: 25 billion
00:41:49: Iyinoluwa: 25 billion dollars, right? (laughs) And then and then by the time in the country like floating around the country, you know what I mean, that’s cash, you looking at something in the order of right, you know, like like three hundred billion dollars right? within the country.
00:42:11: Alejandro: Wow, is Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in in Africa?
00:42:18: Iyinoluwa: Yeap, yeap, it is. This is correct
00:42:20: Alejandro: Is that number one or two? Where does it fall?
00:42:23: Iyinoluwa: It’s number one by Longshot (laughs)
00:42:25: Alejandro: How many people are there?
00:42:27: Iyinoluwa: Nigeria today has about 180 million people, some people say it’s 200 today and I’m inclined to believe them
00:42:33: Alejandro: Wow
00:42:34: Iyinoluwa: But what’s really interesting is that over the next 15 years, Nigeria is gonna be 400 million people
00:42:44: Alejandro: Wow. That’s double in the next 15 years
00:42:47: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, in the next 15 years
00:42:49: Alejandro: And the majority of the population percentage-wise. Where do the youth fall in?
00:42:56: Iyinoluwa: They’re like 60% under 30, that’s 60%
00:42:59: Alejandro: Wow, so it’s it’s such a Young Nation
00:43:01: Iyinoluwa: It is the number one millenial nation in the world, right? So if you’re building products and Nigeria [can’t understand] is like dead [can’t understand] I think that’s what Facebook gets that a lot of people don’t really understand. It’s like, you know… [can’t understand] it’s like, you’re not making real products like Nigerians aren’t using your products.
00:43:21: Alejandro: That’s incredible. That’s incredible. What what happened to… you were flutterwave for how long?
00:43:29: Iyinoluwa: I was at FlutterWave for three years as well. [can’t understand]
00:43:34: Alejandro: I was gonna say you have three sons
00:43:35: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, three is good
00:43:37: Alejandro: is your lucky number
00:43:37: Iyinoluwa: One year to get things ruling, second-year to build brand and then third to like chill, you know.
00:43:45: Alejandro: And then after FlutterWave, was that around the time where you said I’m going to retire?
00:43:53: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah. After FlutterWave I was like man, I really need like a stepwise function, you know what I mean? Like in terms of my mindset because I think for me what happened was I started to realize, like [can’t understand] all these big companies and it’s going really fast. But like I still wasn’t seeing the kind of impact I wanted to see, personally. I felt like I was the only one in the stage, you know? That was kind of really weird in that way, and I was trying my best to pull folks up, but you know, at the end of the day what I realized is like…. I’m trying to get other people believe in the market and in the founders and in the fact that this is the future, and at the end of the day I’m the only one who’s making the biggest bet, because I’m, so all in on the content. I think I got a little burned up, like man, this is fruitless.
00:44:41: Alejandro: So you’re saying you were feeling like you were the one having to drag, pushed this accros everywhere and you didn’t feel a lot of support like, from others, from other entrepreneurs or…
00:45:00: Iyinoluwa: No, I mean, other entrepreneurs were fantastic, they were doing their best, but the government wasn’t that supportive, I didn’t get a lot of support from USBC [can’t understand] which were delivering, but again, there was a lot of knowledge to share with other folks who were strong
00:45:33: Alejandro: Hello. Hello. I think we lost you here. Give me one sec.
00:46:00: Alejandro: Can you hear me? I’m sending you, if you can hear me, I’m sending you a text right now
00:46:25: Iyinoluwa: hello?
00:46:25: Alejandro: Yes, you’re back
00:46:27: Alejandro: I’m sorry about that. Don’t worry about it. That’s all right. I wanted to ask you, you mentioned something really interesting about you’re doing all this, the companies are doing, are growing, you’re getting traction, you’re getting the the most recognized distinguish investors accelerator such as Y Combinator and, you know, investments for Mark Zuckerberg and all these things and you mentioned that you were not feeling like you were creating this impact. What do you mean by impact? Are you talking about like a positive impact or an impact more for the community or what? What did you mean by that?
