Saida (YC S15) Helps People In Emerging Markets Get Credit Through Their Mobile Phones

by Alexis Ohanian8/3/2015

Saida is a startup in our current class that has created a mobile-baased lending platform targeted at people in emerging markets.

Launching first in Africa, Saida has created a mobile app that connects people with short-term loans that are approved based in part on each person’s phone activity.

TechCrunch’s Matthew Lynley wrote about Saida:

“Saida can see how a person, for example, uses their prepaid cellphone
plan, such as how often they recharge that plan and what proportion of
the plan is spent on data services, voice or text messaging. Users give
Saida some information that helps handle all the approval for the loan
on a mobile device. Software installed on those phones can help give
users a ‘credit score’ of sorts and help them get approved for a loan
that can be paid back in 30-60 days.

‘Right now most of our customers are people who have a smartphone, who
are running their own business or who are employed, and people who
basically don’t have a credit card,’ [Saida co-founder Kenneth Ngetha] said. ‘That’s the three or four
pieces of info from our demographic. The information that they’re able
to share is how they are using their cellphone plan. That tells us a lot
about their income cycle and how much they earn. We also look at how
they use their expenditures — if they have any receipts or the type of
phones they own.’

Read more about Saida in TechCrunch here.


  • Alexis Ohanian