FinTech incubator, Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab), today announces the winners of its first bootcamp for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this global initiative brought together 20 of the most promising entrepreneurs who are working to include the least served communities in the growth of digital economies throughout the developing world.
Participants from 10 countries were invited to present their solutions to DFS Lab’s board of experts at a 7 day bootcamp in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This was a chance to benefit from hands-on advice, mentorship and strategic counsel from industry stalwarts, as well as the opportunity to be awarded a share of over $2million of total investment and a further six months of intensive mentorship.
The funding awarded was split between four stand-out ventures – Yooz (India), Credit Fix (Pakistan), SERV’D (India) and Malako (Uganda) – which were praised for their innovative approach to building new financial services for emerging markets.
- Yooz provides free, fast international remittance transfers of any value at preferential exchange rates. Its aim is to change the way the world moves money by creating an environment where funds are transferred freely to everyone, everywhere via any device, any platform or any message.
- Credit Fix is a technology platform that aims to help low income consumers build credit scores, so they can secure loans for revenue-generating assets such as auto-rickshaws and taxis which will, ultimately, improve their standard of living.
- SERV’D Tech Pvt. Ltd (SERV’D) is a platform that aims to bring accountability, professionalism and discipline to the informal household workforce of maids, housekeepers, cooks, drivers and more. By ensuring the service providers are registered and documented, over time this will create a legitimate legal work and wage history that enables them to access financial products.
- Malako wants to make credit work for low-income consumers by providing flexible, affordable and accessible credit lines for utility payments and, later, larger payments such as school fees, salaries and rent.
“Digital financial services have the power to transform developing country economies, profitably and at scale”, says the Director of DFS Lab, Dr Jake Kendall. “We are searching for breakthrough ideas with the potential to bring low income households from the cash economy into the digital financial realm and give them tools to improve their lives”.
The DFS Lab team was very impressed with the innovative ideas and prototypes that were developed during the week-long bootcamp. Dr Kendall continues, “The entrepreneurs were a very diverse and talented group from all over the world. Their different skills, perspectives and levels of experience produced valuable insights and led to dynamic, highly productive collaborations. We are very proud to be able to play a part in helping them reach their full potential.”