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
2019.02.21
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
Shivani Featured on Create & Cultivate 100 List. Shivani is featured on this year’s Create & Cultivate 100 list of inspirational women in STEM & Finance! In a feature interview on createcultivate.com, Shivani was asked about the importance of community regarding women in tech and shared some thoughtful insights: "For women in tech, starting a new venture can be exciting, yet lonely and difficult. A community can serve as a much-needed constant in a journey that’s likely to be unpredictable. I fully believe that community is the key to sustainable success. My family taught me the importance of being there for others, and I love sharing ideas and helping others make connections, as I’ve benefited from the help and advice others have given me." https://bit.ly/2R5NcXw https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.02.16
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Tala[Tala Mobile] Is One of the Best Places to Work for in LA. Already kicking off 2019 with a strong start, Tala was nominated as one of the “best midsize places to work for in Los Angeles” by Built In LA, a city-based job site for startup/tech companies. Shivani shared the news on her Instagram adding, "there’s been so much hard work and passion that has gone into this. I’m so proud of our team and their constant determination to build an equitable company and place to work - go team Tala go!!" https://www.instagram.com/shivsiroya/ https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.02.17
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Self-Care in a Busy Life. Ever wonder how busy startup founders take care of themselves? Female Founders Fund tweeted how they were finding balance in the new year and shared Shivani's advice around developing a routine. Swearing by morning walks, and a set sleep schedule, Shivani explained how “our bodies love routines and the more you can give yourself some steadiness — the more you’re able to push yourself because your mind always has something constant to ground back to... even if it’s for ten minutes — and a walk around the block. It helps ground myself, wakes me up, and helps with jetlag.” https://www.careercontessa.com/interviews/shivani-siroya-tala/ https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.01.08
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Inspiration from a Successful Female Fintech Entrepreneur. A recent article "3 Discoveries for Success Every Female Tech Entrepreneur Should Know" featured on Business Woman Media, mentioned Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of Tala[Tala Mobile]. Under the concept of "discover your mentor" the article cited Shivani's inspiration from her mother who "helped her understand the differences in resources that exist from place to place, and how that impacts opportunity and choice." This inspired Shivani on a mission to make the financial system more inclusive for people with limited resources. https://tala.co/careers https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.01.09
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Tala's 2018 Impact Report. Tala[Tala Mobile] released its 2018 Impact Report detailing the organization's methodology, key findings, and opportunities moving forward with a focus on Kenya. From the report, "70% of entrepreneurs described using Tala to help keep their businesses running through periods of uncertain income: 'When I need to service my cars and don’t have enough money out of pocket, I use Tala. It allows my business to run smoothly.' -- Kenneth, Taxi Business Owner 'Last year I had an accident and had to use almost all my money to get treatment. Tala helped me to add at least one bale [of duvets to sell] so the shop didn’t close.' --Calvin, Shop Owner" Other instances include personal money management: "'Because my salary was often delayed, I’d fall behind on school fees and either couldn’t sit for exams or have to pay 50% more for paying late. Now I can pay my fees on time' -- Hillary, Accountant” https://tala.co/careers https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2018.12.25
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PayPal Made a Strategic Investment In Tala[Tala Mobile]. PayPal has joined Tala as an investor in the shared mission "to unlock financial access, choice, and control for billions around the world" Shivani Siroya, CEO and Founder of Tala recently tweeted. As shared in the PR release, Tala is the leading consumer lending app in emerging markets providing a service for "more than two-thirds of the world’s adult population with no formal credit bureau record, making it difficult for traditional financial services to understand and reach these consumers." “At PayPal, we believe that everyone should have access to transparent, convenient and secure financial services,” Mark Britto, SVP and general manager of global credit, PayPal stated. The new investment builds on Tala’s Series C financing. https://tala.co/careers https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/shivani_siroya/ #shivani #ANABLUEWING

CHANGEMAKER