BLUE WING -WINGS FOR CHANGE- 「The fight to solve economic inequalities A new way to finance to those in need」

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Shivani Siroya

Shivani and her team built the Tala app, a new system to measure credit scores using 10,000 mobile data points on smartphones. The mission is to reach the more than 2.5 billion people in emerging markets without credit scores to provide financial services that can advance their daily lives.

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Shivani Siroya

STORY OF CHANGEMAKING

How do you build trust in an emerging market?
By listening to how over 4,500 people spend their money.

imageI started my career in investment banking and soon got interested in microfinance. When I began working in the field, I realized that although microcredit helps many people, most loan products did not cater enough to the need of the borrowers. The borrowers did not have much choice or freedom over their loans or control over their future.

After I studied econometrics and health economics, I became an analyst for the United Nations Population Fund. I interviewed over 4,500 people to learn more about where their money obtained through microloans went and how they made financial decisions. I became like a walking ledger sheet – I studied every detail of their earnings, needs and expenditures during my research. This was a life-changing experience for me.

The first step to finding a solution:
The start of InVenture (currently Tala)

imageThere were two things I noticed during my research. First, people who only use cash on a daily basis cannot establish any credit. This means they lack the ‘financial identity’, a credit score. Second, traditional credit scoring models do not take non-financial indicators into account, such as their lifestyles and behaviors.

Through my research, I figured out the type of people who could be candidates for financial loans – but there were no financial product on the market for them. The banks did not have the time or the resources to get the depth of information I gained through hours of research. When I thought about creating a new system that could show their reliability, I realized that the solution was in mobile phones, specifically, smartphones.

Smartphones: The best place to look for personal big data.

imageEager to find a solution, I returned to the U.S. and started working again at an investment bank for about a year. I also began building a prototype for the Tala smartphone app. Using LinkedIn, I reached out to over 1,500 people who could provide help or support. I was lucky enough to connect with many people and institutions that gave me great advice.

Determined, I left my position and started my own company in 2012. Luckily, we immediately received our initial round of funding, and by 2014, developed our first smartphone app, Tala. Tala uses over 10,000 data points to analyze information on smartphones to calculate credit scores. In Kenya, users were now able to take out an instant loan of 500 USD, paid to their mobile bank account. Currently, more than 10 million USD in loans have been given to over 120,000 people.

Globally, there are 2.5 billion people who do not have credit scores. Their lack of financial identity denies access to credit or other financial products that can improve their livelihood. On the other hand, in the emerging markets, more than one billion smartphones are in service. Through Tala, users can get credit scores to gain access to loans, insurance and other financial services. Users will also be able to make sound financial decisions through this app. Our new service can give someone a new life.

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PROFILE

Portrait of Shivani Siroya

Shivani Siroya

Shivani Siroya is a fintech entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Tala, which works in emerging markets to help anyone with a cell phone build a financial identity. The Tala smartphone app accesses 10,000 data points per customer to create an instant credit score, allowing users access to financial services. Tala has already disbursed millions of dollars in capital to hundreds of thousands of customers in East Africa and is rapidly expanding its services throughout Africa and Asia.

Prior to founding Tala, Shivani held a variety of positions in global health, microfinance, and investment banking, including with the United Nations Population Fund, Health Net, Citigroup and UBS. Shivani is a 2016 Aspen Institute Finance Leader Fellow, 2016 WEF Young Global Leader, 2015 Senior TED Fellow and 2013 Ashoka Fellow. Holds a M.P.H from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

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ANA BLUE WING
2019.06.21
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
Tala Teams up with Smart Campaign for Digital Lending in Kenya Tala teamed up with Smart Campaign to establish best practices for responsible digital lending in Kenya. Tala’s Rose Muturi, East Africa Regional Manager, and Ian Parrish, Director of Data Science, discussed why Tala volunteered to participate in the assessment and the future of responsible digital credit in a recent blog post by The Center for Financial Inclusion. "As we have gotten more experience lending in Kenya, our ability to assess risk has markedly improved. Lower interest rates save customers money so that our loans provide more value directly for their business or personal needs," Ian explained. Here is the story of a vendor who uses Tala in Kenya: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svjnyanT0Qo https://bit.ly/2wPCoF6 #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.06.22
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Shivani was A LendIt Fintech Industry Awards Finalist Tala Founder & CEO Shivani was a finalist for the 3rd annual LendIt Fintech Industry Awards Executive of the Year! The award was for "the senior executive who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, integrity, performance, and team-building within his or her company, while at the same time contributing to advancement of the industry." Shivani was nominated amongst Steven Streit of Green Dot, David Kimball of Prosper, Tom Burnside of LendingPoint, and Noah Breslow of OnDeck. The exciting event brought together over 400 Fintech influencers and innovators to celebrate outstanding achievement in 21 unique categories. https://twitter.com/talamobile/status/1088501073914949633 https://bit.ly/2Wv8eBz #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.06.21
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Tala Recognized in "The Forbes Fintech 50 For 2019" Tala has been recognized as one of "The Most Innovative Fintech Companies In 2019" by Forbes. Tala listed for 4th consecutive years on this list. The introduction to the list mentioned the featuring of 50 companies which people should give attention. "Payments technology and companies targeting the underserved, be they immigrants without U.S. credit histories or hourly workers living paycheck to paycheck.” https://www.forbes.com/fintech/2019/ https://bit.ly/2IuGYhr #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.06.21
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Los Angeles and Female Talent LA continues to grow as a hub for incredibly strong female talent, and Shivani, the founder of Tala, and the Fintech company, Tala were recently cited as such an example in the "2018 Review of Funding for Female Founders.” Shivani's thoughts were also shared in the article: “Building Tala in LA has been incredible. With a true diversity of cultures, industries, and neighborhoods, there is an energy and excitement here that offers founders more choice in building a strong, equitable team and establishing your own standards. The competitive cost of living also gives you more control over the lifestyle you can live than the nearby Bay Area making it a great choice, particularly for female founders.” https://twitter.com/fcubedvc/status/1098254462341267457 https://bit.ly/2JTOBkN #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.06.05
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Shivani on Eniac Ventures Podcast - Seed to Scale Shivani appeared on Eniac Ventures Podcast, Seed to Scale, discussing a range of start-up related topics. Early in the conversation, upon being asked about the inception of Tala, Shivani recognized that it wasn't so much of a step by step plan that she followed: "I saw a problem that I couldn't stop thinking about and started working on it and it kind of took on a life of its own." Through her exposure and experience, she further recognized and confirmed the unmet needs of many which she saw she could address on a larger scale - ultimately inspiring the foundation of Tala. https://twitter.com/talamobile/status/1088501073914949633 https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.04.10
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Shivani’s Roots For the holiday season, Shivani shared a peek into her cherished roots for the Hindu celebration, "Festival of Lights" or Diwali. The event is typically held on October 27th and is a celebration of good over evil. "It’s a time to be grateful for love and life, celebrate with family and friends, and reflect on goals for the new year ahead" Shivani said. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp5o0AbALfx/ https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING

CHANGEMAKER