Featured Alumni Business: MandaSeguro.com
What is your name, and the name of your business?
I am Matias Sevi ’12, the founder of MandaSeguro.com
What’s the mission or description of your business?
Our slogan is “Innovating the way to help your loved ones.” MandaSeguro.com is a website that allows Hispanics that currently live in the US to help their family members back in Latin America at ZERO cost. By purchasing our version of electronic gift certificates that can be exchanged at our partner stores in Latin America, we are able to reduce the traditional costs involved with sending cash through money transfer agencies.
Where is your business located?
The business is online, and our primary focus is serving Dominicans in the US and Dominican Republic. In the near future we will be expanding our services to other countries. Our offices are located in Florida.
What inspired your business?
I was inspired by talking with Dominicans that work at Babson, and learning from their experiences transferring money (remittances) to their family members. Some of the stories I heard not only intrigued me, but made me want to help these hard working immigrants and their families. I found the opportunity from the pain points these individuals were complaining about: high transfer fees, security, and the way their funds were ultimately being spent.
How did the idea begin?
I started by doing some market research. I found out that those that send money sometimes want their family members to spend it on specific items: food, clothing, medicine, etc., but can’t always control how the money is spent. MandaSeguro.com partners with retailers that provide such goods and services to direct the remittance, and the transfer cost to the client and beneficiary now becomes ZERO since a commission is charged to the retailer.
After several classes at Babson, the Summer Venture Program in 2012, and winning the BETA Challenge in April 2013, what was originally just an idea has become an actual working business: a for-profit social venture.
What is your favorite thing about the business?
Talking to people in the Dominican Republic and the United States, as well as learning from their experiences, have helped shape the business. I also love interacting on a daily basis with the outstanding team of individuals I have assembled. Their experience and knowledge of their different areas of expertise has allowed MandaSeguro.com to get to where it is today, and will keep it on track to reach its enormous potential.
And your least favorite?
My least favorite thing would have to be that I want things to occur faster, but one learns to be patient and understand that there are times where things are outside of our control. For those that are within your control, you try your hardest, and for those outside of your control you try and see how you can help make things work better.
What is your most recent business accomplishment?
We are in talks to add more retailers to our network, including the largest retailer in the Dominican Republic. This will allow us to offer a greater service to our customers as well as expand our geographic distribution within the country.
What’s been your biggest surprise with the business?
My biggest surprise thus far is how contagious my enthusiasm for the business is. Customers, investors, or anybody I begin to tell about MandaSeguro.com brighten up, open up their eyes wide, and start pitching the idea back to me even before I’m done with my explanation. People get it, and that’s the beauty of it!
How can the Babson community help?
I’m very grateful for Babson’s continuous support and if there is anything else I could ask for, is help in the following areas:
- Help me spread the word about MandaSeguro.com. If you know any Dominican immigrant, tell them about this amazing new way in which they can help their family members at ZERO cost.
- We are in search of our next round of investment to help support increased customer acquisition efforts and greater reach of this for-profit social venture. If anybody in the Babson Community is interested on learning more about MandaSeguro.com as a potential investment opportunity, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org