Valiu creates opportunities for people to send and receive money internationally. Their goal is to build trust with their customers through a simple and transparent remittances platform designed for their customer’s financial needs. Utilizing a blockchain platform and an expansive network of locations for customers to deposit and receive cash, Valiu is disrupting the international currency transfer market in Latin America. Valiu money senders do not need a bank account. Instead, migrants send money through Valiu’s 20,000 partnering corner shops. Valiu is able to guarantee one hour delivery because they sell crypto to local liquidity providers and by using crypto, Valiu eliminates intermediary fees, which makes their money transfer system extremely cost efficient.
Valiu reports that Latin America’s GDP per capita is 5.3 times the size of India’s, yet venture capital’s investment in Latin America is only 6 percent of India’s. Seeing this region as ripe with opportunity, Valiu launched their app in August 2019 and already has 20,000 payment locations available in over 500 cities in Colombia. Looking ahead, Valiu has secured key partnerships such as joining together with Ripple xCurrent network to become the main channel to send money to Venezuela. This partnership will direct some of the biggest banks and MTOs (like Western Union) to go through the Valiu platform to send money to Venezuela. Furthermore, Valiu intends to partner with Libra as a way to offer a USD savings account using a stable coin to fight the Bolivar hyperinflation both for senders and receivers. They then intend to scale this feature vertically and offer payments and credit.
Potential refugee impact
International money transfers have traditionally been expensive and time consuming, with individuals often paying high fees and waiting days to complete a transaction. Additionally, migrants face a particular disadvantage as many no longer have access to bank accounts, which limits their ability to send money back home. Valiu’s financial services will enable migrants to send funds to their friends and family in their country of origin, which will facilitate an increase in remittances and economic opportunity for those who remain in difficult situations.
Valiu is a financial inclusion start-up based in Bogota, Colombia. They recently graduated from Y Combinator in August 2019.