Success in 2018 propels Airfox into 2019 and beyond
A look at what Airfox achieved in 2018 and what to expect moving forward
Happy New Year! The Airfox team wants to wish everyone a prosperous 2019.
2018 was packed with monumental accomplishments and announcements. From successfully launching the Airfox mobile app in Brazil to being named a top blockchain startup by TechCrunch and settling with the SEC to releasing a new white paper, the past year was one to remember. We will carry this momentum into 2019 as we focus on our partnerships, user growth, and new platform features.
Here are some of the many highlights from 2018:
Successfully launched in Brazil
In February, Airfox introduced its free Android app to the millions of Brazilians who are unbanked. Equipped with essential financial services that allow users to make purchases, pay bills, and even apply for loans, the Airfox platform is designed to increase financial inclusion. Since the launch, over 15,000 people have engaged with the app. With new partnerships, we expect that number to swell in 2019.
The Airfox app grants Brazilians an enormous amount of economic mobility and added control over their finances. Setting up an Airfox account takes just a few minutes; and because we’re planning to build the platform on blockchain technology, we expect to offer more affordable rates, reduced transfer fees, and source capital for loans from around the world.
Recognition for hard work is always a satisfying experience. That’s why we were honored to be named a Top Blockchain Startup at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco. Just a few months later, Airfox was also awarded Best Overall Startup and Startup with the Best Business Plan by CODE_n at the new.New Festival in Stuttgart.
Our CEO and co-founder Victor Santos was also recognized by MIT Technology Review as a 2018 Innovator Under 35 in Latin America. Highlighting individuals whose technical work promises to shape the coming decades, Victor was selected for his dedication to accelerating financial inclusion through technology.
Each award reinforces our vision of providing financial services to those who need it most. When we began this journey, we knew that there was a tremendous need for the services we now offer, but did not foresee such a positive response from our targeted markets and the global technology community. These prestigious awards inspire us to continue building the solution that will bring financial inclusion to all.
Major retail partnership
Perhaps our biggest accomplishment in 2018 was signing a strategic partnership with Brazilian retailer Via Varejo. This collaboration allows Airfox to extend its mobile digital wallet to Via Varejo’s enormous national customer base and drive mainstream adoption. Customers are able to deposit and withdraw money at any Casas Bahia store and pay their Casas Bahia CDC “carnês” bill directly through the Airfox app via mobile phone.
Over the past year, the Airfox team has grown 5x; we’ve been hiring in key departments like marketing, product engineering, and operations. Changes to our executive team in 2018 included:
- Former HSBC and PayPal Executive Gustavo Ribeiro named new president of Airfox Brazil.
- Don Andrade hired as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to help with Form 10 filing of AirToken.
- Emanuel Moecklin promoted to Chief Technology Officer (CTO) overseeing the engineering team.
2019 and beyond
Our roadmap for the coming year will capitalize on 2018’s momentum:
Continue rolling out the Airfox Mobile app in more Via Varejo stores
With the initial pilot off and running, we will gather feedback from stores to improve the training process and implementation as we expand to more locations throughout 2019. We plan to be operational at an additional 28 stores around February, and eventually accessible in all 676 Casas Bahia stores across Brazil.
As Airfox rolls out in more stores, we expect scaling user numbers to rapidly accelerate algorithmic improvement and alternative credit scoring development opportunity.
We believe that everyone should have access to the services that make our hectic lives more efficient, regardless of whether you have a bank account. Airfox plans to add modern services like Uber, Netflix, and Spotify to the platform — without requiring a credit card or bank account for usage. Having been around only since the start of the century, such transformative services are already woven into everyday life, and Airfox will expand access to them.
Additionally, we plan to roll out a prepaid Airfox debit card, which is safer than carrying large amounts of cash, and alleviates users from worry about paying a credit card bill or falling into debt. In Brazil, this feature will be extremely beneficial to the millions who lack traditional credit history.
2019 will also bring new strategic partnerships for Airfox to expand app functionality and increase the number of locations where it can be used.
Over the course of the past year, the Airfox team has accomplished more than we could have imagined. 2019 promises to be a year for new milestones as we continue to build the platform that brings millions into the digital age. We can’t wait to share what’s on the horizon!
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