Building a Data-Driven Ecosystem
After many months of painful long hours during a global health pandemic, we are finally here! We recently announced our early stage Venture Funding led by Microtraction . The financing will be used to launch our headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria while expanding our services across other key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The journey so far has been an exciting learning curve. Our vision to launch a data marketplace in Africa started off in Myanmar, running a lending company, where we saw the barriers the unbanked population face to access financial products due to the lack of traditional credit data. In Africa, mobile money platforms are connecting more people to the digital economy, and many poor households have been lifted from extreme poverty, and their standard of living has improved. Additionally, the rise and growth of the fintech industry has been an important factor in increasing financial inclusion, however, according to the G7 partnership for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa 2019 report, almost 400 million people, most of them women, still don’t have access to digital financial services.
The lack of credit bureaus and unavailability of credit data in Africa continues to be a challenge for those who are not connected to the formal financial sector. Credit information is crucial to better assess and manage risks and help the underserved and unbanked gain access to finance. This is when our big idea came into life, to build a decentralized data sharing platform between organizations that will help lending companies make high-quality credit decisions. Just like a Google search, our platform allows lenders to search for credit information which remains with the contributing company. Our focus is not only to share data from lending companies, we also aim to provide alternative data from telecom and utility companies via KYC and transactional information. The best part about this feature, you get paid when someone uses the data
We all know that data in the 21st century is like oil in the 18th century which has become an extremely valuable asset. In addition to tackling the gap in markets underserved by credit data, we are also setting up a Corporate Internet to allow real-time data sharing across all business sectors advancing data-backed decision making that has a measurable positive impact on the organization.
How does this all work ? CARMA is accessible to companies across the continent. Organizations and individuals can join the platform through API or Win 10 application. Data contributors introduce the data to our decentralized platform which allows other organizations to have access to real-time credit data on a peer-to-peer basis through a pay-as-you-go service. Our system allows contributors to determine who can access their data and what information can be consumed. Our decentralized model and encryption makes our platform very secure and extremely hard to hack as data is distributed across multiple servers.
The adoption of big data in Africa can lead to long term innovations and support organizations in achieving developmental outcomes.
 (n.d.). Women's Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa - Bill & Melinda .... Retrieved November 26, 2020, from https://docs.gatesfoundation.org/Documents/WomensDigitalFinancialInclusioninAfrica_English.pdf