12 Startups to watch in Kenya in 2019

Kopo Kopo offers a software-as-a-service that enables the 30 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets to accept, process, and manage mobile money payments (e.g.SafaricomM-Pesa,AirtelMoney).
http://www.techinafrica.com/12-startups-watch-kenya-2019/

10 startups chosen for NAB-backed fintech accelerator program

The final 10 startups chosen for the program include ZigWay, a mobile app that lets low income families access small loans of under $200 quickly and cheaply, and Emotics, a regtech company using facial recognition to measure user engagement with online compliance training.
https://www.finder.com.au/startups-chosen-startupbootcamp-fintech-2019

A CCAFS-informed public-private partnership reaches 300,000 farmers with climate information

As a result of the trials, Esoko adopted a public-private partnership (PPP) business model proposed by CCAFS to allow the sustainable and equitable dissemination of CIS. The PPP is targeting farmers subscribing to the “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) initiative introduced by the Government of Ghana as part of its measures to improve food security and employment in the agricultural sector. The PPP includes private telecommunication companies such as Vodafone, Toto agric and aWhere and public institutions, such as the GMet services, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and farmers
https://reliefweb.int/report/ghana/ccafs-informed-public-private-partnership-reaches-300000-farmers-climate-information

On the Record: Nicole Van Der Tuin ’07

I was working for an international NGO based in France that does work in micro finance … and basically [I] encountered the fact that the financial institutions are trying to reach new customers, and there’s a massive population — really the majority of the population — that has never had access to credit. Financial institutions are trying to reach those people as quickly and efficiently as possible and to offer them credit to be able to grow businesses, [and] basically it’s like a $5 trillion credit gap across emerging markets for small businesses. And so these financial institutions where I was working were struggling to scale and meet the huge amount of demand for credit from customers because they have really manual processes. It was such a consistent problem across emerging markets that don’t appear to have a lot of other stuff in common like language and culture and a certain level of development.
https://kenyoncollegian.com/news/2019/02/on-the-record-nicole-van-der-tuin-07/

Venture Out: Shivani Siroya, CEO of Tala

Shivani Siroya founded Tala after spending time in emerging markets and found that mobile tech is the best way to solve this problem she was passionate about. Tala provides microloans to people in emerging markets who are unable to secure credit through traditional banks. They use nontraditional data pulled from mobile phones and have extended credit to over 1.3 million customers.
https://www.nasdaq.com/article/venture-out-shivani-siroya-ceo-of-tala-cm1024377

Give People Some (Micro) Credit—and Transform Their Lives

These individuals didn’t have credit scores. So I looked at other things. I lent to one woman, for instance, who I knew saved 30 percent of her income every month for her son’s computer class. I’d observed that she bought her inventory every third Thursday of the month, and that people in her community spent more time in her store than a
https://www.wired.com/story/wired25-melinda-gates-shivani-siroya-credit-loans/

Fintech startup Tala opens first engineering hub in India in Bengaluru

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Tala was founded by Shivani Siroya, an Indian-origin entrepreneur in 2012. The startup aims to broaden access to credit and financial services by harnessing non-traditional data. Tala’s proprietary credit model leverages alternative data and state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to assess the creditworthiness of thin-file customers.
https://www.peoplemattersglobal.com/news/hiring/fintech-startup-tala-opens-first-engineering-hub-in-india-in-bengaluru-18590

For Success Beyond The Bottom Line, These Women Executives Lead With Purpose

In the realm of capital, Shivani Siroya’s micro-finance venture Tala is funding developing-world business owners who would usually be considered too risky by the traditional standards of credit bureaus or who would not be tracked at all. Tala landed on Forbes’ Fintech 50 2018 list of disrupters, with $109 million raised and 4.5 million loans initiated, with a repayment rate of 90%.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherinelove/2018/06/20/for-success-beyond-the-bottom-line-these-women-executives-lead-with-purpose/#5f133cf740ca

The Farmer’s Smartphone, To impact the agriculture ecosystem

Atul believes in taking feedback from multiple people. He goes to the Sarpanch, meets the best farmer in his taluka, and then travels 70 kms to meet the Agri dealers at the market place. He ends up getting confused. The dealers talk to him about a new product being launched by a well-known company. They also try to convince him to buy a few low-priced unbranded products which are supposed to give bumper yields.
http://www.destaglobal.com/the-farmers-smartphone-to-impact-the-agriculture-ecosystem/

BroadPoint, a Gold-Certified Microsoft Dynamics partner serving nonprofit and commercial clients, announces acquisition of The Jitasa Group’s nonprofit technology practice.

