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#5 Product of the DaySeptember 14, 2015

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Julia Kurnia
Julia KurniaMaker@juliakurnia · Founder, Zidisha
We're offering $25 in free lending credit to all Product Hunters! I'd love your feedback and would be happy to answer questions here.
Paul Watson
Paul Watson@paulmwatson · Former CTO @Storyful
@juliakurnia Wow, I was expecting a "now match it" catch but nope, lent the $25 to an aspiring coder in Kenya. It is quit a different feeling from Kiva, really liked it.
Kat Manalac
Kat ManalacHunter@katmanalac · Partner, Y Combinator
Zidisha is a Y Combinator nonprofit and the first loan crowdfunding platform for people in developing countries that connects people directly, without going through local bank intermediaries. The entrepreneurs who crowdfund loans at Zidisha are young adults in sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti and Southeast Asia, who need small amounts for businesses or college tuition. You can chat back and forth with the borrower and share photos as they repay the loan. Zidisha has gotten the cost of microloans down from over 35% at traditional loan crowdfunding platforms such as Kiva, to 5%. They did this by replacing local loan officers with a self-governing, eBay-style peer-to-peer lending community.
Sheel Mohnot
Sheel MohnotHiring@sheel_mohnot
@katmanalac Excited about what Zidisha has built - but to be fair Kiva also has loans that don't use intermediaries on the Kiva Zip platform: https://zip.kiva.org/loans Part of the challenge with direct lending is repayment rates - at Kiva, default rates are ~1.4% (http://www.kiva.org/about) vs 10-15% at Zidisha. Would like to see that number come down over time at Zidisha. @juliakurnia what is in the works to bring that down? The for-profit lending sector is going nuts with http://branch.co/, http://getsaida.com/, and http://inventure.com/ using data from mobile phones. I assume (maybe incorrectly) that your borrowers don't have smartphones yet, but is there other stuff you can do algorithmically to bring that 10-15% default number down? What works? disclosure - I was a Kiva fellow in '06-'07
Julia Kurnia
Julia KurniaMaker@juliakurnia · Founder, Zidisha
@pitdesi Thanks for joining the conversation! It's true that Kiva Zip loan payments are sent directly to the borrower, but I would not agree that Zip does not use intermediaries. My understanding is that most Kiva Zip loan profiles outside the US are not posted by the borrowers themselves, but rather by "trustees" contracted by Kiva Zip to vet applicants and follow up on repayments. At Zidisha, we don't use trustees, and all content must be posted by the borrowers themselves. My understanding, from analyses like this one (http://blog.givewell.org/2009/10...) and my own experience using the Kiva platform as a field partner, is that the 99% repayment rate at Kiva includes amounts paid by field partners on behalf of borrowers who have defaulted. Kiva Zip's published repayment rate is 89.4% (https://zip.kiva.org/?gclid=CJiA...) - closer to that of Zidisha. Kiva Zip's use of trustees allows them to target older adults in rural areas who do not use computers - still the majority of the population in places like Kenya. Zidisha's targets internet users exclusively, and while they are still very low income, they're overwhelmingly young and urban. Another difference is that Kiva Zip lends in the US and Kenya. Zidisha is in seven African countries, Indonesia and Haiti, and we don't plan to enter the US market.
Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell@amitch5903 · Sr. Product Manager, Vistaprint
Love the @ZidishaInc platform! Had the pleasure of talking with @juliakurnia a month ago and she has an incredible passion for solving the microloan challenge in an algorithmic (rather than labor intensive, Kiva-esque) way.
Julia Kurnia
Julia KurniaMaker@juliakurnia · Founder, Zidisha
@amitch5903 Thanks for joining the discussion! I volunteered for a few years with a Kiva field partner before founding Zidisha. This was almost ten years ago, before the internet become so widespread in developing countries. Sending loan officers to meet with loan recipients and interact with Kiva on their behalf was so inefficient that we would have had to charge over 30% interest just to cover administrative costs. Since then technology has progressed, making a more decentralized / algorithmic lending model feasible.
Brett Hagler
Brett Hagler@bretthagler · Co-Founder, CEO at New Story
LOVE this product! An extraordinary way to directly impact lives. Would be a dream to work with Zidisha.
Patrick J. Costello
Patrick J. Costello@pj_costello · CSO, NAYTEV
I've been using Zidisha for over a year, and it's awesome! Zidisha's auto lend option is so cool, enabling me to make dozens of loans over 1 year, greatly extending the impact of my original contribution. This is high impact micro lending at its best. Kudos Zidisha!