Can this tiny startup be the definitive lender for the world’s emerging middle class?
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
A big challenge for people in an emerging middle class who are struggling to find avenues to credit is that they rarely have formal credit histories.
They do, however, have social networks — rich communities of family members and friends who can vouch for their character and credibility. And increasingly, as smartphones open up the Internet’s opportunities to growing numbers of people, they have online social networks that mirror their communities.
Enter Lenddo, a financial technology startup that calculates the risk of making loans to people in the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico based on social data. “Social network use in our demographic in the Philippines is heavier than in Northern California,” says Jeff Stewart, the site’s CEO and co-founder.