Mogadishu, Somalia. Who would think that the vision of our founders all began in Mogadishu? Amazingly, the story begins there (while surrounded by AK-47’s) but includes a huge amount of perseverance, hard work, networking, experience and a lot of time and money. There were the camels, monkeys, elephants. The terrorists and security teams, the good friends and family, and oh yeah….probably a bit of luck to get us to where we are today.
But we digress. So while on site in Somalia, circa 2014, the founders couldn’t help but take notice of a few glaring facts. Firstly, that practically everyone had a cell phone, no matter their financial capacity. The second was that economies were significantly hindered by lack of certain basic functions, such as commerce and banking. A little research revealed that over 70% of the Worlds population was either unbanked or underbanked, a profound figure that still resonates with the founders to this day. Imagine the lost economics. Image how it could be improved. It was obvious to them that there needed to be an answer for these underserved peoples. They envisioned the positive effects that Global Mate (www.TheGlobalMate.com) could have on these people and the economic benefits to their developing economies. To them, the smart phone was obviously the core tool to make it happen. But where to start?
Untold past experiences and relationships would yield several concepts being rolled out, ranging from prepaid bank cards (what are now known as Milo Mate Bank Cards) and to a variety of other apps. Just as one set of answers began to take shape, a whole other set of challenges began to emerge; connectivity, reasonable fees, dependable hardware, dependable people, educating the participants, etc. etc.. Many a meeting was had around the world, London, Philippines, India, Mexico (15 countries total) where players in tech and banking, executives to regulators, were queried for answers . Not surprisingly, they all suggested these obstacles could not be overcome….at any price. But the founders were not to be derailed. “No” and “Can’t” are never considered an option for the determined founders of Global Mate. There is one particular story about an App that was of interest to our company, but the app owner demanded several hundred thousand dollars, which was far above its value and the startup didn’t have that kind of money anyway. As luck would have it, an alternative and even better App was found the very next day for virtually nothing. See, we told you there was a little luck involved. Anyway, that determination and continued effort began to give way to one solution after another.
The first was Global Connect, a worldwide footprint of wifi hotspots, nearly 80 million strong, to enable cost effective connectivity for our customers. But now, how to communicate over this new found connectivity? After much trial and error, globetrotting, meeting after meeting, our Global Dial App was born (www.myglobaldial.com). Now, with only wifi, anyone can call any device or landline, anywhere in the world and at the lowest possible cost, including unlimited calling from one Global Dial App user to another. Global Mate then became an MVNO with traditional cellular services (such as AT&T in USA), in places where available. The two together, and Global Dial and our cellular services truly created a milestone in connecting the world. But, there is still more. There were still lingering issues such as how do customers securely “Top-up” their prepaid airtime? So, Global Mate utilized their relationships with banking partners around the world to enable our customers to “Top-up” airtime in countries around the world and store their airtime in our proprietary wallet that we named “Milo Global” www.MiloGlobal.com. Users can purchase and store their airtime within the wallet as tokens, called , MiloTime. Customers can send/share their MiloTime airtime tokens to other customers who have loaded the Milo Global wallet and Global Dial App.
Incredibly, all of this circles back to the very first observation in Africa…. The unbanked. Now with our Milo Global wallet, our customers can convert their unused airtime to local currency and cash out when needed via their Milo Mate Prepaid Bank Cards, which was the catalyst for this entire journey.
One last addition to aid the underserved populations, no matter where they live, is the development of The Global Mate Foundation and its powerful Global Mate Genwin App, which changes the landscape in aiding fundraising efforts globally. The App very simply incorporates an end to end platform, geared for modern technologies and at virtually no cost to the campaign.
Please feel free to reach us for more information on any of our cool products and stay tuned for more dynamic products to come. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you for reading our story.