Black Tech Founder Details Journey from Extreme Poverty to Closing $1.6 Million Funding for App

In the eyes of entrepreneur Abbey Wemimo, there’s nothing he feels he can’t overcome.

That’s because he knows what it’s like to have very little, compete with the best and still come out on top. His winning secret, is simply knowing his stuff.

“They can rip everything away from you,” the entrepreneur said to Atlanta Black Star, “but they can’t rip your mind.”

Samir Goel (left) and Abbey Wemimo founded savings and investment apps Esusu and closed a $1.6 million seed round. (Photo by Esusu)

He and co-founder Samir Goel started a set of savings and credit building apps dubbed Esusu Savings and Esusu Rent that in August 2019 closed a $1.6 million seed round.

“With the support of our strategic investors and partners, Esusu is poised for unprecedented growth and ready to scale to serve the millions of Americans struggling to save and create a financial identity,” Wemimo said in an earlier statement.

The way Esusu works is by repackaging group savings and rent payments as forms of borrowing that could help improve users’ credit scores.

The name itself actually is a Yoruba word used to describe informal savings and credit associations for mutual benefit in traditional African societies.

“We create an agreement to save, and that’s seen in the eyes of the law as a debt obligation,” Wemimo explained.

Through the app, he and his co-founder work with landlords and renters to record rent payments and savings as debt obligations.

“Our system combined over 4,000 regulations to make sure data is accurately reported,” Wemimo said. 

He came up with the idea for his app when his family, anchored by a single mom of three, struggled to afford his education.

Wemimo, always having been an A student, got into some of the top schools in Lagos, Nigeria, where he’s from. But unlike the children of prominent ministers and doctors he went to school with, Wemimo said his family “had nothing.”

Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.

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