• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Meet Liyi Victor, innovator simplifying financial solutions for businesses

Meet Liyi Victor, innovator simplifying financial solutions for businesses

In an era where fintech is fast transforming the way we interact with financial services and bringing financial inclusion to the unbanked, Liyi Victor, founder of Gladefinance is dedicated to creating economic prosperity for businesses through access to seamless financial services.

Liyi is also the chief executive of Gladefinance – a Techstars-backed fintech startup powering banking, payments, and streamlining expense management tools for thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses.

Liyi, a seasoned product leader with over a decade of experience in building successful B2B and B2C, was inspired to establish Gladefinance out of personal experience.

“Gladefinance was born out of Liyi’s frustrations with traditional banking,” he says. He felt that banks were slow, expensive, and lacked the transparency and features needed to help businesses thrive.

To address these issues and change the narrative in the Nigerian payment system, he established Gladefinanace in 2020 to offer a more streamlined and entrepreneur-friendly banking experience.

Recognising the complexities and limitations faced by entrepreneurs and small businesses in traditional banking, Liyi took the initial leap to build a solution.

“Our core mission is to simplify banking, payments, and overall financial management for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and businesses to succeed,” he states.

“While many neobanks aim for a one-size-fits-all approach, Gladefinance takes a focused path. We specialise in empowering entrepreneurs, freelancers, and SMEs,” he notes.

“This lesser focus allows us to create solutions that directly address their unique needs – from managing cash flow fluctuations to simplifying expense tracking,” he adds.

He says his initial start-up capital was from his savings and family and friends. Since its establishment, the business has emerged as one of the leading fintechs in Lagos metropolitan.

He notes that the business plans to expand its operations across Africa in the short run. “By 2027, our goal is to become the go-to financial solution for one million SMEs and freelancers across Africa, the UK, and Europe.”

“We are actively seeking strategic partnerships to broaden our infrastructure and product offerings and expand our footprint across other markets. This strategy will allow us to leverage existing expertise and enter new markets more efficiently.”

Also, in the long run, the business plans to diversify its offerings. “Recent initiatives like launching a multi-currency account and cross-border payment indicate a move towards becoming a one-stop shop for all entrepreneurs, freelancers, and SME financial needs.”

Speaking on the challenges confronting the business, he says building trust in a crowded market and navigating the regulatory maize has remained a big problem for the industry.

On how Gladefinance is addressing the issues, he says the business is carving out a niche by focusing on SMEs and freelancers, adding that it is also offering solutions specifically tailored to their needs.

“We’re building trust and becoming the go-to expert for these customers. They’re the backbone of our economy and deserve financial services that truly understand them,” he notes.

In addition, he says, “Every market has its financial regulations – a complex puzzle to solve. We have a strong team of compliance experts to help us navigate this landscape, but we also rely on valuable partnerships with established financial institutions. These partnerships provide guidance and help us secure the licences needed to operate smoothly across borders.”

Liyi sees Nigeria’s fintech landscape as brimming with potential. “It’s a market ripe for disruption and poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of finance in Africa and globally.”

“I’ve been particularly fascinated by the explosion of Nigeria’s fintech scene. Having witnessed similar trends in other markets, I see some unique strength here,” he says.

“Nigeria boasts a booming population, a high mobile phone and internet penetration rate, and a large unbanked population—all key ingredients for fintech success,” he explains.

On his advice to other entrepreneurs, Liyi with a background in computer engineering and an MBA in business administration and management says, “Find your why, you’re your customers, and embrace agility.”

“Passion fuels perseverance, identifies a problem you truly care about solving and doesn’t build in a vacuum,” he says.

“Talk to your target audience, understand their struggles, and build solutions that truly address them. Remember, it’s about them, not you,” he advises.