These startup founders believe tech and commerce can transform communitiesAugust 30, 2022 | By Jodi Helmer
In the years since, oneKIN marketplace has proven to be a success for the small businesses that are using the platform. Merchants are seeing increased revenues and more repeat customers from a built-in community of shoppers looking for quality products from underrepresented brands, they say, with one business owner on the oneKIN Marketplace generating more revenue in six weeks than their previous two years selling via their brick and mortar store.
For their next endeavor, François and Gomez are rolling out oneKIN Live. Gomez calls it “QVC meets Amazon,” an integrated experience where merchants can display their products and engage with their audience via livestream, and consumers can chat and purchase seamlessly. It will include an AI element that finds consumers who are likely to buy from the brands.
The startup is part of Mastercard’s Start Path In Solidarity program, which is specifically geared toward early-stage startups led by traditionally underrepresented fintech founders. Through the program, they will receive mentorship, network opportunities with the company and its customers and partners, access to Mastercard products and opportunities to integrate its technology.
Start Path In Solidarity is part of Mastercard’s $500 million commitment to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap by, among other steps, helping fintechs scale and make the connections they need to fine-tune their products and attract investment and strategic partnerships. “Mastercard is really a data and technology company, which adds tremendous value to us and what we're trying to build,” Gomez says.
François and Gomez are already thinking about their pipeline of new product offerings. Their future plans include a digital funding platform to provide short-term working capital to small businesses based on their revenues. “We are targeting a market segment historically underserved by the banks, who lack the risk appetite and are slow and reluctant to innovate,” says François, the former banker.
“Our vision is to find the gaps and create solutions that build on each other,” Gomez says. “We're constantly thinking about how we can help small businesses succeed and thrive together.”