Pezesha goes through DFS Sprint Bootcamp in Sri Lanka

May 4, 2017 in Fintech Events

The Pezesha team have just returned from a week in Sri Lanka after being invited to attend a bootcamp for innovative start ups looking to promote financial inclusion in developing markets.

The organisers were the DFS Lab, an organisation funded by the Gates Foundation to support and accelerate growth in companies promoting financial inclusion through digital means.

Pezesha was one of the seven who made it through the hundreds of applications, and joined start-ups from Ghana, India and the US.

The DFS Lab Bootcamp in Sri Lanka

Sprint methodology

Throughout the week we were undertaking a Sprint.

This is a five day process to identify and quickly test an idea that you have about how to improve your business.

We were had the help of the DFS team, and experts flown in from across the globe to assist in the process.

Over the week we identified our area of focus, brainstormed ideas, and tested our versions of these ideas with our customers. The feedback we got was invaluable, and guides us in how to Pezesha even better for them.

Going through the tasks for the day

The other six companies were great, working on a variety of hard problems in innovative ways. This ranged from from seed insurance for farmers, price comparison for SMEs and chatbots for banks.

Seeing the impactful results they were getting was incredibly inspirational.

Discussing feedback from our customer interviews

What we worked on

For Pezesha, we began by clarifying our core vision:

“Pezesha exists to give choice, inclusion and affordability to low-income borrowers in Africa to bring fairness, freedom, equality and hope”

Pezesha is a two-sided marketplace and for this sprint we decided to improve the way that lenders can fund our low-income borrowers.

We drew out how they currently interact with Pezesha, identified ways to improve it, and then began designing ways to test out ideas

Creating a business which works for customers is baked into our ethos, and so the idea of asking customers how we can make a service for them which they would love wasn’t too foreign.

We held interviews with our customers over Skype and took down feedback to understand the common themes, and areas with which we could make the most progress.

If you’re interested in lending money with Pezesha, and seeing what we come up with, then you can download the Pezesha app here 😉

By the end of the week we presented to the rest of the group what we had learnt and headed back to Nairobi with a solid plan to put our learnings into action.

Information on DFS Lab

We are incredibly grateful to DFS Lab for giving us the opportunity to work with them in growing Pezesha.

We’re pleased to say that we progressed to the next round of the funding application and so we hope to continue the relationship going forward.

If you, or someone you know, is a start up looking to improve the lives of others through increasing financial inclusion, then we’d thoroughly recommend you putting forward an application. All the details can be found here.

 

Pezesha selected to attend DFS Design Sprint bootcamp in Sri Lanka

April 20, 2017 in Fintech Events

Pezesha is excited to be participating in the upcoming Digital Financial Services Innovation Lab (DFS Lab) one-week Bootcamp in Sri Lanka.

DFS Lab is an early-stage incubator that supports high potential entrepreneurs refine, grow and launch fintech businesses in developing countries.

Focused on empowering communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, DFS Lab delivers mentorship and strategic advice to early-stage start-ups pioneering transformative business models that empower the poorest, profitably, and at scale. In addition, DFS gives highest quality entrepreneurs access to extensive networks and relevant, world-class advice on how to build successful ventures that change the way low-income consumers interact with digital financial services. DFS Lab also conducts technology research to advance innovative fintech solutions that will move the industry forward.

DFS Lab focus and goals (as stated above) aligns with Pezesha’s  mission of empowering low income borrowers looking to access inclusive and affordable financial services. Pezesha’s innovation comes in linking local lenders with opportunities to fund low income borrowers businesses with loans. The underserved low income borrowers have limited to no access to affordable credit, much less a credit score. Through Pezesha’s sophisticated integrated credit scoring model, Peer to Peer payments and offerings to the local investing community, we are able to give the low income borrowers their first step on the financial ladder.

DFS Lab is housed at Caribou Digital, a specialist in building inclusive digital economies, and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Subscribe to our newsletter (on our home page) to get future updates about our product and the lessons we bring back home with us. In addition to learning from the other great Fintech entrepreneurs from India, Canada, Ghana, and Nigeria who will also be participating in the bootcamp.

Watch here what our borrowers are saying about us http://pezesha.com/?page_id=1419

Pezesha Made it to Top 5 At The Chivas Ventures Fund

January 16, 2017 in Fintech Events

 

Pezesha– The leading peer-to-business micro lending marketplace in East Africa was honored to be among the top five finalists in the recent Chivas Regal Venture $1M Fund competition that received over 200 Kenyan applications in this year’s contest. “The Venture” is a $1million annual fund and global search to reward exceptional startups that use business innovatively to transform communities.

We at Pezesha believe that our success can only be defined and measured by the extent of our social impact. And how we transform communities is through the use of credit analytics to empower credit-constrained micro business and low income social groups in the retail and distribution sector with affordable credit that not only boosts their returns and investment opportunities but also improves their livelihoods and living standards.

According to a recent 2016 report by McKinsey & Company, two billion individuals and 200 million businesses in emerging economies today lack access to savings and credit, and even those with access can pay dearly for a limited range of products. New emerging models such as peer-to-peer financing have the potential of providing inclusive, democratic and affordable financial services, consequently causing positive change. This is precisely where the heart, vision and purpose of Pezesha lies – From the People, For the People. From Kenyans, For Kenyans. From Africans, For Africans.

Mobile technology is at 88% penetration in Kenya alone and at 46% of the continent’s population across Africa; making Africa the second-largest – but least penetrated – mobile market in the world.  We believe in leveraging the power of mobile technology to digitize and bring long term benefits of digital finance to the underserved low income borrowers by not only transforming their lives but also transforming economic prospects of emerging economies. And with the continued support from the Chivas network, we get to be steps ahead in making this dream a reality. Ultimately, this may be our greatest contribution to also impacting the generations to come.