Mobile tech and data science firm InVenture, based in Santa Monica-with additional offices in New York and Nairobi has raised $10 million series A round to launch into additional markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
The series A round was led by Data Collective with participation from Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital; Facebook co-founder and independent investor Chris Hughes; Palantir and Paypal co-founder Nathan Gettings; former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit; former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer; Collaborative Fund; and Female Founders Fund. Early seed and angel investors include Google Ventures and MESA+.
Founded in 2012 by Shivani Siroya, InVenture uses mobile credit scoring to open financial access to deserving individuals in emerging markets. The firm runs Mkopo Rahisi (which we covered here), which has been providing mobile credit to customers in Kenya since April 2014 and which will move into Tanzania and other new markets this year.
“There’s an urgent need for convenient, affordable credit in emerging markets that isn’t being met,” said Siroya, who serves as InVenture’s chief executive officer. “The overwhelming demand for our product has proven that we can use mobile technology to begin closing this gap, and I’m grateful that such a committed and diverse group of investors has joined us in this vision.”
Mkopo Rahisi, available on Google Play, amasses more than 10,000 data points per user to create a living credit score and approve customers for a line of credit. InVenture then disburses the loan directly to the user’s mobile money account. The process, from initial request to loan disbursement, takes less than 5 minutes, and all customer service is handled digitally through the application.
Mkopo Rahisi builds on InVenture’s previous mobile credit scoring product, InSight, which was designed for feature phones. InSight was operating in three countries, providing its credit scores to formal lending institutions, before InVenture shifted to its current model.
Through its Android application, Mkopo Rahisi, InVenture collects up to 10,000 data points per customer to build an accurate, real-time credit score for deserving individuals who have little to no formal financial history; determines a loan amount and terms; disburses the loan in less than a minute; and handles all customer service, including repayments. The result is instant, flexible, and affordable credit that meets people where they are, without bank branches or paperwork – a new conception of financial services for the mobile world.