This week we are very lucky to talk to Oladimeji, the founder of Space Evolution and successful Amazon entrepreneur. Living in Nigeria, Oladimeji has just repaid his first Bitbond loan 4 months early. Today we’re catching up with him to hear how the loan impacted his business, and why he has decided to go for another small business loan on Bitbond.
1) Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Oladimeji. Could you start off by introducing yourself and telling us about your business?
Hello Everyone. My name is Oladimeji, I live in Nigeria, I own the Space Evolution brand and my company sells bags and cases on Amazon.com. I have been doing this successfully since 2015 and will say am now in the growth stage of my business
2) Did you find it difficult to start your own business where you are located? What was the most difficult about it?
Interestingly, starting my business was not difficult because I had an experienced mentor to guide me. I think that really helped me to generate consistent revenue in my business. The real challenge has been raising enough capital and transferring money across different countries.
I live in Nigeria, I have to pay my manufactures/inspectors in China and receive payments in the United States. Exchange rates, bank wires are not straight forward like using Bitcoin and can be expensive. I did not know a lot about Bitcoin before I started my business, so discovering Bitbond was a big part of getting educated about Bitcoin and it’s uses.
3) Could you tell our readers about the loan you got on Bitbond and how it impacted your business?
About 2 months ago I was able to get a loan of $1300 on Bitbond. It was funded in about 3 to 4 days and amazingly I was able to withdraw the funds to my local bank account in a few minutes. Bitbond’s integration with Bitpesa is really flawless and the rates offered are very competitive. The money came at the right moment.
I already had inventory in production so these funds gave me more liquidity to speed up the production and the shipping process. I was able to get my products faster to Amazon, sales took off because I had the right experience on how to select the right product and promote them.
Sales were great and that made it easy to pay off my 6 months loan in just 2 months. I think the greatest benefit I had was the cash flow that helped to move things along faster. I intend to use the same strategy for my new loan. My next product is already in production and the additional funds from this loan will make things fast enough to catch ‘prime day’ on Amazon. Prime day is a huge sakes opportunity and comparable to Black Friday sales.
4) What made you choose Bitbond for your small business financing?
I chose Bitbond because the interest rate was great compared to what I could get locally. Interest rates are really high locally and getting loans with the right terms can be difficult. I was also hoping that I would be able to pay my manufactures directly either using Bitcoin or a Bitcoin backed Debit card.
If I had achieved that, I would have saved a lot of money on transfer fees and exchange rates but it did not work out. I was not able to successfully get a bitcoin debit card that could be issued to Nigeria.
5) What tips would you give small business owners for their business, and for getting a loan on Bitbond?
Investors on Bitbond need to be able to trust you. I initially I started out requesting for $10,000.00 for 36 months but could not get up to 20% funding. I had to lower the amount I requested to $1300 for 6 months and got 100% funding in a couple of days. My advice to small business owners is to start with a small amount. Tell people about your business and give a clear and workable plan on how you will repay the loan. Investors prefer to go for small amounts, say under $2000 with a short tenure, say 6 to 12 months.
If your first loan application is not successful, don’t be discouraged. Just listen to the feedback you get from investors, make changes and try again. It’s also important to answer questions about your loan as quickly as possible.
6) What part of the process does Bitbond need to work on? What would you like to see us introduce?
Bitbond is doing a great job. I think people who need a loan greater than $3000 will find it more difficult to get funding on Bitbond. If borrowers had greater flexibility in determing the loan tenure, I think it will help encourage investors to fund higher denominated loans.
If Bitbond could also introduce deal makers who can kick start funding on the higher denominated loans, it would help ease the process. Another great thing to introduce will be a Bitcoin debit card. This will add more flexibility to the Bitbond platform.
7) Have you used other sources of financing and how does Bitbond compare to them?
I have not used other sources but I have done research on them. So far Bitbond seems to be the platform that’s the most dynamic. The main difference is the use of Bitcoin. It’s makes accessibility really easy. The support on Bitbond is also top notch.
8) What do you think the future holds for bitcoin? Is your society aware of bitcoin?
I think Bitcoin adoption will continue to grow. Since I started using Bitcoin after my Bitbond experience, I have discovered lots of local bitcoin exchanges in my country. I have also met lots of people who buy and sell Bitcoin. The most interesting local Bitcoin community I discovered operates on a What’s App group . Its a Semi formal platform to link buyers and sellers together to exchange Bitcoin. Its amazing that for a small group of about 70 people, there is lots of liquidity, and daily transactions can reach as high as $20,000.00.
The group is managed by an Administrator. Sellers and buyers post their offers in the chat group to initiate transactions with interested members. Transactions can be concluded directly or through an escrow service that is coordinated by the group Admin. This is just one of many groups that I have learnt exist. Really Bitcoin awareness is huge and am sure will keep growing.
Thank you very much for talking to us Oladimeji. It’s been excellent hearing about Space Evolution’s growth and the exciting times ahead for you. Investors who want to back Oladimeji can still invest in his small business loan for a limited amount of time.
Thanks for reading and see you on the platform.