Startup Featured: Tandx

Edgar Salas, Tandx

Tandx was a participating startup in Batch#4 of The Accelerator; helping people build a good credit score.

Interview with Founder, Edgar Salas.

Tandx allows users to access credit and build it up, as well as manage their money.

1.     Tell us about yourselves.

I’m Edgar Salas and I am from the Jefé and Founder at Tandx.  I grew up in Mexico City and while I was in school I worked for multiple companies such as Santander Bank, EATON, DURR, Ronal Rims, and Siemens.

I immigrated to Canada ten years ago after the company I was working for sent me to study here. I was 23 years old, but I realized that I should start my own business because my background and previous training gave me the skills I needed. I started a cell phone repair business at the same time the iPhones came out. The demand was high and that helped the business and my clientele grow fast. At the same time, that business allowed me to expand my knowledge to excel in projects with other companies.

I came up with Tandx a year-and-a-half-ago after listening to my customers divulge their struggle to access credit to finance their winter vacations or new phone. Also, I discovered that many people live paycheck-to-paycheck without saving money or setting a financial goal.

2.     What problem have you solved? / How do you solve such a problem?

I discovered a company that was supposed to help people to fix their credit score, but when I looked at their business model I found that companies like these were taking advantage of their customers. They were signing up people on three years contracts with monthly payments and the promise that those payments would be reported to the credit bureau and getting 10 to 20% of their money back after three years. Yet, many people who used these services complained because they were not able to pay the three years, thus they never got their money back. I felt so bad for those people and that's when I put all my knowledge in accounting and economics, together and said to myself, I have the knowledge I have the means, I like the challenge, and I can create a system where people can get access to credit.  At the same time I can help them to build or rebuild their credit score.

We solve this problem by focusing on access to credit, better management of our users’ money, and help building or rebuilding their credit score. Our mobile app is based on an old p2p lending/banking system created for millions of people internationally that allows users to set a financial goal and achieve it by making small weekly payments.

3.     When did you notice this gap in the market?

A few years ago I personally experienced not having a credit score. Around that time I wanted to apply for credit to buy a car. However, I don't like debt so I used to pay for everything in cash; but the man at the dealership explained to me that no matter how much money I made per year, without credit history, they couldn't give me a loan even if I pay 50% deposit. Also, I was shocked when he also told me that there could be a guy with a good credit score and no job applying for a loan and he could have higher chances of receiving that loan. It worried me because I thought that it would take me forever to build a good credit.

5.     What has your experience been like with The Accelerator program?

I’ve gotten to meet very interesting entrepreneurs and other successful founders and learn from their mistakes. Not to mention all the Chinese food we ate during those dinners.

6.     What was the biggest lesson you learned throughout your experience with The Accelerator?

The Valhalla boot camp was one of my favourite parts of The Accelerator. There were many different lessons I learned during that boot camp.

7.     What has been a major accomplishment for you in 2018?

The release of our platform and the way our first users welcomed the product.

8.     What is next for you?

We want to bring more people on to our team. We seek people that share our values and want to make a difference in the way financing is being done today.