Chilean government backs Regalii

28 Feb



Selected participants, 100 in total, hail from 36 different nations and comprise the third and final application round of 2011

Philadelphia, PA – February 27, 2012 – At $69BN, remittances are the largest form of foreign capital flowing into Latin American families in Latin America.  However, because of the offline nature of this activity, sending remittances is expensive, slow and burdensome.  As a result to this problem Edrizio De La Cruz and Brian Sulaiman came up with Regalii.  Regalii is a revolutionary, free and collaborative form of remittance between Latinos (in U.S. and Spain) and their family in Latin America (“LAC”).  As opposed to sending cash, Regalii empowers Latinos to send group gift cards (via SMS) for stores and supermarkets in LAC.  The user 1) selects Recipients (family in LAC), 2) invites other family members (in U.S.) to share the gift cost. 3) Finally, the Recipient receives a text message with the e-code, which can be redeemed at cash registers at supermarkets and stores in LAC.

  • Founders:

Edrizio De La Cruz -Co-founder and CEO.  Edrizio has executed strategy for Fortune 500 businesses and startups, both as a financier (Pegasus & J.P. Morgan) and as an operator ( Edrizio is a 2011 MBA graduate from Wharton, and was recently at DreamIT Ventures performing sales for an ecommerce company, Nopone.

Brian Sulaiman – Co-founder and CTO.  Brian is a senior systems engineer at eBay and an expert in ecommerce with over 12 years of experience.

  • Attracted over 2000 followers on Facebook and Twitter and over 100


  • As opposed to sending cash, Regalii empowers Latinos to send group

gift cards (via SMS) for stores and supermarkets in LAC.

  • The target market is Hispanics in Spain and in the U.S. – which are the largest and fastest growing minority populations in both countries
  • To attract and retain this segment we’ve launched a brand extension of Regalii focused on Mexico:


About Start-Up Chile

Start-Up Chile is a program created by the Chilean Government, initiated by the Ministry of Economy and executed by Corfo/InnovaChile, that seeks to attract early-stage high potential entrepreneurs to bootstrap their startups using Chile as a platform to go global. In line with the national goal of converting Chile into the innovation and entrepreneurship hub of Latin America, the program plans to bring 1,000 startups to Chile by 2014.

During the six months the participants must be in Chile – for which they receive US$40k of equity-free seed capital, a 1-year work visa, and access to local financial and social networks– the objective is to raise funds, hire talent, create networks, and to launch their businesses from Chile while leveraging and interacting fully with the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The program, unique in the world, and catalyst of similar initiatives such as Startup America, Britain, and Greece, is the ideal opportunity for bootstrappers to receive funding without ceding equity while utilizing one of the strongest Latin American economies as their launching/development platform. Start-Up Chile has been featured in The Economist, BusinessWeek, TechCrunch, and Forbes, among others.

For more information about the Start-Up Chile experience, please visit


Starting a Latino Venture: A Founder’s Story

23 Dec

Have you ever had a burning desire to be your own boss?

Edrizio De La Cruz, a recent MBA graduate from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, founded Regalii and leads the UPenn team working on it. 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. So I assumed that only immigrants sent money or remained connected to family in Latin America.”

While at Wharton, Edrizio realized that wasn’t the case. He said: “At UPenn, I must have met over 100 Latinos, in every shape and form. Some immigrants, some native. From affluent backgrounds and very humble backgrounds. No matter what, the majority remained connected to their culture and family in Latin America.” In talking to other Latinos, Edrizio noticed how frustrating, archaic and anti-social sending money abroad is. “Its like going to the DMV to pay alimony. You wait on long lines and don’t really look forward to it”.  That frustration kindled the fire that sparked Regalii.

Revolutionizing Money Transfers to Mexico

6 Dec

REMITTANCES comprises the economic lifeblood of most Latin American economies.  Like most of the 31 million Mexicans in the U.S., Rosa Cruz must regularly send money to loved ones in Saltillo using Western Union.  Rosa 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 yourself.

A new company called Regalii plans to heal that pain. The company plans to offer a free and instant mobile-money transfers via Free? Instant? Both could completely revolutionize remittances. Rather than sending cash, Regalii allows you to send gift cards via SMS for supermarkets and stores in Mexico. Now when Rosa sends money for groceries to her sister Virginia in Saltillo, she can go to, select recipient, choose the store, and then Virginia receives a text message with an electronic code, which can be redeemed at the selected supermarket in Mexico.  It works just like a coupon. Regalii integrates Facebook profiles, so you can even choose the gift recipient and invite other friends or family members to chip in for the cost of the gift. It is the first and only form of money transfer that’s free, instant and fun!

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