From tech-bro to early startup Founder

Did it start up? Jul 9, 2021

Can you give us a brief introduction about who you are?

My name is Aaron Sotunde-Adesina, Co-founder and CEO of an early fintech startup Zoropay. Zoropay is a  platform that provides loans and a savings platform for parents to save up their Children's school fees. My first introduction to tech was when I was 12; my father sent me to a coding school and I picked it up from there. I did a little bit of HTML, and CSS here and there, but nothing concrete. I went on to Covenant University to study Chemical Engineering. In my second year of university, I realized chemical engineering wasn't for me so I registered for my first Udemy course on programming. During the summer break of my third year, I traveled to Omaha for four months to learn about data science and more programming. In my fourth year, I met a friend who practically set me up. He linked me up with a startup where I could learn and practice my programming skills. It was a chatbot startup where the person I was working with helped me learn. He gave me my first project which was frontend development. I had to work on everything I had learned in JS3. This was a startup that was in Hebron's startup lab (Covenant University's startup lab). It was a really great experience.

I met a friend, Paul in 2018 and we worked together on so many projects. We were going to a seminar at Oriental hotel when Paul first mentioned the Zoropay idea. I liked it, so we started working on it as a side project. Then, we were also working with Muvit that was supposed to be a ride-hailing app for bikes (similar to Gokada). All was going well at Muvit until Lagos state happened and sent ride-hailing packing. We moved our capital from there to Zoro pay which is what we are currently working on. Our capital was nowhere near enough, so we created a small business that we could use to generate profit to fund the development of Zoropay. We started Rapid-Pay, a crypto-remittance application that did really well. In the first three weeks, we had processed over 34 million.

34 million naira or dollars?

Yeah, if it was dollars I wouldn't be sitting here.

Since rapid pay was doing better than we expected, we paused Zoropay. We started building Xena which was an upgrade of Rapidpay; we wanted to do it big-time.  It was going really well, and we were getting noticed by investors until Nigeria happened again. The CBN released the policy on cryptocurrency, and we just went downhill from there.

At that time Zoropay had taken the back seat and we decided it was time to focus on it. I got funding from friends and family to make Zoropay a reality. I built a new team and we've been focused on Zoropay. Zoropay has partnered with microfinance banks and some private universities in Nigeria and we're doing well. I met a friend Tiwa, who I told about Zoropay, he told me he had someone interested in investing and that was how we got our pre-seed funding. It was hefty and surreal to me at the time.

What was your first shot at entrepreneurship?

Rapid pay was my first shot at entrepreneurship, and it was big. I don't have any failed startups yet.

What motivated you to be a founder?

I wanted to change something, and I also hated the conventional 9-5 life. I don't want to give 100% of myself to something that wouldn't be mine.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

My major challenge has been people. Sometimes people can change their minds about your business in a split second. That hasn't been easy. My other challenge has been not knowing the next step and having to communicate that to people. People like reassurance and sometimes you don’t have that because it's all a risk.

Something you wish you knew when you started out.

I wish I didn't minimize people and spending. By choosing to go all out my team has made more progress in the last six months than we made in the past two years. I wish I just did that sooner. Always go for the better option even if it's more expensive. The cheapest option is not the answer.


I did so many things and one thing I can say is don't wait to start anything. Don't wait to start. Start now. If you wait for the market to be ready for you, the world will leave you behind. Start with what you have. If you want to be safe in whatever you do then entrepreneurship is probably not for you. Nothing is safe about entrepreneurship.