To millions of immigrants in the United States, sending money back home is part of the immigrant experience. “It’s the story of people coming to the United States in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.” Edrizio De La Cruz, a Dominican immigrant, co-founder & CEO of Regalii and recent MBA graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. With past alumni, such as Donald Trump and Warren Buffet, De La Cruz is in good company.
Regalii allows immigrants to send a PIN code directly to the cell phone of their family in Latin America, where it can be redeemed to buy food, medicine or pay bills. Visit Regalii online at: www.regalii.com
Like most of the 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., Edrizio De La Cruz regularly sends money to loved ones in Latin America using services such as Western Union. He is not alone, according to Columbia University, over 60% of Hispanic adults transfer money to family abroad, also called remittances. However, the process is a pain: You pay extortionate fees, wait on long lines, and are responsible for notifying the recipients. Regalii plans to heal that pain.
“We are very excited about this new way in sending remittance which Regalii offers” said Edrizio De La Cruz, co-founder and CEO of Regalii.” For Edrizio, it’s a personal mission. “I grew up in the Dominican Republic,” says Edrizio,” and immigrated to New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, which was probably 110 percent Dominican. “But I went to high school in Queens, where I used to play basketball with Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians and Salvadorians. I quickly assimilated to each subculture. But my social circle was pretty homogeneous. Almost everyone around me was an immigrant.”
Those who emigrate to countries like the U.S. come for a shot at new lives and new opportunities, but many of them still keep close ties back to their families at home, including sending money to help them financially. However, current methods leave much to be desired. As the sender, you cannot guarantee that the money will always go towards what you intended. And when you are the receiver and live in precarious circumstances (the same ones that may have pushed your family members to move abroad), receiving cash can be a risk. And that’s before even considering the costs involved.
Edrizio is the 2012 winner of the Poverty Alleviation Fellowship from Echoing Green, whose alumni include Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush. Prior to Wharton, he spent four years as an Investment banker at J.P. Morgan, then as a private equity investor at Pegasus. Edrizio graduated cum laude from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in New York with a B.B.A. in Finance. While at Baruch, he was an aircraft engineering technician for Swissair at JFK airport.
His passion in disruptive technologies and commitment in the Latino community have led him in the path of entrepreneurship. He has been exposed to remittances as a recipient and a sender and understands the pains of the remittance process. When he lived in Santo Domingo, remittances were the economic lifeblood for his mother and brother. His vision is creating the best way of supporting your family across borders by using the mobile and retail platform infrastructure that Regallii offers. Regalii currently has a total of 1000 retail partner stores and affiliated agencies in New York where customers may pay for Regalii in cash.
For more information visit: www.regalii.com