Cashblack and Afrofiliiate launch
“Over the past few years, when people asked us why we weren't live yet, despite attending countless networking events and business conferences, I used to jest, saying, "Most start-ups fail in their first year, so we're playing it safe and launching in year 3."
- Matthew Addai, Co-Founder Cashblack & Afrofiliate
In a world where economic empowerment and representation matter more than ever, Black Valley alumni Matthew, Jonathan and Nicholas Addai have created two innovative platforms to uplift the Black community and support Black-owned businesses. Meet Cashblack and Afrofiliate, the dynamic duo that's changing the game in online shopping and affiliate marketing.
This humorous response wasn't just a play on sarcasm, but also a way to avoid delving into the personal and professional challenges to bring their project to life. We spoke with Matthew (pictured centred) about their recent announcement.
Q: For those that don’t know of CashBlack and Afrofiliate, how would you describe the two?
Matthew: Cashblack is a platform that rewards members with cash-back when they shop online with Black-owned businesses. But it's not just about cash-back; it's about making a difference. Here's what we at Cashblack have to offer:
- Discover Independent Retailers: Navigate through a diverse array of Black-owned stores or explore marketplace partnerships with industry giants like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
- Local Gems: Unearth hidden gems among Black-owned takeaway vendors and grocery stores through partnerships with Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Uber Eats.
- Cashblack A.F.R.O.B.O.T: Take your shopping experience to the next level with the Cashblack A.F.R.O.B.O.T browser extension. This AI-powered gem learns how you shop, so when you land on mainstream sites like Boots or The Body Shop, it suggests alternatives like Plantmade and Ava Estell.
- Cashback with a Purpose: Make purchases, receive cashback, and choose whether to withdraw it or donate to one of Cashblack's affiliated charities. And here's the best part – Cashblack matches your donations 100%.
Matthew: Afrofiliate is an affiliate platform that connects Black-owned brands with content creators, media houses and publishers so that anyone can generate an income promoting Black-owned businesses. Retailers can connect with influencers and micro influencers, bloggers and publishers or convert their current customers into brand ambassadors so they can be incentivised to boost their brands to their audiences. At the same time, anyone can apply to a programme of their favourite Black-owned brands, share their affiliate links through their personal networks or through wider channels and earn a passive or active income supporting Black-owned businesses.
Q. With the recent announcement, what’s new in your world?
Matthew: We launched both platforms after three years of research and development. The research consisted of finding out the pain points of Black-owned businesses, major organisations who want to work with Black-owned businesses and, most importantly, the Black community. The development was all about creating a platform to directly target these pain points. The outcome was a discovery platform for Black-owned brands, an intuitive tool to help find them and a way for everyone to earn money supporting them.
Q: And now, what are you most excited about?
Matthew: We’re excited to see the businesses come to life. We’ve spent so long building the project that we’ve grown used to being in a pre-launch phase. We’ve gone through multiple accelerator programmes since Black Valley, spoken to hundreds of Black-owned businesses, countless potential members and developed strategic partnerships with billion dollar organisations. We’re excited that after so long as an idea, our idea is now becoming a reality.
Q: As a Black Valley Alumni, what advice can you share to other members of our community?
Matthew: Our biggest advice would be to just go ahead and start. It’s easy to over engineer, spend too long building or to just procrastinate. Only with the benefit of hindsight do we now realise that the biggest hurdle we’ve faced was actually going ahead with the launch in the first place. We’d encourage anyone else to overcome whatever fears they may have and do the same.
Q: And lastly, what can we as a community do to support you?
Matthew: You can help elevate us further by registering with Cashblack, making purchases, earning cashback and referring to your friends and family so you can earn even more when they do the same. Also, with Afrofiliate, encourage Black-owned retailers to join and create their own affiliate programme so you can earn money supporting Black-owned businesses.
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