Fejiro Hanu Agbodje looks every inch your next-door, 24-year-old lad who loves Afrobeat music, and all the wild things bristling young men of his age should indulge in.
But this is no ordinary youth President Muhammadu Buhari once labelled “Lazy Nigerian youth.” At 22 he formed an E-commerce company, Patrica Technologies Limited, simply known as Patricia that has since changed the landscape of the industry it operates. At 24, he now sits atop a bludgeoning empire that posted a whooping over N10 billion in transaction volume.
Hanu Agbodje’s business through Patricia acts as a digital bank, which allows users to buy, sell and store bitcoin among other digital assets.
“We have a long list of services. We buy, sell, store bitcoin. We also buy and sell gift cards. We have a device that can help you find any of your lost items; it is called HANK. We have ‘Patricia’ refill where users convert airtime to cash and there is PatriciaPAy, a payment solution where users can pay with bitcoin,” said the young man from Warri, Delta State.
Speaking further, he stressed “we are here to usher Africa into the digital age. Imagine what email did to sending letters; we believe that money is going to be largely digital in a few years and when that time comes, Patricia is going to be at the forefront of this evolution. By April of this year, we want Nigerians to shop online with bitcoins. We are the first company to let users, literally withdraw bitcoins from ATMs or spend at POS machines nationwide; so, when we say we are going to achieve something we know what we are talking about.
“We had a successful 2019. We just launched our five-storey state-of-the-art office. Just a few days ago, we became the first company to let users, literally withdraw bitcoins from ATMs or spend at POS machines nationwide, our wins are too many to mention.”
Recalling how it all started in the interview, Agbodje said: “I had an uncle who visited Nigeria, who used to give me an iTunes gift card. I didn’t own an iPhone, so I literally had no use for it, so I tried to find where I could exchange this for real money. I couldn’t find any local company doing that and I ended up getting scammed of the card. At that point, I realised I had stumbled on something. I figured if I had this problem, a fleet of other persons would most likely have the same problem and that was the birthplace for Patricia,” he said.
The E-commerce company, Hanu Agbodje’s Patricia is first of its kind in Nigeria, and arguably the first in Africa involved in the trading and exchange of gift cards, bitcoin, perfect money and the sending of gifts within Nigeria and largely in Europe, America and Asia.
Fejiro Hanu Agbodje graduated from the University of Benin with a BSc degree in Mathematics and Statistics. He founded Patricia in 2017.
“I have started a lot of other businesses before Patricia. I once had a mini restaurant when I was in university. I sold airtime; I sold popcorn and I got admission through a programme called BASIC, kind of A-Level today; then I used my house rent to buy a bike and gave it to an indigene who ran away with it. I have done a lot of things, to be honest.
“Coming back to Patricia, I started it sometime in 2017; it actually was supposed to be a side hustle, to earn an extra N30,000 a month but as fate would have it, it blew up. I think all my failures and trials have been preparing me for this,” he added in an interview.