00:47:11: Iyinoluwa: I mean, what I mean is really, we’re definitely creating an impact with our businesses, right? [can’t understand] go global [can’t understand], you can see young people who were earning $100 a month starts earning $100,000 a year through our training program, right? But I felt like, you deeply necessarily have anybody working on the game changing Elon Musk-type ideas, are you really needed to move to [can’t understand] and that was primarily because… it wasn’t because the entrepreneurs didn’t exist, it was because you didn’t have the kind of ecosystem, for example, you have Silicon Valley or in Abu Dhabi or London where people are coming to build can change your business, and what I initially saw was I’ll go into an industry I’ll build a business and as I expect hundreds of people would definitely do the same thing ’cause I feel like that’s the way to be successful. You know what I mean? So bring the talent business we had a whole bunch of folks going down business, which is good because we needed more people but I thought I’d not everybody [can’t understand] doing that, right?
00:48:22: Alejandro: Yeah
00:48:26: Iyinoluwa: We’re running the payments business and you have a whole bunch of people basically just drunk the payment system [can’t understand] We’re just good but again, I felt like that couldn’t necessarily be the only thing, and just seem like people having resources and motivation, take on super big ideas, you know what I mean? And Africa needs those big ideas the most, right?
00:48:49: Alejandro: Yeah
00:48:50: Iyinoluwa: You know, curing disease, you know being able to deep research and leverage deep tech to improve education, you know… Those are the kind of problems I got turning to, and actually, what was funny about that was [can’t understand] just led me to politics, so I actually run a political campaign, a really crazy presidential campaign for this lady. Who’s the mentor of mine.
00:49:20: Alejandro: After FlutterWave
00:49:21: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, after FlutterWave. When I quit, I went running the political campaign. We lost very badly (both laugh)
00:49:31: Alejandro: That’s a good lesson, a good lesson. What did you learn from that, in the political campaign?
00:49:39: Iyinoluwa: What I learned was the most powerful business in the world could put money in people’s pocket (laugh)
00:49:47: Alejandro: That too
00:49:48: Iyinoluwa: That was the biggest lesson I learned
00:49:51: Alejandro: Put money… the most powerful businesses put money, are you talking about corruption, that it was just crazy?
00:49:57: Iyinoluwa: No, no, no, no. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying in Africa people are so poor, like 88 million people in my country, for example, live under a dollar a day, and it’s easy to look at population and be like, wow. What’s possible here? Like there’s no consumer in all that but I learned that you know, even in that situation people are willing to work you wanted to put in to be able to progress [can’t understand] and that energy is what the best business [can’t understand]. At some point I wondered why was Andela so successful because, you know, we’ve trained 33,000 people, 1,800 staff, looks like what exactly is the magic here? And it was just that [can’t understand] we put money in people’s pocket. [can’t understand] Why was FlutterWave so successful? We put money in people’s pocket, you know what I mean? The merchants. I learned a lot about what really impoverished people is, you know, when you don’t put money in their pockets, when you can’t build businesses that put money in people’s pocket, because financial independence is political independence, right? economic independence is political independence.
00:51:14: Alejandro: You mentioned in your TED Talk, the same TED Talk that we discussed earlier, that you’d ask a question that what does it mean to build the future in eh interest of the collective. You were talking about individual success and what success means to most people. I think you were having this talk in Nigeria, I think, I don’t know
00:51:38: Iyinoluwa: It was in London. It was in the middle of the campaign, but you see, so in London there’s this community called the TED-X [can’t understand] community, and I don’t know if you’ve heard… do you listen to Beyoncé? (laughs)
00:51:49: Alejandro: Oh, yeah, of course
00:51:51: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, yeah, so if you’ve heard the like “bow down bitches song”? And there’s this talk that preceded by this Nigerian writer called Chimamanda Adichie, were she talked about the definition of feminism, so that was were she recorded that speech.
