Financial inclusion startup Servicoo hopes to democratise access to blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Africa through the launch of its first smart wallet.
The S-Wallet was developed by Servichain co-founder Kouamé Niamkey to provide easy access to blockchain services, especially for unbanked customers, who can use it for financial services, remittances services, and make instantaneous, low cost international transfers.
The European AML/KYC compliant app, which will be officially launched from Luxembourg in October 2022, allows for secure token storage and can connect to any platform thanks to an API.
“If you want your business to interact with Blockchain services, or other technology, you can plug your business or platform into our API, and have the benefits,” Niamkey told Silicon.
A native of the Ivory Coast, Niamkey studied in France and the USA and worked in the energy and finance sectors before co-founding Servicoo, a French IT services company.
It was while advising customers on the many applications and advantages of blockchain technology that came the seed of the idea of the S-Wallet.
“We already have an important partner in West Africa that would allow us to have a quick presence in more than 10 countries.”Kouamé Niamkey, co-founder of Servichain
Niamkey said: “I was trying to build the simplest app that will connect any platform, any business, or any person to the blockchain”.
In 2022, the entrepreneur launched Servichain in Luxembourg to bring the S-Wallet to market. He is convinced that the app can help achieve his personal mission: to fight poverty in Africa.
“We are targeting a market of 1.4 billion people because in Africa more than half of the population has no bank account but the people there know how to use mobile phones,” he said, adding: “This solution will allow them to have an identity on the mobile app to interact with other platforms. With the benefits of the backend technology, they will save costs and make things faster.”
In addition to the official app launch in October, the firm will begin selling its own governance tokens with utility, as part of the benefits and rewards it offers to people who use the app.
To fund the strategy, the co-founder has just begun an €800,000 fundraising round. He also plans to raise €2.2m in a second round in 2023. Both rounds will help the firm onboard marketers and developers.
“Roughly 50% of the fundraising tool will be used for the salaries, roughly 20% for marketing and 20% for R&D. The rest we will use for servers and also to create a company in West Africa,” says Niamkey, adding: “We already have an important partner in West Africa that would allow us to have a quick presence in more than 10 countries.”
The long-term goal is to develop partnerships to embed the technology with the big finance and remittance players.