How This Fintech Founder Succeeds by Taking the ‘First Risk’

How This Fintech Founder Succeeds By Taking The 'First Risk' - Shivani 512563

Shivani Siroya had built her Los Angeles-based small-business lending platform Tala methodically. The founder and CEO created a mobile platform for unbanked individuals–i.e., those without formal credit histories–that analyzes their likelihood of repaying their loans, which vary between $10 and $500. In 2013 and 2014, the business successfully expanded throughout Kenya. But customers weren’t happy.

Siroya had a realization: “I don’t think I’m having the impact I want us to be having,” she told Inc.’s What I Know podcast.

It was her startup’s partnership with traditional banks that was slowing down communications with and lending to customers–and the banks weren’t always taking Tala’s advice to re-lend to existing customers, Siroya says. They were similar problems she’d encountered early in her career, working in international microfinance. So, Siroya decided that since her business model was based on trust, she and her investors would have to be the ones willing to take on…

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This article was written by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin and originally published on