Sandra Johnson is the founder and CEO of geeRemit, a logistics-free global remittance mobile app based on blockchain. The company’s mission to resolve all location-based logistical issues, as the transactions are done via mobile phones. Sandra also has an impressive STEM background. She is one of the first African-American women to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, a Master Inventor with over 40 issued and pending patents, and was the first African-American woman to reach a technical leadership position at IBM.
Learn more about her entrepreneurial story and her passion behind geeRemit below.
Tell us a little about geeRemit? What inspired you to start the company?
I lived in Kenya for 13 months and traveled throughout sub-Saharan Africa over 3 years. I visited 22 countries during this time, many several times. I saw the need for geeRemit throughout my travels. I used mobile money while in Kenya and understand how it is a significant and integral part of the culture there and in other countries. I could see how a technology-inspired remittance app could change the lives of many people I met, learned about and was encouraged to help. I truly believe that part of my contribution to this global society is to make this happen for sub-Saharan Africa. It is a chance to impact billions on a beautiful continent.
How is geeRemit changing the world?
geeRemit enables those living in the west to send funds to sub-Saharan Africa at lower costs, faster, and more secure, convenient and safe. The lower fees results in more funds for the recipients. With the overwhelming major of the citizens of countries in sub-Saharan Africa living on meager funds, the savings is significant. IT more funds for food, medical services, utility and other bills, etc. In addition, with the added safety and convenience of the funds received directly into financial accounts associated with mobile phones (money money), this improves the overall quality of life and raises the living standard for billions.
What are some challenges you’ve faced?
Understanding all of the regulations. This is especially true with the underlying blockchain technology leveraged for improved security, lower fees and faster transfer times.
What’s been your biggest win so far?
I’m very early in the startup process. The biggest win is getting an investor to express interest in geeRemit to go through the due diligence process. This happened on the very first pitch to investors.
How do you define success?
Success is getting the minimum viable product (MVP) to market soon, and increasing the number of customers impacted by the service.