Paolo Rizzi Cofounder and the CTO of an amazing project called minu. Has over 20 years of professional experience in software engineering, product development combined with an entrepreneurial spirit that led him to create successful start-ups in 7 countries between Europe and America, including business failures, which gave him great lessons about how to take today better organizational decisions.
He is a pioneer in the e-Commerce industry began his journey at the age of mere 19 years when he Co-founded his first company which at its peak came to be listed on the Italian Stock Exchange. Additionally, in 1999 he introduced the world’s first mobile auction platform for feature phones and his e-commerce technology was successfully implemented by such clients as A.C. Milan and the Vatican. He was invited to Mexico in 2012 to develop a fraud prevention system for banks using ML for prediction models. In 2013 he was a co-founder of social entrepreneurship whose mission was to provide key potential solutions for millions of Mexicans who commute to and from work daily, this platform was the first worldwide in geolocates the supply and demand of employment opportunities throughout Mexico. After few years of working in the corporate environment, he decided to join the minu venture with the vision of becoming a key component in the solution of a new challenge of great social impact that ultimately will improve the financial health of millions of Mexicans.
minu is an employee financial wellness company. It solves employee’s lack of liquidity between paychecks and reduces the level of indebtedness by offering them instant and 24/7 access to their earned wages when the employees need them, without having to wait for payday. As a business model, they apply a fixed commission of 39 pesos per withdrawal (it is neither credit nor loan), providing employees the peace of mind that the money will be available 24/7 and instantly deposited to their payroll account or card. minu was born as in Mexico the 75 percent of workers live from paycheck to paycheck and have no savings, and 71 percent are stressed about their financial climate waiting anxiously for their payday. 33 percent regularly get a loan to cover their recurring expenses, 73 percent have requested a loan from banks or relatives, which involves uncertainty in response time and deficiencies, creating a vicious circle due to an eternal debt with high bank rates.
Paolo states that nowadays the software created for all the devices that surround us impact radically our lives, the huge amount of data generated and exchanged on a daily basis, has allowed entrepreneurs to create extraordinary companies that in conjunction with the Internet generates interesting challenges, He mentioned three of them.
According to Paolo as a company minu need to take care and protect the data of their users, which contains personal and transactional information, making all this very attractive for cyber attackers. Maintaining the highest standards in terms of cybersecurity is a great challenge for all technology companies, especially when like minu, the services you offer are Fintech related.
With the Internet, the possibility of being able to reach millions of users brings with it the great challenge of being able to scale the computing and storage power of their systems. From the early days of minu, this problem was very clear to him, it allowed today to have a very elegant solution, which is evolving continuously, where the exponential growth of users does not represent a major concern for their tech architecture.
Paolo always likes to say that companies are made of people, as last but not least, another very important challenge is to find the best talent in order to plan, execute and bring to life a product with excellent quality and prove its market fit. In general, it has been very difficult to find very talented team members, the search and selection process can take weeks of work and dedication that does not ensure the expected result, developing an attractive compensation package is complex and expensive, but today after a year and half of activities minu is team of 40+ people, very talented, who have managed to create a unique product in its market niche in Mexico. They keep looking for the best talent and this will probably always be one of their biggest challenges.
“Being able to do what I really love and I`m passionate about, is one of my major achievements, I had the opportunity of creating startups over 7 different countries and today being with minu contributing improving the financial health of millions of Mexicans it’s simply amazing!” Said Paolo In minu his experience helped in building one of the best tech teams in a matter of weeks, having a beautiful and scalable product in less than a month and half, which allowed them to prove their market fit and still maintain the flag of first movers in offer this service of salary on demand.
Paolo loves sharing experience with others through mentorships, he try to help young entrepreneurs in understanding how to shape their ideas in order to go to market. One of his goals is being able to focus his career in helping companies and individuals succeed. As a company, he sees minu as one of the first movements that made it possible to see what today is known as salary day, everyday! (Salary on demand)
Comments on current industry scenario.
When The Tycoon Magazine contacted and asked him about his opinion on current industy scenario Paolo States that. “Fintechs and all the startup world in México in those last 5 years has been growing a lot, if we only think that just 15 years ago in Mexico the entrepreneurial ecosystem had no much visibility from foreigner VC’s, Angel Investors, Incubators, etc. which made it very hard to raise moneys! Today things changed a lot. minu achieved to close in its first Q of activities a seed round of 6M USD from VC’s and Angels, many of our close friends of the industry have been closing serie A, B and C of bigger amounts that catalyzed an immediate interest from VC’s on a global scale which thanks to human talent, financing, performance and market reach converted CDMX in an ideal place to host startup ecosystems with high potential. During 2019 the Fintech sector has already overcome the barrier of 400 startups, Mexicans are great early adopters of those innovative platforms as fintechs are seen as an opportunity to reduce operating costs and maximize efficiency over traditional banking. The Interbank Electronic Payment System (SPEI), which is the payment infrastructure of Banco de México has been incredibly helpful as bank transfers are performed within 30 seconds after the operation is confirmed. Due to the Covid-19 the first semester of 2020 has slowed down most of the economy, we know that the impact of the pandemic will vary from country to country and it will most likely increase poverty and inequalities at a global scale, with minu we have the mission of improving the financial health of millions of Mexicans with the hope that employees can benefit of our services in those difficult moments.”
Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs
Paolo Said that Being an entrepreneur and having the opportunity to be actively involved in the startups ecosystem, sharing stories, meeting incredible people with bizarre ideas that will probably turn into great ventures, represents a journey full of learning, sacrifices, failures, and great joys, it is a journey where there will always be something to do! finding the correct balance is the greatest recommendation I can give, we must learn to live the journey and not only think about the final destination, learn to listen to people, motivate them and cultivate your passions.