00:52:10: Alejandro: Wow
00:52:10: Iyinoluwa: It was like a very popular platform for Africans to talk about issues that are pertinent to Africa, but is in London (laugh)
00:52:20: Alejandro: And you meiton in there that, talking about this, all thee talks that come into your head and turns into positive impact, impact for the collective, can you jump a little bit into… first off, have you found an answer to what does [can’t understand] to build the future in the interest of the collective? Cause I know you had that talk like two months ago
00:52:45: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, it’s been awhile. I had a lot of time to think about it (laughs) and I think for me, what I write was the answers basically, how do you build a future that puts prosperity and purpose, right? [can’t understand] That’s really what people want. You think about the world and where it’s going, even when you look at, because everybody is facing the same challenges [can’t understand] like, [can’t understand] in the US is having the same challenges. I’m sure in the Eastern Europe there’s people facing challenges where technology is basically built in a way, not just their lives, but their sense of purpose, and so for me, I think the future in the public interest is basically, let’s put these two things right: good businesses that put money in people’s pockets, that’s businesses that give people purpose back and make them feel like they’re building towards a better future, a better place, right? Those are the two things that continually come to me: prosperity and purpose.
00:53:48: Alejandro: And you, you’re active with Street Capital Future Africa share Africa, all these are different organizations that [can’t understand] you realize you don’t wanna be retired
00:54:01: Iyinoluwa: Yeah (laughs)
00:54:02: Alejandro: What are these organizations that follow line with what you’re mentioning in terms of building a collective and focusing on the collective, on the benefit for all not just for few individuals.
00:54:17: Iyinoluwa: I mean, mostly. Street Capital is my family office, so that doesn’t fit. It tries to, but it’s [can’t understand] right? Probably make money for a lot of people too, but actually, so what I’m building now… Future Africa is a publication that we started out and what do is developing where what we’re trying to do is begin a public conversation about what the future should look up and it really isn’t one that’s folks and Davos having a conversation with books and milk and cocoa with conference having a conversation and folks in [can’t understand] 19 how to get conversation[can’t understand] is about normal people, the barista, the guy who carries garbage today, you know, how do we get involved in the conversation about the future, particularly about the future because there’s so many more people or just normal non tech people that are like me and you in Africa, right? So so that was a big push. I’m working on a fund actually, funds for Africa’s future, and basically again, is a vision, is very simple, is basically how do you put prosperity, how do you partner with missionary entrepreneurs to build businesses that put prosperity and focus within the reach of every african, right? And os every day we talk to like 3 entrepreneurs everyday (laughs)
00:55:48: Alejandro: That’s great
00:55:49 Iyinoluwa: Trying to understand their businesses and typically their businesses are media, whether is video or voice, you know, infrastructure of some source in technology or broadcast, I’ve talked to folks in talent development, whether for hospitality, whether is for technology, whether is for devs-ops, you know, whatever it is we talk to folks… infrastructure, they really believe in infrastructure, like you know.. talk like building African cities, there’s a whole different vibes and that should be, we should be able to [can’t understand] African city in a conference for Alejandro’s Broadcast, you know what I mean? I hope you take me up on that cuz I’m going to I’m going to [can’t understand] you…
00:56:30: Alejandro: I’d love that. Any excuse to go over there and [can’t understand] that floor for the first time is…
00:56:40: Iyinoluwa: Yeah, so, you know, I am big on that and I’m thinking about how do you do that? And genuinely people just building ambitious things, you know, I feel like we’ve spent a lot of time [can’t understand] basically [can’t understand] with Andela, Flutterwave, other businesses in the community are building blocks like: this is where we are now, take this [can’t understand] that talking about moonshots as in ecosystems and that was my frustration when I basically quit the game. I felt like I wasn’t doing a lot of moonshots, like I was getting too easy, and people were expecting too little of us and so, for me, like for funds for Africa’s Future for all the stuff that I’m doing now is about how do you like [can’t understand] backing, how do you get to like Elon Musk level in terms of… we’re not trying to build a moon, but we’re really just trying to solve huge problems, like we call them “wicked problems” [can’t understand] in leveraging technology
00:57:35: Alejandro: Wow, and is there a particular sector mind, I know you’ve mention that you’ve been talking to a number of entrepreneurs from a whole array of sectors. Are there sectors that you personally have found that you’re really captured your attention and might be your next creation of another company that’s concentrating, I don’t know, on education, or concentrating on any of those sectors?
