VipiCash is changing the way aid gets to Africa and Asia, collaborating on appear.in

Fueled by personal experience, VipiCash has set out to make a change in the way aid and remittance is delivered to African and Asian countries in need. Their team and investors are spread across the globe, so VipiCash has relied on appear.in as a tool for easy and reliable collaboration.  

What is VipiCash?

In short, VipiCash is an Oslo, Norway-based startup who has developed a transparent and trackable digital payment system for remittance and aid sent to Africa and Asia. They aim to stop corruption by donating specific goods and services instead of cash, remove overheads and distribution fees by cutting out the middleman, and ensure women and children receive food, sanitation and healthcare by locking money into these services.

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What are VipiCash’s collaboration challenges?

VipiCash has employees and advisers located all over the world - from Pakistan to Norway, Australia to Uganda, and the United Kingdom to Ghana. Needless to say, time and space are challenges when it comes to getting things done. Like many, they turn to phone and email, but used video when they are able.

“We’ve used other video apps, but they’re unreliable, and confusing technology.” says CEO and Co-founder Olivier Mutuka. Internally appear.in held meetings over other video platforms, but as soon as they needed to talk to an external party, technology got in the way. If their video tools didn't match, they found that video became a more challenging way of working than a helpful one. 

Collaboration solutions

VipiCash was first introduced to appear.in the way most people are; “I found appear.in as a participant in someone else's meeting. Now I am the one referring people to appear.in.” said Mutuka. Since discovering appear.in, VipiCash is confident in using video even externally. “The first time people join one of our appear.in meetings, we tend to see pleasantly surprised reactions at how easy it was to join.”  

Internally, appear.in has taken a full time role as VipiCash's video tool of choice. They host two weekly Stand-ups, in addition to many 1-to-1 meetings. “With appear.in, it’s like walking in a door. I feel as if I’m talking to you face to face, instead of inside an app.”  This is an important part of the way Vipicash operates every day.

Additionally, Mutuka uses appear.in for his other job - acting! With many of his jobs in Germany, the cost to travel would make it impossible to audition for some roles. He uses appear.in to go over scripts with his agent or meet face to face with casting directors. What’s his next acting project? “It’s top secret for now!”


A bit more about VipiCash

...Better question: who is VipiCash?

You can't truly understand VipiCash without knowing the people behind it. CEO and Co-founder Olivier Mutuka is a man whose history and resume seems impossibly dynamic. He landed in Norway after a long road as a refugee from the Civil War in Congo.  He earned a degree in biomedical engineering in Oslo before becoming a founder of Make a Wish Norge. You may even recognize him as a professional actor in “Welcome to Norway”, for which he won an Amanda Award.

Founded in 2017, VipiCash came from CEO Olivier Mutuka's own experience - sending money home to Africa not knowing where the aid truly ended up. In fact, 40% of the US$42 billion of aid sent every year to Africa is lost through corruption, administrative fees, or is spent on unintended purchases. VipiCash founders saw first hand the imminent need for change. 

The Startup Lab member raised NOK 2.2M in investment funding from Founders Fund, Innovasjon Norge, and three angel investors at the end of 2017. 

Their short term goal is to be the main platform of African aid used in the Nordics. Long term, they hope to be the platform used for many countries in need, including Latin America and Asia. They are currently in discussions with the United Nations on future collaborations. 


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