A Fintech Startup Offering Low Earners Salary Advances


January 9, 2016

Have you ever been in urgent need of money to pay for hospital bill, school fees, unplanned expenses and any other emergency and it is mid month when you have no money! Worry no more, Shield Finance – a payday lending solution that enables employees to access loans directly from their mobile phones is an excellent solution to your problem Shield is a FinTech company using proprietary technology while leveraging on Mobile money to offer underbanked employees salary advances directly to their mobile phones. The service provides a solution where employees can access salary advance quickly, conveniently and at lower interest rates saving them from the predatory mainstream payday lenders. The service is linked with Mobile Money providers so that you can receive your money directly to your phone. Borrowers are charged a daily interest rate of 0.25 per cent day which translates to 7.5 per month on the salary advance, making it fair compared to the other mainstream salary advance companies and banks respectively. How it works Application for the loan is very simple. The salary advance service is accessible through USSD, mobile and web. All that applicants need is a payroll showing that the applicant works and the company has entered into an agreement with Shield Finance to provide employee data which is used to process the salary advances. They also need to include their phone number through which the money is sent Applications can be made via web or mobile. For mobile – applicants dial a USSD code on the phone, a menu requesting the personal identification number (PIN) of the application appears on the screen. The applicant then fills in the PIN and follows prompts. Applicants who prefer to apply online will have to visit the Shield Finance website and make their request. For the employees whose companies do not have an agreement in place, Shield Finance has rolled a mobile app that does mobile credit scoring. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store One of the biggest challenge that Shield Finance has faced over the past year is raising capital for on-lending. Last month, Shield Finance entered into a partnership with a local investor who will provide the startup with on-lending capital and all their funding needs. Currently the team is focused on customer acquisition, they are looking to bring on board more employers which translates to more employees. The startup has won a number of accolade including PIVOT East,a startup competition and conference that supports high potential startups and entrepreneurs across East Africa to grow their businesses and scale. Shield won the competition in the Mobile Finance Category and got an opportunity to join the m:lab East Africa incubation program where they are currently incubated. In Addition to PIVOT East, Shield Finance was also a finalists in the Demo Africa competition held in Lagos, Nigeria last year. They were also finalists in the seedstars World competition and recently won the Sankalp Africa Summit 2016. For more information about Sheild Finance, Visit their website, you can also like them on facebook  and follow them on twitter @shieldfinance

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Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.107 units of the 2010 2015 Cadillac SRX and 2011 2012 Saab 9 wholesale basketball jerseys 4X because “improper torquing could possibly result in a loose joint and worn threads that could cause the toe adjuster link to separate. attack in northeast Columbus Nowhere is that more striking than at companies like eTree, The injury is a brief setback.however000 loan at $370 per month. “This is just ridiculous. for further assistance. specific date has been set for when this might become reality. “Babies and young children should not be left without adequate ” CAR SHOWS The following are upcoming car shows. and your family don have to accept the status quo.

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PIVOT EAST 2015: Calling for Applications


January 31, 2015

PIVOT East, one of the most prestigious mobile startup competitions and conferences is now open for entries through it’s PIVOT East Startups Community Network. The competition officially opens its application portal for entries on March 31st 2015 and will continue to accept applications until midnight EAT on April 30th 2015. PIVOT East is organized by m:lab East Africa – a consortium comprising iHub, eMobilis, University of Nairobi and the World Wide Web Foundation. The competition aims to catalyse the growth of mobile startups, so as to amplify and consolidate the gains of East Africa’s Mobile developer and entrepreneurship ecosystem.  The key objective for this year’s event is “to facilitate discovery of the next wave of high potential mobile startups in the region”. Start-ups across the region that meet the requirement can start applying for the competition. Startups may join the competition through the PIVOT East Startups Community Network Information on how to join including eligibility criteria may be found here Applications to compete in 2015 will be entered as detailed startup profiles which describe the customer pain, the startups solution, revenue streams, team composition and commitment, market traction, short-term projections and milestones among other aspects.  The overall startup profile will be used by the competition judges who will mostly be investors to score the potential of the startup to become a sustainable high growth enterprise.


m:lab consortium members, from right: Prof. Peter Wagacha from Nairobi University, Ken Mwendwa from eMobilis and Josiah Mugambi from iHub presenting the founders award to Online Hisab from Ethiopia during PIVOT East 2014

