Pezesha enables instant loans via SMS

October 29, 2017 in Announcements, Product

Pezesha has launched a new service that enables borrowers on its peer-to-peer lending platform to apply for loans via SMS. The SMS channel is a new process through which Pezesha registered borrowers will only need to send the word “Apply” to Pezesha’s SMS short code 22235 and instantly get funded at no extra cost other than the normal Safaricom SMS charges of Kshs 1 per SMS.

“This follows the constant demand from our existing borrowers (now more than 6,000) and new borrowers who yearn to grow their micro enterprises and our consistent efficiency that not only guarantees our customers’ replenishment of their stock in time and increase in their profits, but also gives them access to their credit score history report and how to improve it in order to  get bigger loans to double their micro entreprises growth and climb up the financial ladder”, says Tabitha, Pezesha’s Marketing Lead.

Criteria

For a borrower to use the SMS channel, they MUST meet the following criteria:

  • Have been vetted and registered by a Pezesha agent in their location.
  • Have taken at least one loan with Pezesha following their registration
  • Have no pending payments on their previous loan
  • Have paid BOTH their first and second installments in time
  • Have been qualified through our robust credit scoring system
  • Have read,fully understood, and agreed to Pezesha’s Terms & Conditions

How it Works

To go through a successful loan application using the new SMS channel, a borrower undertakes the following steps:

“We target low income audience and currently at least 80% do not own a smartphone. Meaning they cannot access affordable financial services from their low end phones. Pezesha, therefore aims to use this SMS channel to bring choice and financial inclusion to the more than 6 Million excluded informal populations of micro businesses in Kenya. Most important use our agent networks across the country to enlighten our low income households target on financial literacy that elevates them up the financial ladder.” adds Tabitha from Pezesha.

 

Pezesha, selected to participate in Blackbox Connect 20 at Silicon Valley!

October 9, 2017 in Announcements

 

Pezesha is excited at being selected to participate in the upcoming Blackbox Connect 20 accelerator programme!

It’s a two-week residential programme for startup founders across the globe being held in Silicon Valley at the end of November 2017. The Blackbox model is designed to elevate startup founders globally by working to create a strong foundation which promotes their long-term potential, expands their worldview, exposes them to new opportunities, and connects them with their own greatness.

Pezesha is a Peer to Peer micro-lending marketplace for Africa.

Through a robust credit scoring model built on both conventional and unconventional forms of data, Pezesha is able to provide credit to low-income borrowers currently excluded by the financial system. In just 10 months of operation more than 5,000 borrowers have received a loan from the platform, funded by a pool of more than 100 local lenders seeking a more purposeful means to their idle capital.

There are many ways Pezesha hopes to benefit from Blackbox’s flagship experience, including:

  • Connecting with fellow talented founders from more than 40 countries to share ideas, networks and partnerships
  • Build relationships with the pool of experienced venture capitalists, and subject matter experts
  • Access to strategic resources to fuel Pezesha’s growth and global expansion

Pezesha is also proactively contributing by sharing lessons, ideas and networks from our diverse practical learnings and experiences in emerging markets. Our Founder will further share experiences of more than 7+ years in shaping the tech ecosystem in Kenya, successfully exiting a tech company, and building world-class platforms with local talent.

About Blackbox

Blackbox aims to serves founders from every corner of the globe. Their network of 350 Blackboxers spans more than 60 countries and six continents one relationship at a time. Over 90 percent of startups founded by Blackboxers continue to grow and thrive, nine companies have exited, and the majority have come full-circle by taking on new leadership roles in their startup communities.

Blackbox leverages value-aligned partnerships to expand global reach and impact – partnerships that Pezesha also hopes to leverage on. Some of the global partners and sponsors of Blackbox include Google, Silicon Valley Bank, Stripe and IBM.

Let’s connect in Silicon Valley?

We look forward to be being part of the program come November 2017 and would love to meet with others in the Bay area who share our world view.

