Press release: SmartPesa announces ICO for new Blockchain solution that provides secure credit scoring data for SMEs
Singapore-based FinTech company SmartPesa has announced the launch of a Token Sale (ICO) for its new Blockchain network SmartPesa Credible. The new blockchain aims to address the increasing funding gap for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets by unlocking the value of inconsistent business credit data.
As the market leader in next generation Point of Sale (POS and mPOS) solutions, SmartPesa works closely with SMEs to bring payments and agency banking to businesses in developing countries. With a presence in five emerging market countries and powering transactions for over 8,000 SMEs, SmartPesa provides Mobile Applications and POS terminals to accept different modes of electronic payments. This allows a seamless, consistent merchant experience to consolidate various payment methods in the fragmented developing markets.
Accounting for 90% of companies, SMEs in emerging markets act as key drivers of economic development and generate nine out of 10 jobs. But 40% of these companies lack access to credit, creating an annual funding gap of $5.2 trillion. SmartPesa Credible is built using Blockchain technology to provide credible Know Your Customer (KYC) information, self-declared business data and cash flow statistics on a transparent, distributed and auditable platform. This trustworthy merchant-controlled data can now be shared with lenders, insurers and financial services organisations to discover SMEs and provide better products these businesses.
SMEs and merchants manage their own credit and use tokens for data verification and generation services, pledge tokens as loan collateral, and sell tokens to investors using the SmartPesa CryptoATM. This incentivizes business owners to contribute valid data and receive economic benefit from sharing more accurate credit information, creating a second wave of financial inclusion (Finclusion 2.0) with an emphasis on creating jobs, bettering lives and improve their access to financial system.
“We’re entering an era where technology can to bring greater benefit to the broader business market, and leverage decentralization of financial services for creating a more inclusive financial services environment. We hope to unlock the value of merchant data with the use of Blockchain technology to drive better credit scoring. This will empower SMEs, generate more employment in local communities, and ultimately improve lives. We look forward to working closely with the Blockchain community and our SMEs to move Credible forward,” said Barry Levett, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of SmartPesa.
The private Token Sale began on 11 June 2018 and is open for accredited investors, high net-worth individuals and funds. Whitelisting is available to the public. A total of 500 million tokens will be issued, with 50% offered for public sale. The minimum amount of funds the company plans to raise is US$5 million. The primary use of funds raised will be used for research, development and rollout of the platform into key markets. Additional funds above the soft-cap will be used for operations to onboard an estimate 40,000 new merchants to the platform. SmartPesa will continue to invest in merchant acquisition in its five current operating markets and while expanding geographically.
Photo courtesy of Kārlis Dambrāns.