In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 2010 that hit Haiti, our founder, David, was a young analyst at the Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti at the World Bank. He witnessed firsthand the resilience and strength of the worldwide Haitian community, as Haitians around the world sent home over $2 billion to support their loved ones in their time of need.
However, as Haitians stepped up their financial support, David saw money transfer companies charging more than 7% for people to send money home.
Visits to the Philippines exposed David to the global nature of this problem. As a student at MIT, he was inspired by blockchain technology and guided toward it by professors and technologists as a potential solution to the high cost of international remittances. The result was SendFriend, an international money transfer app specifically designed for money remittance to Philippines.
David founded SendFriend while he was an MBA student at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. For his work on SendFriend, he received an MIT Legatum Fellowship, was the winner of the MIT Translational Innovation Award, and was selected as a Yale Global Justice Fellow. Prior to his MBA, David was an analyst in the Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti at the World Bank, and also worked at the IFC. He holds BA and MA degrees with Honors from the Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in International Relations and International Economics.
Joel has over 13 year of experience in the international remittance and payments industry. Before joining SendFriend, Joel was CIO/CTO of Viamericas, served as the Chief Architect at MoneyGram, and was VP of IT at Dollar Express (DolEx). He holds a BS from the University of North Texas and an MBA from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
Stephanie has lead marketing efforts for a number of globally-renowned brands. After starting her career at Chase, she has served as CMO of Zagat, DC Comics, Revolution Money, and Mediacom (a WPP company). She received a BA in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, and was a Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School.
Prior to SendFriend, Sadiki was a Program Officer at Fortune. He acts as an Editor for Stanford Law School’s China Guiding Cases Project, in addition to serving as a US Fellow for the Asia Society Zhi-Xing Fellowship Program. He graduated with Honors from Princeton, where he founded the Princeton University US-China Coalition. He is fluent in Mandarin.
Joann Canosa has over 12 years of banking experience in New York and London. She is a project manager at Barclays, and previously at Deutsche Bank. She is a board member of various diversity, wellness, and women community networks, and is heavily involved in the Filipino community. Joann graduated with a BS from Villanova University.
D-Cal is an experienced entrepreneur, community builder, and coach. He has impacted thousands of people globally while working with schools, startups, and corporations on leadership, marketing, performance, and the future of work. He was also chosen as one of the 50 youth representatives at the World Economic Forum in Davos. D-Cal graduated from De La Salle University in Manila.
Satwik Seshasai is the head of AI Infrastructure Engineering at Compass. Previously he served as CTO at ShopSpring, an e-commerce business. He is the co-founder of Segovia Technology, an international payments platform, which was backed by Greylock Partners and was recently acquired by Crown Agents Bank and Helios Partners. He holds a PhD from MIT.
Sandra Ro is the current CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council, and a recognized thought leader in the blockchain space, having built blockchain-based products at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from the London Business School.
Fred Marcusa is a long-time partner at the international law firm of Arnold & Porter and is a member of the French Legion of Honor. He is a recognized expert on international trade and investment, mergers and acquisitions, and is passionate about startups. He teaches on negotiation at the Columbia Law School.
Leigh is the Founder & CEO of Estimize, a pioneering data solution for financial firms that was named to Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies. He has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30, and is a frequent contributor on CNBC and Bloomberg.