IFH Lab In Conversation With: Jonah Chininga, Founder & CEO of Woveo
In today’s conversation, we sat down with Jonah Chininga, Founder & CEO of Woveo. Woveo is a Community Wallet, aiming to offer credit building and rotating savings for new immigrants. The goal? Allow them the chance to build a strong financial foundation– a task which is currently incredibly challenging.
Jonah began the company in 2020, after experiencing his future customers’ pain points firsthand as a new immigrant. Originally called MICC, Woveo (a name inspired by woven tapestries) has been through what Jonah calls ‘growing pains’. They’ve evolved as a company not only in their name and branding, but also in their approach to solving problems.
During the journey of building Woveo, Jonah was on the lookout for accelerator programs specific to fintech, which is how he found IFH Lab in 2021. Searching for support in many areas, Jonah and the Woveo team were able to leverage IFH Lab’s network of industry expertise, regulators, lawyers, and other founders.
More specifically, Jonah and his team were able to expand their investor network, get advice from industry experts around credit building and bureaus, and other key elements of Woveo’s business.
Since his participation in IFH Lab over 2 years ago, the Woveo team has been busy. After a $60K win at the Calgary Fintech Awards in 2022, the company moved from Prince Edward Island to Calgary, Alberta, eager to take advantage of the budding fintech ecosystem in the city…
Other key focuses have been the building of technical infrastructure and a customer pipeline, key pieces that they needed to get where they are today.
Today, they are a team of 7, having just closed a pre-seed fundraising round of 1.5 million. Following their raise, the team has been working to ensure that they are able to launch with all 3 key components of the Woveo product (saving, spending, and credit) in place and ready to serve their customers.
To future participants of IFH Lab, Jonah has a great piece of advice to get the most out of the program: Do background research on potential investors, experts, or advisors that you’re meeting. Find out what their expertise and experience is so you can get the most out of your conversations, aligning it to what you’re looking for.
When it comes to partnerships, Jonah emphasizes the importance of choosing the right partners for your product, not the cheapest, easiest or most accessible partners. Thinking with a long-term vision has been critical to Woveo’s success in partnering directly with financial institutions, a goal that Jonah partly credits to the advice and guidance he was able to gain from his participation and conversations in the IFH Lab.
About The IFH Lab
The IFH Lab is a four-month, equity-free program for startups designing real solutions to the most pressing financial health challenges Canadians face today. Applications are now open until June 12th, and we’re inviting Canadian fintech founders to learn more in our upcoming info-session on May 29th.
If you want to partner with or chat with Jonah, reach out at [email protected]
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Join us in conversation with Jonah Chininga, CEO & Founder of Woveo, a community product designed to help new immigrants to Canada build a strong financial foundation. To learn about this incredible member of IFH Lab’s 2021 Cohort, read the article here: LINK