The merger of these two highly respected partners provides the nonprofit community with a single, trusted source for their technology solutions, services and support. Both companies are excited about the expanded opportunities the acquisition brings to nonprofits.
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/broadpoint-announces-major-acquisition-to-benefit-nonprofit-community-300614616.html

This Millennial Is Leading Africa’s Tech Revolution

Nigerian-American Maya Horgan Famodu is solving a big problem for Silicon Valley: Investors want to invest in Africa, but lack the know-how or local partners to help them get on the inside. Enter Famodu. She is the 26-year-old gatekeeper between tech investors and the Africa entrepreneur ecosystem.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryannreid/2018/02/11/this-millennial-is-leading-africas-tech-revolution/#4c08fc0c5c28

How ex-UN staff got data for credit app Tala

Today, the micro lender has serviced more than 4.5 million loans and has lent out Sh25 billion ($250 million) to its customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Philippines and Mexico. “Repayment rates are at 92 per cent with eight per cent accounting for the slow payers. Interestingly, 95 per cent of our clients are repeat customers,” said Ms Siroya, a graduate of Columbia University.
https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/tech/4258474-4286464-o0sgn9z/

moWoza does the running for traders

Informal trading in the region is not easy — travelling over long distances and across borders to source goods is time-consuming, costly and often dangerous. Yet hundreds of thousands of people in Africa rely on the risks of an informal supply chain to eke out a living and feed their families.
https://mg.co.za/article/2017-03-07-mowoza-does-the-running-for-traders

Axios Impact Investment Interview

Peacefully indomitable may sound like an oxymoron, but that is exactly how I would describe Aaron & Abigail Sebesta’s calm but determined attitude and presence. Immediately intrigued by their life stories they spoke about during our house hunting together, I wasn’t surprised when less than a year later they took a huge step in pursuing their dream of moving to South America to help farmers finance their operations. Now in Cusco, Peru, their business–Axios Impact Investments–is embarking on a true social enterprise mission to solve one of the world’s biggest problems.
https://thatsdurangoblog.wordpress.com/axios-impact-investment-interview/?fbclid=IwAR3UDc6cThCUAjx36oQJSRigsniHT1TuI-IW2LeNZr_fg86RCo5MpDlffJU

Interview with Shivani Siroya, Tala

In emerging markets and the developing world, access to banking, capital, and financial resources is far more difficult than here in the U.S., due to a less developed financial system, lack of credit tracking, and oftentimes and informal economy. Santa Monica-based Tala, backed by Google Ventures and Lowercase Capital, has developed a tool that allows anyone with a cell phone to build a financial track record, specially for people in emerging markets.
http://www.socaltech.com/interview_with_shivani_siroya_tala/s-0068771.html

Africa’s Entrepreneurs: Strong but Struggling

For example, First Access has created technology that utilizes financial service provider data in innovative ways to provide credit scores to clients in informal markets. Initiatives like this one help mobilise capital for entrepreneurs who otherwise would not have access. We need to think harder about ways to give SME’s access to funding on terms that aren’t restrictive.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ambassador-amina-mohamed/africas-entrepreneurs-str_b_13876004.html

This Is What It’s Like For Female Entrepreneurs In Afghanistan

They walk a fragile line. They must build networks with trusted government workers, the international business community, young students, and professionals. Many Afghan business leaders hope to attract investors who will bet on them to secure hard-won gains in human rights, especially for women.
https://www.fastcompany.com/3065740/startup-report/this-is-what-its-like-for-female-entrepreneurs-in-afghanistan

this week ins tartups: shivani-siroya-tala

Tala founder Shivani Siroya on transforming microfinance & loans in emerging markets, using untraditional data & behavioral variables to build a global industry & being the CEO of Chris Sacca’s favorite portfolio company
http://thisweekinstartups.com/shivani-siroya-tala/

TED Talk – A smart loan for people with no credit history (yet)

Trust: How do you earn it? Banks use credit scores to determine if you’re trustworthy, but there are about 2.5 billion people around the world who don’t have one to begin with — and who can’t get a loan to start a business, buy a home or otherwise improve their lives. Hear how TED Fellow Shivani Siroya is unlocking untapped purchasing power in the developing world with InVenture, a start-up that uses mobile data to create a financial identity. “With something as simple as a credit score,” says Siroya, “we’re giving people the power to build their own futures.”
http://www.ted.stfi.re/talks/shivani_siroya_a_smart_loan_for_people_with_no_credit_history_yet?sf=earaad#t-27750

Andrew Youn: Farm Aid With an M.B.A.

When Andrew Youn started One Acre Fund to help farmers in East Africa improve their productivity, he set rapid expansion as a top priority. The result: After just a decade, the nonprofit serves 300,000 farmers directly and another 500,000 through its government partnerships.
https://www.philanthropy.com/article/40-under-40-andrew-youn-farm/234749

Using Mobile Phone Payments To Get People With No Credit History Some Credit

If you’re on the outside the financial system, you don’t have a credit history that a loan officer can refer to; you may not have much documentation at all. In effect, you face a Catch 22. You’re excluded from the financial system because you’re excluded from the financial system.
It’s this problem that Nicole Stubbs has been trying to address with First Access, a New York startup that mines alternative financial data, including mobile phone payment histories.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3035336/using-mobile-phone-payments-to-get-people-with-no-credit-history-some-credit