A lot of “projects” in the blockchain/crypto/DeFi space rest on the background of their team. They’ll go on a barnstorming tour of crypto-shilling cliches without ever proving their product or building an application that can be used by anyone in the real world before their token sale.
As a team of developers and builders (or BUIDLers, if you will), with a proven track record of execution, we wanted to take a slightly different route. We started off our Xend Finance blog with posts about our technology and our product because that’s what is most important to us. Our investors and supporters — including Binance and Google — have given us the opportunity to put our heads down and BUIDL the first DeFi platform for credit unions and cooperatives. We are committed to creating real-world value and having a strategy that focuses on users, as opposed to just crypto-shilling.
With that said, we do know it’s important to know the team as well, so we are taking a moment to introduce the early team and founders, all of whom are also dedicated to the development of the African tech ecosystem and economy.
Ugochukwu Aronu, Co-Founder and CEO
A serial entrepreneur, Ugo, short for Ugochukwu, has founded several companies that helped African businesses and banks scale and monetize online. Previously, Ugo worked for KPMG Nigeria performing vulnerability assessment and penetration tests on systems of financial institutions. The experience performing these tests gave Ugo critical background and infrastructure insight to start Xend Finance.
Although, this isn’t his first foray into blockchain development. In 2017, Ugo built a Crypto wallet from scratch that supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Derivatives, Ethereum, and other ERC20 tokens. The wallet is still currently being used in the backend of numerous exchanges and supports the Xend crypto wallet system. The following year he developed a peer-to-peer internet sharing platform for the purpose of decentralizing control of internet access. This system was developed to run on mobile, as well as the firmware for routers on the Linux embedded development environment.
Ugo studied at The University of Nigeria, where he built a home automation system. The design has the highest reads in the history of research papers from the University. He worked on this project with Chima, now the CTO of Xend Finance, and together they would work on a project for Chibuike before they all decided to start Xend Finance together.
Chima Abafor, CTO
As the CTO of Xend Finance, Chima has known Ugo for over 10 years, starting with their time studying together at The University of Nigeria. Chima majored in Electronic Engineering and, together with Ugo, developed the widely-read home automation system.
Chima previously worked at Chevron as a Facilities Engineer while still in school, where he got hands-on experience in project management. He would go on to work on other projects with Ugo across different industries including E-commerce, Transportation (Ride Sharing, Online Ticket Bookings), Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, building software, and also consulting for high-growth African firms. He has extensive knowledge of software development concepts and a creative aptitude for new product development and project management.
Emmanuel Okoro, Operations Lead and Community Manager
Emmanuel studied at the University of Nigeria with Ugo and Chima and worked together on different projects upon graduation, before traveling to Finland to further his studies on IoT and Blockchain.
It was during this period in 2017 that he became involved with Bitcoin and Blockchain before introducing it to Ugo. Emmanuel also worked as Operations Lead for Blockchain projects like Cryptobarons game and Switchwallet, connecting teams from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland with the Nigerian team and ensuring smooth operations and delivery of project objectives and releases (https://www.f6s.com/veikkohara).
Since the inception of Xend Finance, Emmanuel has been fully engaged in building, managing, and expanding our communities.
Kevin Leu, CMO
Kevin joined the team after an introduction through Kenzi Wang of AU21, one of our investors. He brings deep international experience, having spent the last 15 years working out of Silicon Valley. Previously, he served as Head of Communication and PR of Huobi’s North America operations.
Before entering the Blockchain/Crypto space, he has led Marketing and/or PR efforts for several venture-backed tech companies, including Tubi TV, which was acquired by Fox Corp. this year for $440M, MerchantCircle (acquired for $60M in 2011), and for the international non-profit Girls in Tech.
Nweke Chukwuemeka, Blockchain Engineer and Full-Stack Developer
Nweke is a computer science graduate from Nnamdi Azikiwe University. He has worked on some interesting projects in healthcare, supply chains, the blockchain and more recently in the payment space. He specializes in designing distributed systems, Blockchain projects, and is very experienced in writing solidity smart contracts. He has also provided technical advice for different teams on how best to scale their blockchain solutions.
Nwanze Franklin, Mobile/DevOps Engineer
Nwanze designs scalable, reliable, highly available, and fault-tolerant systems as well as manage the running, deployment, and intercommunication between these systems. He started his software journey while in school and mostly learned through competitive programming and solving algorithmic challenges. As a solution-driven software Engineer, he loves innovation and gets tired of solving easy problems. While in school he led his team to several IEEE Xtreme competitions.
At Xend, he works with the teams building the mobile app as well as DevOps.
Chibuzo Emmanuel, Product Designer
Chibuzo is an experienced Visual Designer, Product Designer/UI-UX, and Graphic Designer. Passionate about improving communication, information, usability, and interaction in digital products.
These are just some of the key members of our team, but we are grateful to have them on board. We pride ourselves on execution and meeting deliverables. Follow our latest updates on Twitter and Telegram.
CTO of Xend Finance