00:58:03: Iyinoluwa: It’s really exciting times now, to be honest, I don’t even think I’m gonna be able to do the one, like the one company thing again, not in the sense that I probably build a company platform [can’t understand] but that focus on like different criticals of the same[can’t understand] mostly impact level. I’m very excited about education and all the many ways that fixing education in Africa would mean, throwing away 200 years of [can’t understand] education by default because Africa’s education problem is such that, like I said, is number one millenial population in the world, the vast majority of these young people are not properly educated, they’re not educated for skills, and their economic situation is such that they must live, they must eat, so that forces a whole develop of creativity when it comes to education, [can’t understand] people common for Andela for this, Andela for that, and I’m [can’t understand] in support of that. Another really interesting thing that I’m seeing is diaspora. I told you there’s like 17 millions Africans outside, Nigerians, sorry, who live outside of Nigeria, and Nigeria just… as I say these numbers just keep in mind one in every five Africans is in Nigeria
00:59:26: Alejandro: Wow
00:59:27: Iyinoluwa: Right? So 17 million Nigerians live, some in the US or around the world, quite frankly. That’s the population of Lagos, which is one of the largest metropolis in the world. They send back home collectively [00:59:44.24] Iyinoluwa:5 billions dollars every year, which is a big more than Nigeria makes from [can’t understand] from oil, so this is more than a government [can’t understand] basically
00:59:55: Alejandro: Wow
00:59:58: Iyinoluwa: So, when you see numbers like that you just kinda start to get the skill. I’m sure they’re not sending all the income, they’re probably sending 20% or 30%, so I think that the African diaspora is easily a trillion dollar economy, and so increasingly actively exploring what kind of businesses, and completely under represented in Media, the services that are provided, social networking, culture sensitive, things, is like the latino market, is like building Univision, you know, like whoever built Univision, whoever built Sprint, like people look at those people and said “you’re crazy” [can’t understand] but is like huge diaspora, and I think is the same thing with Africa, there’s a huge diaspora element that’s really, really, [can’t understand] and I’m actively exploring, and then I say thing I’m super excited about is like, you know, I’m really excited about FrameWorks, FrameWorks for developing new brands, because I just think that… just give you a start. just like 400 companies in Africa that make above 500,000 million dollars in revenue, just 400. More than half of these companies are, or close to half of these companies, are in South Africa, which only have population like 15 million people, so the other 56 of the rest are from Nigeria, which has a population of 200 million people, so when you look at that data, between number of valuable companies making 500 million and opportunities size, is like huge opportunities to build more businesses by all means… more huge like, Softbank size businesses. And the question is who’s gonna be able to build infrastructure that delivers those businesses, but is gonna be really revolve around, you know, 60% of the country can identify which is the entire population on their 30
01:02:18: Alejandro: How easy is it to start a business there? If I wanted to create a company in Nigeria, is it a grueling process or…
01:02:26 Iyinoluwa: It’s not that difficult, is like.. to give a take with a good lawyer, 72 hours.
01:02:33: Alejandro: Oh, wow
01:02:34: Iyinoluwa: I don’t wanna like, overshoot expectations but I’ll give it to you
01:02:36: Alejandro: You’re talking within three days, three-four business days
01:02:42: Iyinoluwa: Three business day you’re good
01:02:44: Alejandro: Wow, I didn’t expect that. I thought it would be a lot longer.
