Refining the initial concept
Started during his MBA in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at International University of Monaco, Moneymailme was Mihai Ivascu’s corporate project. The young social entrepreneur, with the help of his software company and media agency, managed to create a working prototype by the end of his MBA. Donald Anderson, member of Monaco Impact, was one of the mentors and evaluators of Mihai’s entrepreneurial project, giving a lot of constructive input, resulting in a successful MBA project that positioned Mihai in the leading segment of his program.
‘It all started with a dream, to disrupt the value chain of money globally. Having this plan in mind, the initial support provided by a very experienced CEO helped clarify the mission and reduce the ‘noise’ specific to star-ups that get easily distracted by new paths to follow. Donald Anderson provided strong input and helped me become a better entrepreneur.’, stated Mihai Ivascu in one of his initial interviews given in 2015 about the start of the project.
Social impact business
One of the leading experts in social impact and philanthropy, Dr. Linda Blanshay, decided to join the advisory board from the start. Dr. Blanshay contributed strongly to the initial creation of the business model, creating with Mihai a simple and reliable way to donate to a list of vetted causes. Through her vast network in the social impact community she facilitated the partnership with Global Giving, one of the biggest charitable platforms in the world, a deal that aligns with the Monaco Impact mission.
Moneymailme has two social impact attributes. First, it allows people with limited financial capabilities to transfer money internationally at very low fees. Second, users are encouraged to make donations through the Causes area in the app and the various charitable special projects created online and offline. The transfers are made directly through Moneymailme app, from the users to a specific cause. With the new major release of the app and the rebranding, the tagline of Moneymailme will be – Payments with a heart.
Since the initial collaboration between Donald Anderson and Mihai Ivascu was a successful one, the experienced executive decided to become the angel investor and back Moneymailme, as a social impact project, in September 2015, after due diligence and a clear structured plan.
‘Mihai came up with a project that raised my interest. Both because it was part of a high-growth segment, FinTech, but also due to his entrepreneurial profile and desire to evolve constantly, transforming valuable feedback in new steps ahead for the company.’ Donald Anderson, partner at Monaco Impact and the angel investor in Moneymailme.
Finding new investors and strategic partners
Other investors from Mr. Anderson’s network joined in the seed round, providing Moneymailme a good start that translated an ambitious idea into a mature project evolving into a complex financial platform in the next months. The various strategic meetings suggested by the Monaco Impact board member were vital for the development of Moneymailme. Another great support was given through the active investors who supported with know-how – FX, trading, compliance, banking – and were directly involved in the business model design with Mihai Ivascu. The incubation strategy of Monaco Impact is providing guidance and strategic know-how, through members who are seasoned CEO’s and successful entrepreneurs. While not providing capital funding itself, Monaco Impact facilitates the eventual sourcing of capital funding.
Providing significant growth capital
As the project developed, the time for a significant capital raise to allow growth came and Monaco Impact got involved again, through it’s founding member, Mr. Peter Kutemann. After being also one of Mihai’s mentors during the MBA program, the Dutch entrepreneur decided to invest a significant amount and joined the board of Moneymailme. Again, a strategy aligned with the values of Monaco Impact, translated into raising capital, support and access to a vast network of strategic contacts that will allow the company to have a healthy growth and a positive social impact both through the business model, but also through the charity part of the app.
‘It didn’t take me long to decide to support Moneymailme and Mihai Ivascu, as both the business model and his profile fit with the core values of Monaco Impact. It is my mission as an entrepreneur, with over 40 years of experience, to share my knowledge and to support young entrepreneurs with a strong drive. We should all do that, it’s part of giving back to the society, by sharing the results of our life-time work in order to create shared value.’ Peter Kutemann, founder of Monaco Impact and board member of Moneymailme.
Providing legal support and structuring
As Vice-President of Monaco Impact and a strong believer in social impact investing, Ms. Geraldine Gazo, a reputable Monegasque lawyer, decided to join Moneymailme and support the company both with funding and legal support, restructuring the Monaco, London and Bucharest entities. The strong link to the Principality will translate in further support from Ms. Gazo, as an official member of the Advisory Board of Moneymailme.
‘My decision to support the project was taken quickly, as I have seen fast the potential of the company and Mihai’s drive to take it to the next level and have a real impact through its social impact business model. As it is Fintech, the compliance and regulations represent a vital part of the segment, so I will provide a strong input in this segment and support the company from this point of view. It’s an exciting project and I’m happy that Monaco Impact provided this complete package that allowed the company to stand out at a global scale.’ Geraldine Gazo, Vice-President of Monaco Impact and the Advisory Board of Moneymailme.
The 18 months successful entrepreneurial journey of Mihai Ivascu and Moneymailme, backed strongly by Monaco Impact, is a materialization of the founders desired to support Monaco-based entrepreneurs and valuable social businesses who make a difference in a different way. Another social impact action is the donation of a percentage of the shares of the company by the founder Mihai Ivascu through Founders Pledge. In the case of a successful sale, part of the money pledged will go to charity, following again the social impact model.
Monaco Impact’s Mission is to encourage, facilitate and federate charitable initiatives, organizations and institutes in Monaco in order to put Monaco on the map as a World Center of philanthropy and by so doing contribute towards a positive perception of Monaco throughout the world.
Monaco Impact’s Vision is to promote Monaco as a center of committed global citizens while expanding the base of local philanthropists and social impact investors through ongoing education, collaboration and the sharing of innovative approaches to global challenges.