Dowser interviewed Siroya to find out more about InVenture, which hopes to offer a solution of
“quasi-equity,” which bridges these micro-entrepreneurs with equity-like instruments, or InVestors. After a successful launch with InVenture, Siroya and her team set up a mobile-based tool, InSight, to track the financial workings of this cash-based economy, enabling them to earn a “credit” score and providing data on an informal economy that’s been largely neglected.
Interestingly, the service is by no means limited to emerging economies and rural communities in India and Africa, but is also being tested in the US as well. Siroya explains,
We are in fact running a small pilot in NYC in the South Bronx with immigrant cash-based businesses using InSight. It is interesting to see that even here, these businesses owners prefer SMS (text-messages) rather than smartphone applications. It is interesting to see the similarities in the use case for SMS accounting and the need to create simple tools that people can easily access regardless of what country you’re working in.
Read the rest of the interview here.