The website FiFi Finance aims to improve financial literacy worldwide. We want to help people going forward with their financial lives by providing the best tools and financial information possible. For many people it is not easy to make sound financial decisions, especially if you’ve never received financial education. We want to reach out to these people.
We do this with quality information about finances and by offering good comparisons between financial products, to both consumers as well as SME businesses, all over the world. We want to help people to answer this question: How do I manage money and save up? Which loan provider is worthwhile, and what type of investment or bank account should I get or cancel, and why? Where can I get the right funding for my project, startup or anything that’s important to me?
The mission of FiFi is: Improving financial literacy, by making finances work for everyone.
Where most financial websites focus on markets with lots of revenue potential, we actually want to take things to a different level and focus on growth markets such as Africa and Latin America. Especially in Africa, there is a lot of potential to reach out to people in their native language about finances and help them with out with their financial problems.
This is why we started with our portal targeting people in countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, and South Africa. We do this in English, Portuguese and French but we started as well in native languages such as Swahili and Amharic. This languages is spoken in different parts in East Africa. In addition to Swahili, we also aim to provide quality information in other native languages such as Yoruba, Igbo, Zulu and Oromo.
- Our focus is in the first place on conventional financial topics such as credit, bank accounts, insurance and investments.
- We also want to go a step further and cover new topics like financial startups, p2p investing, and bitcoin.
- In addition, we also want to go into topics such as alternative financing, gifting, economic development, universtal health care and worldwide basic income.
What Problem Does FiFi Want to Solve?
We want FiFi to be more about needs of people than their wants or desires. To give an example: If someone wants to know “how to make money online”, we highlight those solutions that can actually make a difference to someone’s life. Solutions such as day-trading stocks, forex or bitcoin, as well as poker, are not helpful if you want to improve your life. We think that these ‘quick fixes’ in fact add stress, not any value. Also in African countries, there are many people considering this.
The main point we make is that people can achieve stuff if they focus on solutions that can add value to their lives. This can include even relatively simple things such as article writing through Upwork or Fiverr, learning a new skill, starting a website, independent entrepreneurship, and so on. Our aim is to highlight these solutions and give people new ideas and insights.
“The Internet, in the end, was not designed to give us what we need. Instead, it gives people what they want.” (Mark Manson, Everything is F*cked (A Book About Hope)).
How is FiFi solving it?
We do what we’re good at: building a minimal but attractive website that is highly optimized to rank well in search engines, with information answering questions that people have. We have a couple of principles that guide us here:
- It is of utmost importance for us to help people find answers to financial questions they have.
- These answers have to be offered quick and honestly. It has to be factual and not misleading.
- We want to continually improve and test ourselves to become even better in what we do.
We live and work by the principles of Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced
ikiɡai). This is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” The word “ikigai” is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. Each person ikigai is personal to them and specific to their lives, values and beliefs. Activities that allow one to feel ikigai are never forced on an individual; they are often spontaneous, and always undertaken willingly, giving the individual satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.
What stage is FiFi at?
We bought the domain name in March 2019. As of March 11, 2022 we almost have over 1000 articles in English, German, Dutch, Estonian, Spanish, French, Italian, Brazilian, Ukranian, Swahili and Amharic written by editors on 5 continents. We focus on content quality, selecting only the best authors with the right knowledge. Africa is the continent that we consider as having the most potential for growth: financially, intellectually, artistically and scientifically. The continent proving the biggest challenge, with the biggest potential reward.
This is why we are especially excited about building up FiFi Africa. We started with Swahili as our first African language followed by Amharic. As part of this effort we sponsored the translation of WordPress into Swahili. Our Swahili version is available under a Creative Commons license for compatibility with Wikipedia. Moreover, we plan to start paying people to translate medical articles into Swahili, directly on Wikipedia. We are doing this because we want to instigate a movement to create content online in African languages and we aim to launch in a dozen more African languages in the coming years.
We are 100% self funded. We have built web properties in the past, through which we’ve built up reserves. Now we are using this reserve to build up FiFi Finance. With our focus on FiFi, we are able to quickly scale up our team.
The company is located in Estonia, which is an admin haven, very low on bureaucracy and paperwork. We’re working from anywhere and we’re targeting the entire world. One of the founders is currently residing in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, while the other is roaming around Europe with his family. The editors and authors are based in Europe and Africa mostly.
The two founders, Robin and Kasper must have met 20 years ago in a bar in Nijmegen. We’re not sure when exactly and if we actually did. But later on, we met again for sure, through IRC, while working on self-publishing platforms such as Indymedia and Wikipedia. Through social activism and frugal lifestyles of traveling without money we built various projects together on radical hospitality and economical living.
We initially did all this without making any money. However, while having to sustain families, we started to generate money by creating little cracks in the systems we know so well. Still, we are very much driven by idealism, while working with what there is and doing what we love. In 2019 it was time for synthesis of all of this. And FiFi is this project.