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Regalii

Helping immigrants pay bills back home safely and cheaply

Highlights

1
$652,000 annual recurring revenue in 1st market (DR).
2
31% month / month growth since pivot to B2B.
3
930 active point of sale remittance locations.
4
Regalii is 39% cheaper than other remittance services.
5
$3 flat rate for any bill.
6
$34 billion is sent abroad to pay family bills every year.

Our Team

CEO
Formerly: JP Morgan, UBS, OPIC, and Swissport; While pursuing his MBA at Wharton, Edrizio won the Social Impact Fellowship.
Juan Maldonado COO
Formerly an analyst at Lehman Brothers, Juan was assistant director at fin. devlopment non-profit The Financial Clinic. Grad of YC and Startup Chile.
Iñigo Rumayor CFO
Former Managing Director of Rumayor Genetics. Inigo was selected as one of the top 50 young entrepreneurs in the world by the Kairos Society.

How It Works

A lot has changed for Edrizio De La Cruz in the 20 years he has been sending remittances to his aunt and grandmother in the Dominican Republic. The Regalii co-founder has gone from community college student to mechanic to J.P. Morgan investment banker to Wharton MBA, but in the meantime, the problematic process of transferring money has stayed the same.

“When I sent my money back home, I had no idea how the money was actually being spent or even when it got there,” De La Cruz says. “I also knew that my family faced real danger of withdrawing and carrying cash in really bad neighborhoods. They were inconvenienced by having to go pick up money in one place and then travel to another place to pay their bills.”

The traditional remittance process also comes along with hefty transfer fees, hours-long waits at agencies and a frustrating lack of transparency. De La Cruz developed Regalii to safeguard and simplify the transaction.

How Regalii works

Each year, Latin Americans receive $69 billion in remittances from family members in the United States, 64% of which is spent on groceries, medicine and household bills, according to the World Bank. Regalii’s “social gifting platform” provides a direct payment gateway that enables immigrants living in the U.S. to pay for—and family members in Latin America to purchase—all the basic necessities from local retailers.

With Regalii, what you send is what they get. The startup partners with the same major pharmacies, supermarkets and utility companies that family members already use. Once money is deposited into the Regalii system, a code is texted to the recipient, who presents it at the store selected by the sender. A text comes back to the U.S., showing that the itemized purchased items are paid for in full. “People love the fact that they know where their money is going,” De La Cruz says.

Building something impactful

De La Cruz sees Regalii as a way to give back—solving a common problem in the immigrant community while serving as a role model for other young people who lack Hispanic technology entrepreneurs to look up to.

“I feel like I was given this voltage, this great opportunity to be exposed to all these great places like J.P. Morgan and Wharton where I gained all this knowledge,” he says. “If you’re given the energy and the knowledge that I’ve been given, you have to pay [society] back for that.”

For De La Cruz, giving back has started by going home. After moving Regalii headquarters to New York City’s Washington Heights—near where he grew up—De La Cruz and his four-person team of long-time colleagues and Wharton friends took to the streets, handing out fliers and talking to immigrants about what they really need. The team discovered Regalii’s $3-per-transaction fee wasn’t a sticking point for potential customers, according to De La Cruz.

“People are not cost sensitive,” he says. “As a matter of fact, free can actually be a deterrent. People don’t mind paying a fee for the certainty of knowing where their money is going.”

Instead, Regalii found out that immigrants are motivated by a streamlined process that allows them to skip standing in line at a Western Union Office, filling out forms and making long-distance calls to confirm that money was received. They also like knowing that their good deed doesn’t inconvenience their family or put them at risk.

“People give me very nice phone calls and tell me that we’re doing something very good for their family and that they love how they can now put food on the table,” De La Cruz says. “It means the world to me.”

Providing an enriching experience for all

Now operating between the United States and the Dominican Republic, the company is currently focusing on building alliances with big retailers in Mexico as the next step to expanding globally. The progress is exciting for De La Cruz, who wants to make the process of sending money to loved ones abroad just as gratifying as the gesture itself.

“I want function ultimately to be married with form—beautiful form, and a great experience,” De La Cruz says. “When you think about remittances, it’s very mechanical, like standing in line at the DMV. It should be something enriching.”

Overview