If, like us, you are crazy enough to be building a business that will change the world or a potential investor or partner in the region looking to connect with us while we are there, please hit us up at hello@pezesha with email subject title “Let’s connect when in Silicon Valley”.

 

 

 

 

#Success story. Pezesha empowers Mary!

August 21, 2017 in success stories

Article by Shirlyn Njeri, Operations, Pezesha.

Mary in her micro grocery & fruits Kiosk

By looking at Mary, you would say she is your ordinary Kenyan woman. This statement, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Mary is anything but ordinary. She’s a fighter and she is hardworking to the core. From her early 3 am mornings at Machakos bus stop picking her delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables, to her late nights at her informal grocery vending business (normally called “Mama Mboga Kibanda”). She’s always in her Maasai kanga with Swahili sayings written on the edges: “Mstahimilivu hula mbivu (a patient man will eat ripe fruits), Mtaka cha mvunguni sharti ainame (he who requires what is under the bed must stoop for it) are but some of the sayings. They mostly revolve around the message that hard work pays. Indeed, the sweat crystals dripping from her ebony tanned forehead to her double chin and eventually her soft torso do everything to imply hard work. The 12 o’clock midday sun shining above her full afro is not kind but does not dissuade her from her daily hustle. She bends, walks and stretches to ensure she never goes out of business. The “Mama Mboga” business is not one to be handled lightly or dismissively. Mary knows this and puts her best foot forward every day.

It was a cold windy Wednesday morning, she remembers so clearly, the day Pezesha field officers waltzed into one of her group’s usual monthly Chama meetings bringing the good news. A loan that did not require any savings and had fair interest rates with flexible repayment terms to give breathing room and ensure her business grows . One would almost say it resembled the missionaries bringing the gospel to Africa, only better received by this eager group of business ladies. Little did the bubbly vibrant field officers conducting the loan application process realize that they had brought the much needed hope to Mary .That day changed the course of her life forever.

“Pezesha loans came to me at a time when I had lost all hope in life. I had just buried my husband of ten years whom I lost from a gristly road accident. I had to learn to fend for myself and my 4 innocent pairs of eyes looking up to me” says Mary. Her first born daughter had also just been sent home from high school due to fees arrears. With no stable support system, you could say she was desperate. You couldn’t, of course, tell all this by just looking at her. She did not necessarily think of her long term goals when she applied for the loan. In that moment all she needed was to get out of the rut she was in, for her family’s sake.

A few months down the line she still speaks of Mildred, the field officer who did her loan application process, with utter respect and appreciation. In her very wise words, “it’s not everyday you get to interact with a company that is as welcoming and customer friendly as the Pezesha team. I am more than grateful to my fellow Kenyan who believed in me and funded my first Kshs 3,000 loan that has now grown to a Kshs 10,000 loan in a few weeks ” This in turn resulted in the timely repayments of her loans and gradual increase in loan amount. Her credit score has also grown to be excellent over time and now she can qualify for bigger loans to add more stock in her business.

Not a prado in sight to ferry her around at her whim and call, but all the happiness her life can gather. She has ensured her children are well fed, in school, healthy and sheltered every single night. Her business has grown immensely as well. Where she previously only sold a box of oranges in traffic along the streets and roads of Nairobi, she now has a fruit stall where she sells all types of fresh fruits with a growing clientele. Now she doesn’t have to worry about the city council authorities chasing her around the town for illegally hawking and the losses that are incurred during such an ordeal as she has a business permit. No public relations agent but for her soft spoken nature, wit, grit, dependability and good customer service, just to mention a few. She now makes smart business choices and knows that loans, if utilized properly, can lead to great success. She has learnt how to deal with the bad times, developed consistency, resilience, dignity and now understands better the value of hard work. She is the very definition of strength of a woman, overcoming her obstacles and rising above them.

I don’t know what your idea of success is, in this highly superficial society we live in, but this comes pretty close in Mary’s world.