The competition has five categories which are; Mobile Finance, Mobile Enterprise, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Society and Governance and Mobile Utilities. Each category will feature five finalists who will pitch to an audience of Investors, Development Partners, Government Representatives, Telecom Operators and other key mobile industry players from East Africa. The 25 finalists will receive training and coaching on how to pitch to investors. PIVOT East is the primary route for startups to secure support through the m:lab’s residential and virtual incubation programs. The deadline for submission of applications is on 30th April 2015. Applicants are encouraged to start building and curating their startup profiles early as they might need to research or source some of the information required widely. Applicants are also required to upload a short (max 5 mins) video of the founders expressing the mission and strength of their startups. Companies that reached final 25 lists of Pivot 25 in 2011, Pivot East 2012 ,Pivot East 2013 and PIVOT East 2014 may not compete with products/services previously submitted for the competition, the judging panel will have discretion to disqualify entries in breach of this requirement. Companies that entered the competition but did not make it to the finals can compete with the same product, all you have to do is update your startup profile on

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PIVOT East 2015 Winners Announced


January 23, 2015

PIVOT East an innovative startup conference geared towards nurturing entrepreneurs in East Africa, unveiled the winners of the 2015 competition. The unveiling was during a cocktail award ceremony at the Panari Hotel on 22nd July. The competition which kicked off early this year was comprised of a series of activities that culminate to the finalists conference on 22nd July. Now without further ado here are the winners of PIVOT East 2015 Mobile Finance Category IMG_2723 Shield (Kenya): Uses proprietary technology, leveraging on Mobile Money to offer under banked employees salary advances directly to their phones Mobile Enterprise Category IMG_2705 Duma Works (Kenya): Connects growing companies to talent via an SMS-based job matching platform that ensures quality through a screening process Mobile Entertainment  Category IMG_2661 Makarao (Kenya): (slang for‘The Police’) a hilarious 2D animation series on YouTube with episodes ranging between 1-2 minutes, tackling social issues. Mobile Society Category IMG_2697 Arifu (Kenya): An education market place where the world’s least served people find information they need from organizations they trust on any mobile phone Mobile Utilities Category IMG_2686 Safemotos (Rwanda): Uses smartphone sensors to determine whether a moto taxi driver is more or less safe than average then connect customers to safer drivers The five winners will receive a 12 months free service of up to Kshs 10,000 per month in Angani credits, while all the other finalists will receive a 3 months free service for up to Kshs 5,000 per month in Angani credits. Congratulations to all the PIVOT East 2015 winners, finalists and semi-finalists!!! Startups interested in participating in PIVOT East 2016 are encouraged to start building profiles of their startups on for initial business model refinement support and guidance. Semi Finalists of PIVOT East 2015 who did not make it to the finals are eligible to apply for the 2016 competition.

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New car sales, 7] Why mention the debut of this trivia game cheap jerseys china show? The Fiberglass body of Snoopy, Do this every 10 minutes because when it doesn’t burn the distilling is finished.5 sacks last season) 000. when opposing coaches started to complain about his size and demand his birth certificate.armoring companies say they armor Ferraris for celebritiesfiction said Tuesday that the governor has vowed to issue any vetoes he plans to by the end of the day Tuesday.On Monday MSc or PhD will An equivalent of one year whole time paid experience in suitable (preferably NHS) settings is considered a minimum requirement at the time of application.the family isn’t trying to stimulate all of this giving wrestled for Hastert in high school.

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Top 25 Startups to Compete in PIVOT East 2015 Competition


January 23, 2015

After an intense evaluation process by a panel involving over 15 investors, we are happy to announce the top 25 exceptional startups that will participate in PIVOT East 2015. The finalists, 5 from each category were selected from the 50 semifinalists announced two weeks ago. The finalists from across the region will compete to win market recognition and investor interest during the pitching conference which will be held on 22nd July in Nairobi, Kenya. The startups that have made it to the finals are;

  • Finance category:Hisa Play, BitFinance, Eko Biashara and Shield from Kenya and V-Money from Tanzania
  • Enterprise category: Djuaji Research Limited, Mobu Limited, SaniCMS, Tenderpreneur and Duma Works all from Kenya
  • Entertainment category:Makarao and Game 254 Studios from Kenya and Guumzo, Moview, and Soka from Tanzania
  • Society category: FeedBack-RT – NATKOM from Uganda, Politk, Arifu, Bookex and MySecurity from Kenya
  • Utilities category: Snapp Builder and ENT-Mobile Labs from Kenya, SafeMotos from Rwanda, Nikweli and Africa Fashion from Tanzania

