The great unbundling of Fnbox, and how it became RecargaPay.
There are times when an opportunity is so big that everything else pales by comparison. On rare occasions, purpose, impact, product market fit, team, market size and the right timing for disruption coincide. This is when the magic happens, and this is our story.
We have completed a two year transformation at Fnbox to become 100% focused on our biggest opportunity: RecargaPay. When growth is this strong, the decision is not very hard. :)
With +1 million paying mobile customers, this journey has just begun. Welcome RecargaPay!
DEFINITION OF ‘UNBUNDLING’: A process by which a large company with several different lines of business retains one or more core businesses and sells off the remaining assets, product/service lines, divisions or subsidiaries. Unbundling is done for a variety of reasons, but the goal is always to create a better performing company or companies.
Fnbox was a Latin American company builder. It built the largest regional Social Network, Sonico.com, reaching 55 Million registered users and was sold to Match/IAC in 2014. It created a telecommunications company called Tarjetastelefonicas.com that sold millions of calling cards to over 150 countries. It absorbed a “group buying” company called Cuponica.com, grew it by 20X and later sold it to Clickon. It built Recarga.com and turned it into the largest mobile top-up business in Latin America, which we are now renaming RecargaPay because it will be much more than just topups.
Building Fnbox has been an incredible adventure of accomplished objectives and immense learning, where we tested ourselves, rode the emotional roller coaster of entrepreneurship, raised capital, sold businesses, and closed others. Along the way we earned some accolades including Great Place to Work, Young Global Leader, MIT Innovator Under 35 and were also honored to share our story at Stanford & MIT.
Over the past 2 years we have undergone a huge transformation. We’ve been very quiet, busy cranking out our product, scaling, designing, building our team and above all unbundling our company to become RecargaPay… we now believe it is time to get the word out. :)
- August 2014: Sonico was sold to Match.com/IAC
- December 2014: Raised a Series A extension of $600K in FundersClub
- March 2015: Cuponica & Cupoint were sold to Clickon
- March 2015: Raised a convertible note of $1.3MM on AngelList
- August 2015: Recarga.com was rebranded to RecargaPay
We have also strengthened our management team with Diego Escobar as CFO, formerly Strategic Planning and Investor Relations at Mercadolibre and Patricio D’amato as CMO, formerly Product Manager of Pagosmiscuentas.
WHAT IS RECARGAPAY ?
RecargaPay is top ups and bill payments for the mobile generation.
The main problem we are solving is the +20min that most people in Latin America spend in lines to pay for airtime or utilities, when they could be transacting on their mobile in 10 seconds. This happens billions of times a year. The second problem is that access to smartphones largely exceeds banked population, which means that many are left out of the convenience of mobile payments, due to a lack of access to digital payments.
RecargaPay is already the leading mobile prepaid top-up platform in Brazil and Latin America, (with over 1 million mobile customers), and it is now expanding into utility bill payments and financial services for the unbanked.
We are backed by VC funds (DN Capital) and by a select group of notable angel investors such as Fabrice Grinda, Martin Varsavsky, Jose Marin, Peter Kellner, Romero Rodrigues and more than +100 investors through the crowd-funding platforms AngelList and FundersClub.
- That we live in an era of constant disruption, vast opportunities, and ample liquidity to be put at the service of new ideas.
- That a smartphone per person is just a matter of time and that all industries will be disrupted as a consequence.
- That small interdisciplinary teams, committed to solving complex problems at scale, have the best chances at deep and positive impact.
- That the financial industry is in the midst of a major disruption and we will lead by democratizing financial services at scale.
Technology has been our weapon of choice to solve everyday problems and to distribute them to the masses. We are a team of engineers, designers, scientists, artists, economists, number crunchers, A/B testers.. but above all we are a BOLD and PASSIONATE group of individuals with vast experience building companies and products on the basis of these convictions. ALL aiming to make life easier through applied technology.
On a personal note, I have so much to be grateful for and this would be an endless post if I named everyone who has helped me/us along the way. So on this occasion I just want to thank those who stood beside me during hard times (read the struggle ). In particular my business partners Alvaro Teijeiro & Gustavo Victorica, whom we’ve worked together for over 10 years now and have built this company together. I also want to thank Fabrice Grinda & Jose Marin, who have believed in us and backed us up unwaveringly from our first raise up to the present. A huge thanks to our small - but mighty - team that has proven to be outstanding many times over. Finally, but most importantly, I want to thank my wife, who has felt the brunt of entrepreneurship and has always been loving and supportive about it. Fortunately I have learned how to improve as a husband and father. :)
Now off to building RecargaPay; energized and focused with a ton of experience under our belt, but with a vast amount of things yet to be learned and disrupted!
Saludos & feel free to send any feedback to email@example.com
PS: By the way, we are hiring, if you are passionate about making a difference and changing people’s lives through mobile while disrupting the financial industry, join us @ recargapay.com/jobs . We are a US company but our development is done in Buenos Aires, you’ll have an adventure of a lifetime! :)