This August at The Fintech Times, we’re looking to highlight some of the amazing things fintechs are doing around the world. We are always hearing about the “latest groundbreaking innovation doing good for the community”, but are these innovations doing good for those in an already advantageous position, or are they helping make the financial world more accessible? To us at The Fintech Times, fintech for good means companies looking to help people who desperately need it, prioritising financial inclusion and sustainability.
For many established organisations, the pandemic proved to be a difficult time. Day-to-day life as we knew it was completely uprooted and attitudes towards work were changed. Remote working was introduced and the way businesses interacted with their customers had to be changed too. Many people lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, but this unfortunate event caused many to become entrepreuners and work with their families to tackle financial causes close to home.
We have covered how some companies were able to use the pandemic as a pivot point and prosper as a result here, but in this article, we wanted to highlight people that took matters into their own hands when faced with issues and started their own family-run companies to provide others were great customer experiences.
Chris Brooks, founder of CryptoAssetRecovery.com, the company that does exactly what it says on the tin (recover lost crypto assets), told The Fintech Times about how he and his son began a company that aimed to recover funds in locked crypto wallets: “CryptoAssetRecovery.com was founded by a father-son team to help people recover the passwords to their self-custody Bitcoin and other crypto wallets. We have a somewhat unique business model, in that we only get paid once (and if!) we recover funds for a client. One aspect of that is that we don’t charge an up-front fee — clients can hire us to help recover their passwords, even if they don’t have cash on hand.
“For example, we cracked an interesting wallet for a client named Alex in mid-July. Alex reached out to us in October of 2021 with a 21 word mnemonic phrase that should have given him access to his wallet, but didn’t. (Blockchain.com generated these mnemonic phrases that had between 11 and 25 words for the first few years of their history, before switching to standard BIP39 12-word seed phrases). We had to write some custom code to figure out what was wrong with his phrase and run millions of variations until we finally cracked it eight months later. When we got on a Zoom call and opened the wallet Alex was living out of his van. His comment was: ‘You have no idea how much I need this right now!’
“Bitcoin has always been lauded as a technology that’s extremely useful for people that don’t have access to traditional banking services. While we’re based in the US, many of our clients aren’t. In fact, when we did a recent analysis of the wallets that we’ve cracked so far in 2021 and 2022, slightly over a quarter of them originated with clients living in African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya where Bitcoin use is widespread.”
Rhett Roberts, co-founder and CEO, LoanPro, a core lending software which specialises in the servicing of loans, told The Fintech Times about the evolution of his family’s company: “Foundational to the culture of LoanPro is the belief that you can turn an idea into a reality with support and hard work. From long weekends in the office to holidays filled with meetings and brainstorming sessions, my brothers and I are no strangers to hard work. And our support comes from each other.
“My brothers, Ben, and Lloyd Roberts, and I had entrepreneurial experience before investing in a used car lot together in 2006. Summers mowing lawns, and a myriad of businesses ranging from cooking dutch oven to raising cows on a farm, we knew what it took to run a business.
“When we began financing vehicles, we quickly experienced the pain that many modern lenders still feel today – loan servicing. Unsatisfied with the inaccuracy and lack of transparency that most lending platforms offered, we decided to create our own lending platform.
“The software we created met our needs so well, other auto lenders started to request access to the new platform. It soon became clear that each lender did things somewhat differently. To accommodate these differences, a new version was created and marketed under the name “AutoPal”, which became extremely popular with clients in all 50 US states and every province in Canada.
“In 2013 we once again started from scratch and built an application designed to accommodate multiple loan types, provide greater data visibility, accuracy, and scale with its users. This application is what we know today as LoanPro.
“Today, LoanPro is growing at a blinding pace with over 140 employees and being among the 30 fastest growing software companies in the nation. To see our vision come to life and the process of turning an idea into reality, it’s very satisfying. Being able to do this together as a family and with our LoanPro team members, who I see as family, means the world to us.”