01:02:48: Iyinoluwa: No, no, no, it used to be, but then, you know, the government passed something, and that’s one really good thing they did, they passed the Executive 101 which basically assumes approval of any government request beyond 24 hours. Now I’ve told the Vice President many times, and his team, you guys need to build like a SaaS, like a talk to each other platform on this shit, but don’t get there. [can’t understand] easy for you to get responses of the government [can’t understand] and then they have this lady called Ioande Sadiqo which is doing an amazing job in Nigerian Investment Promotion, so she’s like very very, helping solve problems. That problems at government, she shut it down quick. So, they’re getting better, there’s a lot to improve, but I’m not gonna lie, is not [can’t understand], there’s a ot to [can’t understand] but it’s not that bad. For opportunities set… One of the most valuables Africans companies is MTM and a huge [can’t understand] Nigeria is their biggest market. This is like a company that makes millions in Nigeria
01:04:04: Alejandro: After going through baries of these journeys and with Andela, with FlutterWave and a number of organizations that you’ve created for yourself there, what does success mean to you, and how that’s changed
01:04:27: Iyinoluwa: I think over time, it’s change a little bit, but the core is still the same which is the general idea that you’re building something that lasts, but I think I’ve gotten a lot more specific about what it is [can’t understand] and from me, I think what success really mean is like basically building a platform that gives anybody access to opportunities like I say, how to enable people to be able to find purpose and prosperity, right? They should be linked, people should be able to find, make money doing the things they love. That’s the promise of the internet, that’s the promise of technology, and for me, like a huge part of my life work with basically just, how do you build a future with, this is something that just for rich people or something for people who [can’t understand] super high, or something for people from Silicon Valley or for me and you, but it’s something that anybody anywhere has the ability to access, in a really tangible way, particularly people in Africa because if you think about he future of the world, right? Over 60% of the world’s working population come from Africa, so you really have an opportunity to correct some of the ill, of the prior system [can’t understand] where people works in jobs they hated and worked in jobs that didn’t pay well, and didn’t create a lot of values, they were like pawns and they’re sexually harassed at work… to really create a world where machines and human beings work together in terms of that human beings are living a life of both prosperity and purpose.
01:06:24: Alejandro: I love it. Thank you for the time, for sharing your story. Is there anything else that I didn’t ask, we didn’t cover, that you would love to share, anything that’s in your mind?
01:06:39: Iyinoluwa: I mean, I just you know, I know this is a global show so I just encourage more people to just educate themselves in Africa. Like we’ve come a long way from just [can’t understand] emails (both laugh). Nigerian Prince probably isn’t alive anymore (both laugh) and there’s just so much more than Nigerian talent and African talent in general, and take the World by storm, you know? Educate yourself. There’s some really big opportunities in Nigeria [can’t understand] started out with $400,000 of my own money, today I sit in about 12 million dollars of assets in my insurance companies. Like there’s a lot of huge opportunities if you educate yourself, and talk to people who know what they’re talking about [can’t understand] So I think that’s the biggest thing. Nigeria is a whole new world, it’s lectured as the new Latin America in Africa. Africa is literally the next Latin America, a billion people, number one millenial population in the world. Getting yourself educated about the continent and getting active [can’t understand] is literally the best investment you can make if you’re looking to write of the next Latin America, of the next chapter, India [can’t understand], there’s not just Nigerian Prince emails, you know (both laugh)
01:08:18: Alejandro: I think we’re done, we can leave it at that. That’s a great ending (laugh)
01:08:21: Iyinoluwa: Absolutely
01:08:21: Alejandro: Thanks again, man, for the time, so you’re in California
01:08:28: Iyinoluwa: My pleasure. I’m in California. I [can’t understand] I have a family here, so my family stays here but sometimes we go together, I’m in Lagos for next month, for example. I’ll be back here, and [can’t understand] establish a connection between the Bay Area and Nigeria because, folks on talk is too [can’t understand].
01:08:55: Alejandro: How long is that flight?
01:08:58: Iyinoluwa: It’s like… First of all you have to stop in New York, right? And then you take a Delta which is 11 more hours to Lagos
01:09:07: Alejandro: Oh, wow. You [can’t understand] directly to Lagos.
01:09:12: Iyinoluwa: And that’s just Nigeria. If you wanna do Cape Town, good luck, man
01:09:19: Alejandro: Wow. I remember when I went to South Africa I did New York-London, London-South Africa-Johannesburg. YEs that’s long. I look forward to getting the chance to meet up at some point
01:09:39: Iyinoluwa Yeah, man. I’d love to. Are you in the Bay Area?
01:09:47: Alejandro: I am in Redwood City, so, like half an hour
01:09:49: Iyinoluwa: I come out every now and then see the folks at a media who have backed my company twice
01:09:54: Alejandro: The minute you’re in the Area, man, come and have a drink.