> Posted by Center Staff

vkast_album_coverDo you want to know about the coolest financial inclusion startups in the world and how they work? Or the entrepreneurs behind these startups and how they got off the ground? VentureKast, or VKast, is a new podcast series from Accion’s Venture Lab that takes you directly to the entrepreneurs, offering a window into the converging worlds of impact investing, startups, fintech, and financial inclusion.

As you’re probably familiar, Venture Lab, or VLab, is an Accion investment initiative that provides patient seed capital and support to pioneering financial inclusion startups. What you may not know are all the innovations in business and technology that Venture Lab investees harness to provide customers with better, cheaper, and more appropriate financial services. VKast spotlights how these startups break new ground in the financial inclusion landscape, from the unique perspectives of the entrepreneurs that lead them.

The VLab team writes, “We want to celebrate our entrepreneurs’ journeys and let their voices be heard to inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs, to draw in investors and potential clients to their businesses, and to let the world know how cool financial inclusion entrepreneurship really is.”

The inaugural episode of VentureKast features Ranjit Punja, CEO and Co-Founder of CreditMantri, a Venture Lab portfolio company based in Chennai, India that offers financial advisory services to consumers that are underbanked, credit negative, or new to formal financial services. CreditMantri uses an automated web platform and call center to help consumers access their credit reports, understand their credit scores, improve their creditworthiness, restructure outstanding debt, and get access to relevant financial services. Check out the first VKast episode to hear Ranjit discuss, among other things, how he came up with the idea for CreditMantri, how he assembled his team of co-founders, and his vision for the company.

Episode two, released today, features David Arana, CEO and Founder of Konfio, an online lending platform for small businesses in Mexico. Konfio employs alternative data through electronic invoices, advanced algorithms, and automatic underwriting. Its all-digital online platform, low-cost customer acquisition, and rapid credit assessment helps Konfio offer lower rates than most traditional brick and mortar lenders.

In creating Konfio, a tech startup focused on small businesses in Mexico, David swapped out his trading desk in New York focused on large corporate debt. Hear how he bridged the gap between these two very different worlds, his moment of epiphany when he realized he needed to start Konfio, lessons learned in fundraising, and what he thinks the future of banking looks like in Mexico.

To listen to VentureKast, click here.

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