Addi: Enabling digital commerce in Latin America
Santiago Suarez is the CEO and co-founder of Addi, a Latin American fintech company. Addi promotes and enables digital commerce in Latin America. Addi’s mission is to enable every Latin American to buy and shop digitally. Originally from Colombia, Santiago moved to the USA for pursuing his education. After university and working in the finance industry, he decided to move back to LatAm. In an interview, he speaks on his background in financial services, and how it helped him become an entrepreneur. Excerpts:
Conception of Addi
There are two main factors that constantly reinforce our market opportunity, observes Santiago. “The first one is the lack of financial inclusion in Latin America, in which 80%+ of the population has a smartphone and internet access and less than 60% have a bank account. The second one is the awful payment experience we face when trying to shop, especially online.” He adds that in the absence of a safe and quick payment method, the founders decided to design a solution which will help clients with an easy, fun and flexible checkout experience. “A system where they can choose how they want to pay, be approved in less than two minutes and without giving their information all the time, where and whenever they want.”
Fintech – Bolstering innovating and growth
“There are three main key points: build great foundations, focus and deliver.” If the companies work on a daily basis on these three pillars, they will be able to face most of the challenges.
Noting that great foundations are key to building robust team, capable of learning and improving, this entrepreneur says no matter how fast things change and evolve only having great foundations is not enough. “The hyper-growth brings complexity that makes it harder to prioritize and identify what will bring results. Finally, it won’t matter how much you learn, develop and focus, if you cannot deliver. “Tracking down your goals and KPIs and making sure your team is bringing the performance you need is also the final and most important piece – which is easier when you have focus and the right people and process in place.”
Addi- The solutions offered
“Our main goal is to give an easy, fun and flexible way to pay. That’s why our product is designed to offer multiple options for our clients, where they can choose the best way to pay for them: all at once, in 4, 6, 12, 24 installments.” Noting that the option provides flexibility, without any interest or costs and the company also provides an easy way to control their spend limits, payment dates and payment method all by the app, Santiago adds, “We’ve built a community of loyal shoppers that can take advantage of their credit extension to buy what they always wanted before they could ever imagine.”
“Transparency, integrity and focus. These are also values that we share within our company.” In his view, success is a result of being able to commit and deliver what you promise, always focusing on the things that matter most, it is also about the ability of letting go, to prioritize.
“By letting go. This is business. There is more to life than business. We should also know that the fear will always be there. What matters is not that the fear goes away. What matters is that we act in the face of it.”
He urges fintech startups to watch out for consumer behavior. “Our clients are changing faster than ever seen before. All fintech leaders are constantly aware of market changes, innovation development and new technologies coming our way, but it doesn’t matter how much you know about all of this, if you don’t understand how this can change and shape consumers tastes, habits and preferences.”