An Argentine Entrepreneur Tries to Take His Tipping App World With the Lightning Community


Damian Catanzaro, a 26-year-old Argentine programmer, created a sensation amongst Argentinian content material creators and NGOs with Cafecito, a tipping platform he began in Feb. 2020 that’s reached 300,000 customers.

However now he needs to go world after just lately integrating the Lightning Community, a Layer 2 cost product constructed on prime of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Catanzaro developed Cafecito – the title is a Spanish phrase that refers to a small cup of espresso – when he was on the lookout for methods to monetize the academic programming content material he was publishing in his social networks, particularly Twitter.

“I discovered that there have been a variety of crowdfunding platforms from overseas, like Patreon. There was one particularly that centered on shopping for cafecitos named Purchase Me a Espresso. The mannequin was good, however there was nothing for Argentina,” Catanzaro recalled, on condition that the Y Combinator-backed Purchase Me a Espresso was based mostly in San Francisco.

As a result of its lack of U.S. greenback reserves, Argentina makes it troublesome to make use of platforms that should be funded with foreign currency echange.

Inside every week, Catanzaro developed an preliminary model of Cafecito, which solely contained his profile and was linked to MercadoPago, the funds processor of e-commerce big MercadoLibre, permitting individuals to ship Argentinian pesos to the programmer. Its enterprise mannequin consists of charging 5% of the tip given to the creator, whereas the cost processor, MercadoPago, retains one other share of the full acquired, Catanzaro mentioned.

“After launching the product, lots of people began speaking to me telling me they wished to have a profile on Cafecito, and that’s once I got interested within the concept to see how it might end up,” mentioned Catanzaro, who left his different jobs as a programmer to dedicate himself full-time to the fast-growing mission.

The Cafecito app (Damian Catanzaro)

On Could 29, 2020, Catanzaro launched the primary model of Cafecito for the general public. “From that day on, the platform began to develop rather a lot, every single day,” he mentioned. Since January of this yr, it has recorded month-to-month progress of 30% and at the moment has 300,000 customers.

Nevertheless, a brand new world opened up for Catanzaro final week when he built-in the Lightning Community into the platform by enabling a worldwide marketplace for his platform.

Cataranzo first got here up with the thought in 2020, however didn’t implement it till this month. The primary time he got here to Lightning Community, he found “an enormous, gigantic world already developed with funds.”

Catanzaro determined to make use of the Open Node platform to combine the Lightning Community, which he did himself.  “I already made the primary demo and subsequent week I’ll open a beta for 1,000 customers,” he mentioned.

“The entire crypto ecosystem, most of all of the bitcoin ecosystem, thanked me, and a variety of non-crypto entrepreneurs additionally informed me that the event was actually cool. It’s one thing that didn’t exist. The response was tremendous constructive,” he mentioned.

In keeping with Catanzaro, none of his potential tipping opponents from overseas have built-in crypto cost choices. And whereas Twitter just lately launched a characteristic the place customers can simply tip one another in bitcoin by way of the Strike cost community, Strike is solely obtainable proper now to individuals within the U.S. and El Salvador.

“It’s a protracted strategy to go earlier than it’s a worldwide factor,” Catanzaro mentioned of tipping in crypto on Twitter.

Nonetheless, when Catanzaro first heard information of Twitter’s tipping characteristic, he thought Cafecito could possibly be introduced on board with that initiative. “Actually, I despatched an e mail to a number of individuals at Twitter to see if they might be involved in collaborating and integrating Cafecito as another choice. I’ve not acquired any response but,” he mentioned.

Subsequent steps

To date, the programmer has not spent a greenback of promoting on Cafecito. “It was like a snowball. When somebody joins, they share it on social networks and it’s seen by somebody who’s within the mission. They usually find yourself coming to the platform organically,” he mentioned.

Catanzaro plans to develop Cafecito’s mannequin all through Latin America throughout 2022 so that folks within the area can use the platform to tip creators with native technique of cost reasonably than U.S. {dollars}.

“There’s a variety of paperwork and paperwork to open corporations elsewhere, however subsequent yr all the things might be prepared for growth,” mentioned Catanzaro, who recognized Mexico as the primary nation exterior Argentina the place Cafecito will launch.

Earlier than he built-in Cafecito with the Lightning Community, Catanzaro was planning for Cafecito to be a regional participant. “However bitcoin goes to be world,” he mentioned, including that now he intends to translate the platform into English, though the title, Cafecito, will stay the identical.

Sooner or later, Catanzaro plans to make Cafecito a social community, the place individuals can’t solely depart a tip but in addition observe customers and remark or like posts on partitions.

Given the platform’s progress, many enterprise capitalists have approached Catanzaro, however he has declined gives, arguing that the platform generates sufficient funds to continue to grow by way of bootstrapping.

“I don’t want a giant capital injection. I might take it, however I’m not ,” he mentioned. “I wish to observe this path. I feel it’s the correct one.”


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