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16 minutes | Dec 17, 2020
Growing digital tools to match workers’ needs: An interview with SmartMEI’s Carlos Dejavite
“Most microentrepreneurs here in Brazil… don’t have a lot of the tools that a bigger business would get. And they were struggling a lot,” says Carlos Dejavite, co-founder of SmartMEI, on the final episode of a four-part miniseries of VentureKast. In this series, we discuss insights from Accion Venture Lab’s latest publication, which explores how fintech startups can “win from within” by focusing on building value for their existing users. SmartMEI’s app offers microentrepreneurs and other workers operating in the gig economy in Brazil — like delivery drivers, street vendors, and electricians — business solutions and a gateway to banking services. SmartMEI continues to evolve their platform and scale new products so these workers can succeed.
18 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
Deepening support for farmers in East Africa: An interview with Apollo Agriculture's Eli Pollak
Apollo Agriculture co-founder and CEO Eli Pollak joins VentureKast to share how Apollo is staying focused on helping their small-scale farmer customers improve their incomes. Apollo Agriculture empowers small-scale farmers in East Africa with the tools they need to maximize their profits, produce food for their communities, and build financial stability for their families. Through a digital-first approach, they’re reaching rural farmers and building on their services to meet more of their needs.
19 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Engaging existing users to drive growth: An interview with Advance's Jaime de los Angeles
An interview with Jaime de los Angeles, CEO of Advance, a salary-on-demand platform in the Philippines that is engaging directly with users in order to “win from within."
16 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Three ways startups can grow by focusing on existing users
Accion Venture Lab's Amee Parbhoo joins the first episode of a four-part mini-series of VentureKast to discuss insights and strategies from Accion Venture Lab's latest publication, which explores how fintech startups can grow by focusing on building value for their existing users. Amee also shares highlights from the report's case studies of nine fintech startups that are pursuing these strategies around the world. CEOs from three of the startups featured in the report will be interviewed in later episodes of the series.
17 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
"The pandemic is a moment to get in touch" — Creditas’ Ann Williams
In episode ten of VentureKast: Rebuild, Creditas COO Ann Williams explains how Creditas has reached out to their customers during COVID-19 to find out how they can help. The company’s digital platform and focus on long-term customer relationships has led them to design fair, transparent, and affordable financial services and consumer solutions for people in Brazil and Mexico. With this approach, the company is continuing to design new ways to engage with their customers, share more information, and innovate with new relevant products.
18 minutes | Aug 20, 2020
"We need collaboration and a multi-stakeholder approach" — CFI’s Mayada El-Zoghbi
In episode nine of VentureKast: Rebuild, managing director of the Center for Financial inclusion Mayada El-Zoghbi explains how COVID-19 has impacted different populations and sectors of the economy in unique ways depending on existing infrastructures, government responses, and “how digitally connected people are.” Mayada discusses how microfinance institutions are going digital, while digital ID systems, e-commerce, and innovative lending can scale to provide inclusive financial services to vulnerable customers. Mayada’s message is an inspiring one as she emphasizes the importance of collaboration across the ecosystem.
18 minutes | Aug 13, 2020
“More solutions focused on fluidity, solving for rigidity in our system" LendStreet's Jerry Nemorin
In episode eight of VentureKast: Rebuild, co-founder and CEO of LendStreet Jerry Nemorin explains that customers of traditional lenders struggle to cope with financial shocks caused by events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Data aggregation and a focus on consumer financial behavior has enabled LendStreet “to assess, identify and to structure the appropriate … loan that fits [a] client’s capacity.” Looking forward, Jerry urges us to “acknowledge and understand that consumers’ financial lives are fluid” and expects that “we will see more solutions that are focused on that fluidity and solving for rigidity in our system.”
19 minutes | Aug 6, 2020
“The pandemic provides lots of new problems for entrepreneurs to solve" – Field's Michael Moreland
In episode seven of VentureKast: Rebuild, Co-Founder and CEO of Field Intelligence Michael Moreland explains how his pharmaceutical supply chain company leverages tech and data to help keep local pharmacies open and stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. His work is more important than ever as vulnerable populations increasingly rely on community-based health care solutions amidst lockdowns. Although “the COVID pandemic has exposed risks embedded throughout the health system,” Michael is confident in the “ability [of] entrepreneurs to see those risks and think creatively about how we can re-balance them within the system.”
22 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
“Everyone is out there reassessing how much liquidity they have” – Toffee Insurance’s Rohan Kumar
In episode six of VentureKast: Rebuild, Co-Founder and CEO of Toffee Insurance Rohan Kumar explains how the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a “mass behavioral change” in the form of increased demand for insurance products, and why fintechs are uniquely positioned to meet the increased demand with truly affordable, flexible, and high-quality digital offerings. Toffee leverages its digital infrastructure, including payments and claims management, to offer simple health, home, and income insurance to the 500 million Indians who have historically been overlooked by traditional insurers.
21 minutes | Jul 23, 2020
"There is much more empathy across the globe"—Anthemis's Vica Manos
In episode five of VentureKast: Rebuild, Anthemis Partner Vica Manos describes how the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the shift to innovative, inclusive and digital financial services and how entrepreneurs are stepping up to provide fair and accessible solutions. Despite the perception of a slowdown in investing, Vica reminds us that more “empathy across the globe” is leading to an unprecedented increase in opportunities to invest in innovation.
