Hi everyone! I'm Helena Tude and together with Patrick Rahy, we are the co-founders of Kult and ILP grantees since 2021. We are both from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, based in Porto, Portugal – where our startup is also based. Therefore, Kult is directed to the entire Portuguese-speaking community, focusing on the Brazilian market first, due to its massive potential.
Kult is a social platform (app/website) for culture & entertainment lovers to share and discover movies, TV shows, podcasts, songs, and books with a passionate community. We are interested in disruptive possibilities for monetization through digital payments on the Internet and more specifically on social media – which nowadays is concentrated on the attention economy and big tech's invasive and centralized advertising model.
The peer-to-peer model is attractive to us and, as Brazilians, we have seen the revolution caused by PIX in our country – which is transforming financial inclusion in Brazil. Created and operated by Brazil's Central Bank, PIX allows for seamless, interoperable, and instant payments between people and is extremely beneficial for small business owners and creators/artists on the web.
By being part of the ILP Summit 2023 in Costa Rica, we hoped to (i) learn more about other case studies from countries around the globe, (ii) deepen our knowledge about the Interledger Protocol and how it aims to transform financial inclusion globally, and last but not least, (iii) present our view on PIX's impact in Brazil.
As ILP Financial Services Grantees for Phase 1, we had our stand during the kick-off & welcome drinks on Thursday. It was an amazing night where we could present our project of building a digital wallet that connects ILP with PIX, through P2P instant and seamless payments made globally and received in Brazilian currency, using Rafiki under the hood. We were positively impressed by the interest and reception of the public. We were also super happy to connect with new & old friends.
On day 1, we had the opportunity to present a Lightning Talk entitled "How PIX is revolutionizing financial inclusion in Brazil and what ILP has to do with it". We introduced PIX to the public, with its main properties, impressive numbers, effects on financial inclusion in Brazil, and key takeaways for the Interledger community.
You can check the entire presentation and reference links here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cwpWURSTnqquu5g8x1bXB8kn8KrBGMNgI_jQgJnYp6o/edit#slide=id.g29351f3d3f6_0_14
We also met other Brazilians during the summit who enlightened our overview of Brazil's payment infrastructure even more (shoutout to Nicolo Zingales & Bruna Cataldo, Larissa Magalhães and Smriti Parsheera on their awesome panel about "Standardized Payment Interfaces as Digital Public Infrastructures: Learning from India and Brazil; to Andrey Torres from Pipe Web Monetization; and Rafael from TigerBeetle). The connections there sparked so many new insights that we invited Andrey to collaborate with us for Phase 2.
It was a pleasure to connect once again with the Interledger team (and for the first time for Helena :D). We want to thank Chris, Julaire, Ayesha, Ginny, Vineel, Anna, and Chiara for the warm reception and awesome event management. We also want to thank the Interledger tech team (shoutout to Alex, Max, and Benny) for exchanging valuable insights on how we can make our project work even better together.
I (Helena) was also super proud to talk about Kult's micro-internship with HBCU students on Day 1, during the panel "Engaging HBCU Students in Open Communities". We would like to thank Andrew for the always hilarious engagement and inspiring feedback and the students who participated with us (Felicia, Anthony, and Jakerya).
Finally, on Day 3 we had the pleasure of participating in the Grantee Workshop which also sparked ideas and connections with other fellow grantees following parallel paths. It was super nice to see how the foundation is leveraging so many different initiatives reunited by a similar vision.
To be completely honest, it was mindblowing to participate in the summit this year. Apart from meeting so many ingenious and extremely creative people, we were positively impressed by the diversity of the event (which kind of sucks in a way as well because it shows how far behind we still are in closing the gaps of diversity & inclusion in [fin]tech spaces). Being part of a community that is working together with a similar vision of equity & financial inclusion is very inspiring.
It was also very exciting to see the advances in terms of technical infrastructure for the Interledger Protocol, highlighted by Rafiki's development – crucial to our project as well. We look forward to following more updates!
Overall it was a wonderful opportunity and we are very happy to be a part of it. See you next year!
Helena and Patrick