Cleva - USD banking platform for Africa

Empowering African Freelancers: The Cleva Solution

What is Cleva?

Cleva is an innovative USD banking platform designed to serve the needs of African freelancers and businesses. Founded in 2023 and headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, Cleva aims to simplify international payments and protect its users from local currency volatility. By offering a USD account, Cleva enables users to receive payments from anywhere in the world, spend via a debit card, pay bills, convert currency, and save in USD to hedge against local currency fluctuations. With a growing team of 13 members and guided by Group Partner Tom Blomfield, Cleva is making significant strides in transforming the financial landscape for African professionals and enterprises.

Who Are the Founders of Cleva?

Cleva was co-founded by Tolu Alabi and Philip Abel, both of whom bring extensive experience and expertise to the table. Tolu Alabi, the CEO, has a robust background in product management, having worked as a Lead Product Manager at Stripe and a Senior PM at Amazon. With an MBA from Stanford GSB and a B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Grinnell College, Tolu is well-equipped to steer Cleva towards success. Outside of her professional life, she enjoys playing tennis and basketball and is a huge LeBron James fan.

Philip Abel, the CTO, is known for his relentless drive for excellence. Originally from Nigeria, Philip’s educational journey took him from Kano to MIT and Georgia Tech, where he studied computer science and engineering. He has built multi-region infrastructure and services at industry giants like AWS, Twilio, and Akamai Technologies. Philip’s background is marked by resilience and a commitment to making a positive impact in the world. He is an avid FC Barcelona fan and a big Lionel Messi supporter.

What Problem is Cleva Addressing?

Despite the increasing number of young remote African workers and businesses serving global clients, international payments and investments in USD remain a complex challenge. Many talented Africans and businesses face significant hurdles due to excessive fees and local currency fluctuations. This complexity can stifle economic growth and limit opportunities. Cleva was founded to tackle this problem head-on, providing an effortless way for Africans to receive international payments and manage their finances without the burden of high fees or currency volatility. Cleva’s mission is to empower individuals and businesses by simplifying how they earn and invest in USD.

How Does Cleva Provide a Solution?

Cleva offers an all-in-one platform that facilitates payments, spending via debit cards, and investments. Their flagship product, launched in August 2023, simplifies payments for remote workers and freelancers in Nigeria. Users can establish a Cleva US-based account, effortlessly receive salaries and customer payments, and manage their finances with ease. The platform includes features such as currency conversion and the ability to save and earn interest over time. Cleva has already achieved impressive results, processing over 4 million dollars monthly for its customers and doubling revenue month-over-month. In the coming months, Cleva plans to expand its offerings to include tools for investments.

How Did Cleva Get Started?

Tolu and Philip have known each other for over 10 years and share a personal understanding of the challenges associated with cross-border transactions. Their experiences with hyperinflation and the devaluation of African currencies have motivated them to find a solution. The founders take this problem personally and are dedicated to tackling it head-on to enable prosperity for Africans and others in emerging economies. They believe that simplifying how people earn and invest in USD will empower businesses and remote workers across these regions.

What is the Vision Behind Cleva?

Cleva’s vision is to become the go-to financial platform for African freelancers and businesses. By offering a seamless and cost-effective way to manage international payments, Cleva aims to foster economic growth and create opportunities for individuals and enterprises in emerging markets. The founders are committed to building a platform that not only addresses the immediate needs of their users but also provides tools for long-term financial stability and growth. Cleva’s ultimate goal is to empower its users to thrive in a global economy.

Who Makes Up the Cleva Team?

Cleva’s team consists of 13 dedicated professionals who bring diverse skills and experiences to the company. The team is driven by a shared passion for using technology to solve real-world problems and make a positive impact. Under the leadership of Tolu Alabi and Philip Abel, the team is focused on delivering innovative solutions that meet the needs of their users. The team’s expertise spans various fields, including product management, software engineering, and customer service, ensuring that Cleva can provide a comprehensive and user-friendly platform.

How Does Cleva Plan to Grow?

Cleva is committed to continuous growth and improvement. The company has already achieved significant milestones, processing over 4 million dollars monthly and doubling revenue month-over-month. Moving forward, Cleva plans to expand its product offerings to include investment tools, further enhancing the financial capabilities of its users. The founders are also focused on increasing the platform’s reach, aiming to serve more freelancers and businesses across Africa and other emerging markets. By staying true to their mission and vision, Cleva aims to become a leader in the financial technology space.

What Impact is Cleva Aiming to Have?

Cleva aims to have a transformative impact on the financial landscape for African freelancers and businesses. By providing a platform that simplifies international payments and offers protection against currency volatility, Cleva empowers its users to focus on their work and grow their businesses. The founders believe that by removing financial barriers, they can help unlock the potential of millions of talented individuals across the continent. Cleva’s impact extends beyond just financial transactions; it’s about creating opportunities, fostering economic growth, and enabling a better quality of life for its users.

How Can One Get Started with Cleva?

Getting started with Cleva is straightforward. Users can sign up for a Cleva USD account online, providing them with access to a range of financial services designed to meet their needs. Once registered, users can start receiving international payments, spending via a debit card, paying bills, converting currencies, and saving in USD. Cleva’s user-friendly platform ensures that managing finances is as simple and efficient as possible. By joining Cleva, users can take control of their financial future and enjoy the benefits of a secure and reliable banking solution tailored to their needs.