[Interview] Daniel Ishola, Co-Founder, Safetrader, Nigeria
What does the company do?
Safetrader is an AI powered escrow service startup, established with the aim of providing safety and safeguarding trust of parties to a business transaction in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.
At Safetrader, we use machine learning through a chatbot with the aim of providing a system where business can be transacted with peace of mind, trust and without fear. We do this by acting as a trusted third party who ensures that all parties are held accountable to the terms of the agreement they entered in the course of transacting any business, and ensuring that in the case of a breach, settlements are made amicably.
It is our mission to ensure that every legitimate business person on any side of a transaction is properly protected from other mallicious business persons.
Who are your clients?
Our client include individuals, MSMEs, corporate bodies within Nigeria and in the diaspora.
How is the company funded?
We are currently running on funds from an angel investor and our personal seed capital.
What are Safetrader's unique selling points?
Safety and trustworthiness. Safetrader was started out of genuine concern for the general safety of members of socieity who use their legitimate monies to trade. We realised that the prevailing existence of fraud, needed to be checked as it accounts for loss of revenue to one or all parties involved in a business or trade agreement. We therefore designed a system that guarantees trust and provides cushion of safety to enable smooth and hitch free transactions both online and offline.
How has the market received your services?
The response has been an encouraging one. A lot of people have come to know, trust and believe in our service, its effeciency, timeliness and general performance. The testimonies are there on our various social media pages. The numbers are looking good and consistently growing albeit believing there is still work to be done.
What are ambitions of Safetrader?
On the national front, we are looking to become the household name and the go-to company when it comes to safety and security in commerce. We hope to be the game changer, the narrative changer with respect to transacting with Nigerians internationally. We hope to make Nigerian businesses and business owners attractive and trustworthy to completely eradicate the fear factor associated with dealing with our countrymen internationally.
The local and international markets are huge and laden with opportunities. We are taking it a country at a time. A day at a time.
What does Safetrader need to grow and prosper?
Advert spend/funding. An increased advertising budget would lead to an increase number of users, and that we need to grow. Even at our curent appreciable growth rate, we have the feeling that our system is still being underutilised, primarily because many people are unaware of our unique service.
The system is in place to accomodate more users, we have the required level of funding we need at the moment to accomadate them (users). So its an increased funding in the area of adverts and promotions we are in need of.
In what direction is the company going this year?
For much part of our early development, it has been about fine tuning the service and we are now convinced that the priority for 2019 is to expand further and grow the number of users both nationally and beyond the shores of Nigeria. We intend to achieve this through increased expenditure in the area of advertisement and sensitization, an area we have neglected before.
We are also looking at collaborating with more businesses that would require our services regurlarly in line with the kind of operations they carry out.
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