##Brief Project Description
Hello Everybody ! Richard from Cool Lion Finance.
Cool Lion Finance has this big ambition to be the first crypto-friendly financial institution in Francophone Africa (200 million inhabitants) by obtaining a full-license stack /electronic money/microfinance license/money transmitter).
We love trade finance, climate finance and overall to make the life of small business entrepreneurs in developing markets such as West African countries much easier.
##Progress on objectives
The grant support regarded conducting a research and exploration phase:
-Conduct market research (desk reading, interviews)
-Engage a top consulting firm to deliver an assessment of the financial regulatory policies and rules landscape
-Conduct user testing (interviews, card sorting, interactive mockups)
-Submit a comprehensive report about the requirements to be licensed inclusive of the technical architecture, operational plan, production roadmap and budget.
A number of issues from a key project promoter considerably slowed down our ability to deliver on the initial schedule. Now, this lies behind us.
Alltogether, we're happy to have fully completed our research phase and have submited a business and technology plan for which we offer some details below.
Beyond wanting to become the first crypto-friendly financial institution for 120+ million africans, our team was keen to build a crypto project supporting SMBs to access cross-border crypto loans to fund their path to decarbonization by acquiring low-carbon productive assets. The current market situation in the crypto space was not so conducive:
-A lot of crypto service enablers winding down or facing stiffer regulation and unwilling to open up their integrations to "exotic" countries
-Dearth of DeFi lenders
-Legal uncertainties: requesting funds from the public for an invesment purpose presented some serious legal consideration that we felt we didn't want to shoulder ultimately.
After carefully analyzing service gaps for SMBs in West Africa, we've identified trade finance, especially facilitating importer-eporter payment flows to be a huge market opportunity that can be disrupted.
Our focus in on securing a microfinance license (plus other licenses) and structuring the business in a way we offer COOL LION FI as a partnering crypto solution with high potential.
## Progress on Objectives, Key Activities
[DONE] Conduct market research (desk reading, interviews)
We conducted 14 interviews with respected figures or senior leadership of financial institutions operating in WAEMU as well as discussions with close to 30 other stakeholders.
[DONE] Engage a top consulting firm to deliver a comprehensive
assessment of the financial regulatory policies and rules landscape.
3, not 1 consulting firms supported our assessment and analysis of the regulatory landscape.
[DONE] Conduct user testing (interviews, card sorting, interactive mockups)
With support from XRPL Grants, we actually went beyond this, hired developers and shipped a MVP for Cool Lion Finance available at https://app.coollionfi.com/.
We've now pivoted to a nw service giving it less priortiy on our future roadmap. We are prioritizing being a crypto-friendly, regulated financial institution.
[DONE] Submit a comprehensive report about the requirements to be licensed inclusive of the technical architecture, operational plan, production roadmap and budget.
## What’s Next?
Our busines and technolgoy plan has been submitted to ILF for further consideration.
## Community Support
Thank you for ILF team for being understanding, exercicing patience and for such a wonderful support.