From a tiny room to 2 countries: How Olaoluwa raised millions after Paypal ignored him

“Every disappointment you encounter isn’t necessarily a barrier, it could be the channel to your desired breakthrough.” It is often difficult to identify gold in its natural deposit because it often does not seem like gold, due to the inherent dross, but when we look harder, we see clearly this treasure encumbered with impurities.
Here is the mind blowing story of Olaoluwa Awojoodu, founder and CEO of Electronic Settlement Limited (ESL), the company behind the multiple easy payment solutions we have in Nigeria including CashEnvoy, mobile POS solution and PayPad.


An ignored email

One day, a big idea struck him. It was about simplifying payment. Naturally, Paypal came to mind and He send a proposal via email. Long story short, PayPal ignored his e-mail. Prior to this, Olaoluwa Awojoodu had not worked with other company asides during his compulsory Industrial training. He began his entrepreneurship during his 100 level days at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where he studied computer science when he sold recharge cards with the help of a friend. This was in the early days when only few people had one.  After his first endeavour, he got involved in several other entrepreneurial initiatives.


He moves fast

After he discovered a world of opportunities in the technology sphere, he set up Clickstore Africa, a company that sells IT hardware online, and also another project, Bottom Naira —a company which helped people shop abroad by proxy. At this point he had seen the need for Nigerians to make their payments online too; and this prompted him to write out a proposal to paypal, proposing a partnership with them, but fortunately or unfortunately, the email was ignored, it was at this junction that he felt a push towards the direction of implementing this great idea.  So with the help of his colleagues they were able to make CashEnvoy a reality.


Investors are loving it!


They’ve received about six figures seed funding, from many sources, in the past; they had a very radical growth right from having no office space at all; it was laolu’s dad who gave the team a room and a table, but now, they have a whole room full of developers with robust network in Nigeria and Ghana.


Oil Company? Too small.



In an exclusive interview with the crew, Olaoluwa revealed how that his mom wanted him to finish with a good grade in school and work for an oil company, but with Olaloluwa’s focus, tenacity and desire to be a successful entrepreneur, he was able to resist this mouth-watering vision to pursue his dream.

He said “mummy I don’t want to work with Shell, I want to own Shell”. Of course, that got her pissed. There she was trying to have a serious conversation with me and all I could do was make light of it; she actually thought I was joking. My parents just didn’t understand. You can’t really blame them; the mindset of their era — what was bringing home the money — was “get good grades, get a good job and your life is set.” In our era it’s “go to an Ivy League college and fund raising will come chasing you.” In our children’s era, things might be different. You never know. But it’s only what you know that you can advise with. I don’t think anything really made sense to my parents until after I
raised my very first seed. That got them a bit calmer. The fact that someone gave me money made them think “maybe he is actually on to something.”


Olaoluwa inspires


Olaoluwa Awojoodi’s story is truly very inspiring, and it confirms the evergreen saying “The world makes way for those who truly know where they are going”. He is living proof that only those who believe in the beauty of their dreams will make an impact in life.

The driving force behind entrepreneurship still remains creating products of value, solving human problems with innovation. With consistency, focus and determination, you can achieve your craziest dreams.








Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

2 thoughts on “From a tiny room to 2 countries: How Olaoluwa raised millions after Paypal ignored him

  1. Nice write up here. Many people in the class of Ola would have taken up the offers ignored by him, especially pursuing a job with shell. They call it an achievement not knowing that they are still pursuing another man’s vision leaving their unattended to. Going ahead despite not knowing where the road leads, so rare a persistence. He later got his reward which is invaluable and more will still speak for him because he has paid his dues.

    Liked by 1 person

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