Marvin Francois shared with us at TechSTL his ambitious vision for his company’s growth. OneKIN, a fintech and retail technology company that provides solutions for small businesses, has been at the forefront of helping small businesses transition into the digital age and compete more effectively against large-scale retailers.
At oneKIN, they recently launched a live stream selling and shopping app that bridges the gap between traditional in-person shopping and large-scale eCommerce marketplaces. It is powered by AI and designed to combine the personalization and intimacy of in-person shopping with the broad reach and efficiency of the e-commerce world.
When Francois and his team started their work, they knew they wanted to be small-business focused, but they did not have a clear idea of what that focus would look like. They decided to listen to the data and let it lead them to their next steps. They have identified a need for a revenue-based financing solution for small businesses due to the high rate of small business closures from lack of access to appropriate financing. To address this need and to leverage their technical skills, data, and insights, oneKIN is developing a tailored revenue-based financing solution for small businesses. They focus on delivering solutions to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs as they grow and thrive.
Francois is on a mission to support small businesses with cutting-edge technology tools and data to help them flourish. oneKIN, a venture-backed tech company, has the goal of becoming a sought-after, successful unicorn, generating high profits. They aim for this success to filter down to the small businesses and customers on their platform.
Martin Francois mentioned, “So we’ve made it our personal life goal to help small businesses flourish because we believe that small businesses are the most important lever that we can pull to activate socio-economic change.”
He recognizes that this carries potential, not just within the United States but also worldwide. They are motivated at oneKIN to explore ways to achieve this goal on a global scale.
OneKIN is currently in talks with partners in Europe, Africa, and third-world countries, bringing them the distribution channels they need to get the products to global customers. In turn, consumers in the US have access to more products. Francois explained that oneKIN allows US customers to reach international audiences as well as access to products that are not available locally. This creative and forward-thinking approach to solving the problem of global access to products and services is sure to benefit small businesses.
As for St. Louis, being based in the city has proven immensely helpful in making connections, according to Francois. “Regarding how St. Louis has played a part in all of this, the reality is some of the most business-critical relationships that we’ve acquired have been directly tied to our being kind of feet on the ground in St. Louis from Arch Grants, to Capital Innovators, to MasterCard.” As oneKIN continues to make strides helping businesses in their digital transformation, there is no limit to what they can achieve in the next few years.
Marvin Francois shared his experience about how difficult moments have pushed him to take his decision-making to the next level. He discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic was a turning point in launching the platform. Despite the difficult situation, Francois and his team realized “it was kind of that critical moment that challenged us to think outside the box. It’s actually what accelerated the imagination around oneKIN Live and the solution that we had to build.”
This decision was verified when one of the merchants on the brand made more money in six weeks than she had in two years. In addition to the monetary gain, her business enabled her to create jobs locally. Overall, Francois has seen the tangible and bottom-line impact of their decisions, noting that “the average order on our platform touches two to three small businesses and directly impacts about seven to ten families.” These moments have just been reminders for Francois to continue persevering on his mission and recognize that difficult decisions can lead to success.
Marvin Francois wants to ensure that everybody in their ecosystem benefits from their success and has launched a community round of fundraising on WeFunder to do so. Francois explains that if the company is “a community-driven platform,” it needs to live true in everything oneKIN does, and raising funds is no exception.
Now you can join oneKIN’s community and mission as well. To learn more about oneKIN, you can check out their website at onekid.co, follow their Instagram account @_onekin. Those interested in learning more about how to support their community round can search oneKIN on wefunder.com.