23 minutes | Jul 16, 2020
“A great company going into COVID is invariably a great company coming out”–QED’s Nigel Morris
In episode four of VentureKast: Rebuild, Managing Partner at QED Investors and co-Founder of Capital One Nigel Morris describes how his fintech portfolio is navigating the challenges presented by COVID-19. Despite the fallout of the crisis, Nigel reassures us that that the fundamental theses around “investing in consumer-centric, value-creating, [and] digitally oriented” businesses will remain at the core of QED’s investment hypotheses. Nigel leaves us with an encouraging vision for the future relationship between the traditional banking sector and fintechs: one that leads to transparent and fair financial services for the underserved.
20 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
"Access to digital finance is a lifeline" — NOW Money’s Katharine Budd
In episode three of VentureKast: Rebuild, NOW Money’s Katharine Budd explains how her UAE-based startup is accelerating its offerings to its underserved migrant worker customers to help them cope with the challenges of a contactless world. She explains how reliance on in-person financial services has had severe consequences for the financially underserved, especially during this moment, and how fintechs like NOW Money are stepping in to provide better, cheaper, and more reliable offerings.
21 minutes | Jul 2, 2020
"Return to a better tomorrow" — Flourish Ventures’ Tilman Ehrbeck
In episode two of VentureKast: Rebuild, we spoke with Flourish Ventures’ Tilman Ehrbeck on the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis for fintech investors and entrepreneurs. Tilman offers an optimistic view of the fintech and impact investing space and explains how the rapid acceleration of digital financial services could ultimately offer a path to a more financially inclusive world.
17 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
“Time to shine for innovative fintech lenders” — CIM’s Jacob Haar
On the season premier of VentureKast: Rebuild, we spoke with Community Investment Management's Jacob Haar about the challenges that lenders and borrowers are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jacob tells us how fintechs are uniquely positioned to respond to these challenges and continue driving inclusive finance in this new environment.
55 minutes | Aug 5, 2019
014 - Developing a Data Protection Strategy (Live Episode)
On this special live webinar episode of VentureKast, we’ll discuss how early-stage companies should start designing and implementing data protection strategies. Edward and Corey talk with Earl St. Sauver, co-founder and CTO of Apollo Agriculture, a tech-enabled, input financing solution based in Kenya, and Neil Welman, co-founder and CTO of Lulalend, an all-digital, SME lender in South Africa. Earl and Neil share lessons from building their data protection strategies and take questions from listeners. You’ll learn about how they both anticipate and mitigate data security risks, how they build a culture of data protection across their technical and non-technical teams, and what they wish they had known or done differently with regard to data protection.
31 minutes | Jan 24, 2019
013 - Lumkani and using fire insurance to protect families in South Africa
On this episode, Vikas sits down with David Gluckman, co-founder and CEO of Lumkani. Lumkani pairs a proprietary, Internet-of-Things heat detector with insurance products that protect life, shelter, and assets from home fires in informal settlements in South Africa. Approximately 10 million South Africans live in informal settlements communities and can be devastated by shack fires which can quickly spread to the surrounding neighbors if they are not alerted. Lumkani both prevents the spreading of fires as well as serves as a lifeline to customers whose homes and property are destroyed.
20 minutes | Oct 18, 2018
012 - Self Lender and Building Financial Freedom for Low-Income Americans
On this episode, Vikas sits down with James Garvey, Founder and CEO of Self Lender. Self Lender helps customers who have damaged credit or limited credit history to improve their scores through an all-digital “Credit Builder” loan. Over 100 million Americans have either low or non-existent credit scores, impeding their ability to get an auto loan, a mortgage for a new home, or to recover from a financial shock. Through Self Lender, James helps thousands of Americans build credit a history and savings, essential components to financial freedom.
32 minutes | Jun 21, 2018
011 - Pula and protecting smallholder farmers through insurance
On this episode, Vikas sits down with Rose Goslinga, Founder and CEO of Pula. Pula is the first Venture Lab company that is providing agricultural insurance to smallholder farmers around the world. Rose explains how she identified the crucial need for insurance to help protect farmers from droughts, floods and pests, and ultimately live more secure lives. Through Pula, Rose helps to mitigate risks to farmers and provide them with farming advice so that their customers “can be the best farmers they can be”.
26 minutes | Feb 6, 2018
010 - Lidya and Tech Enabled Lending for Small Businesses in Nigeria
On this episode, Vikas sits down with Tunde Kehinde, Founder and CEO of Lidya. Lidya has created a mobile and online platform which allows small businesses to apply for financing, get assessed and receive capital in 1 day or less. Tunde explains how his background and prior startup experience led him to found Lidya, and how he is building a scalable fintech platform that “can deliver a solution…that makes sense for the small business owner.”
25 minutes | Nov 15, 2017
009 - First Circle and Expanding Access to Credit for SMEs in the Philippines
On this episode, Vikas sits down with Patrick Lynch, Founder and CEO of First Circle. First Circle uses an all-digital process to lend at scale to small businesses in the Philippines that have historically been ignored by banks. Patrick explains how technology is allowing him to lower the cost of servicing his clients, and how he is building a scalable and impactful business where “every dollar of revenue made is a function of their clients winning.”
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