Imagine having the ability to make large investments, like a down payment on a house or funding your startup business, without having to take out a loan or worry about moving around finances. Many people share this dream about finding financial support for everyday life commitment and ideas, big and small. To create that sense of shared support, Luis and Francisco Cervera created eMoneyPool, a US-focused microfinance provider that “helps the underserved access capital.” The brothers created their company after spending their childhood in San Diego working with money pools, also known as tandas or cundinas in the Latin American culture.
As described in the information section on their website, “eMoneyPool allows friends and family to ‘pool’ a portion of their income together for an established number of pay periods and take turns receiving the lump sum.” In other words, groups can join their funds and then take turns benefiting from the money in the pool. Rather than pooling in the traditional, hassle-filled way of pool banking, eMoneyPool allows an online setup and transfer process eliminating the risk and inefficiency of carrying large sums of money back and forth to people and banks.
Francisco spoke with me about the inner workings of eMoneyPool.
What do you see for the future of eMoneyPool?
We see eMoneyPool.com as growing into the most trusted source for money pools, similar to what eBay has become for the concept of auctions. A place where members help one another reach their personal goals and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams using a familiar group model. Our next release of the website, in July or August, will be our most comprehensive redesign-bringing us a big step closer towards our vision of a highly efficient money pool community.
Why do you think the concept of money pools is growing in the Phoenix area?
Roughly 60 percent of the working class minority population in Phoenix use the traditional in-person version of money pools. The idea of modern and internet-friendly money pools through eMoneyPool.com is growing within this demographic. Add the ability for these individuals to begin establishing, or re-establishing their credit through our strategic partner MariSol Federal Credit Union, and you have a very valuable tool for this demographic to enter the mainstream financial system through a familiar cultural staple. Interestingly enough, we are also noticing interest amongst individuals who are new to the idea of money pools.
I’ve read the description of how a money pool functions, but can you go into a little more detail about it. How is the lump sum recipient decided?
Everyone chooses their “turn” in the group at the commencement of the money pool based on their individual needs. For example, one person might be going on vacation in June and will choose a turn that corresponds with that specific date, while another group member might need his turn next month to purchase inventory for his business. Since we normally have different needs at different times, it’s easy for everyone to find a turn in the group they find beneficial.
How many people can be involved in one pool?
When groups are too big or too small they become unrealistic and ineffective. The most common group sizes are between 10-12 people.
To learn more about eMoneyPool click here for their demo video.
The Founders recently pitched at the SeedSpot Demo Day, see what they won and learn more about other tech startups in AZ here.