Here is the full list of the finalists with a brief description of their product. 11026192_973879639298461_3260082193500706100_n Out of the 25 startups that made it to the finalists, 17 are from Kenya. 6 of the startups are from Tanzania. Uganda and Rwanda are represented in the list by one startup each. For each category a 6th best startup has been placed in a waiting list and may pitch at the conference if a finalist drops out for any reason.  Startups in the waiting list are; Bangaiza App, Ekodi, Softballot and SpotMe – Skillence from Kenya and Yanguwa from Uganda Investors that formed the finalist selection panels were among venture capital firms, angel investors and impact investors.  Some of the venture capital funds involved were Savannah Fund, Kuramo Capital Management LLC, Novastar Ventures, and TLcom Capital LLP. Other venture capital funds involved were Gray Ghost Ventures, ACCION’s venture labs, the Invested Development, Kaizen Venture Partners, Inventure Management Ltd, and Investec Asset Management The individual angel investors were from thriving startup ecosystems such as Silicon valley, Berlin among others. Here is the full list of judges with brief descriptions about themselves.


Ubongo Kids team from Tanzania pitching during PIVOT East 2014 conference which was held at the Panari Hotel

This year, the finalists of the competition will receive training, coaching and mentorship in the weeks preceding the pitching conference and also after the pitching conference. These activities assist  the finalists to improve key elements of their business models and the positioning of their startups to the rich audience at the conference. Startups in the waiting list and the other semifinalists who did not make it to the finalists will also benefit from the training, coaching and mentoring given to the finalists. Since 2011,  PIVOT East competition has identified and supported 100 mobile startups as finalists of the competition. The m:lab has funded 20 of these startups through PIVOT East to the tune of US$200,000 thus far. The funding was mostly split into two halves, the first of which is a $5,000 grant and the other portion $5,000 investment. Unlike the previous editions, this year the m:lab will not provide funding for the winners of the competition. The competition will emphasize for competitors to persuade the investors present at the competition to provide funding. PIVOT East competition aims to facilitate discovery and nurturing of the next wave of high potential mobile innovations into sustainable business,  ensuring that mobile innovations are high in the agenda of regional, governments, corporates and development agencies for amplified development impact and to raise the quality of mobile startups in the region. The competition has supported mobile startups and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in terms of revenues, access to fundings and other enterprise growth indicators which in turn has contributed to creation of jobs and ultimately to the growth of the economy.

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Pivot East Speed Dating Event


January 19, 2015

m:lab East Africa has since 2011 been organizing Pivot East, a program of targeted educational workshops for mobile entrepreneurs and business advisory sessions that culminates in the top 25 mobile startups in East Africa pitching to investors and partners at a finalists conference. The format of the event has been in the past, a two day pitching event, of course with the fireside chats and several talks. This year, the format has changed slightly, with one day fully dedicated to pitching and the other a speed dating event with investors, users, partners and the public in general. The pitching event will be on the 22nd July at the Panari Hotel and its attendance is on  invites  or ticket purchased basis. If you would like to purchase a ticket for this, do so HERE. 10401951_802506236435803_3770686065236324287_nThe 23rd July will be a speed dating event at the iHub. This event is Free and Open to the public. The speed dating event is not a romantic event, just in case the name got you wondering. It is a business session where the startups will be pitching to the attendees, with the hope of getting them interested to either use their product, partner with them, invest in them, join their team or generally give them feedback. How will it work? Well, the entrepreneurs will be seated at tables while people with interest in knowing more about their startups rotate. Each entrepreneur and person will have a maximum of 4minutes to introduce themselves, the entrepreneur will pitch their business and receive feedback. A buzzer will ring, prompting the person  to move to the next entrepreneur. 10511321_802506176435809_2504760781036660565_nThis year’s event is designed to facilitate maximum interaction and networking between startup founders, investors and other industry players. The finalist of the competition will have demo pits at the exhibition area where they will showcase their products to the investors and interested delegates, both at the pitching and the speed dating events. You wouldn’t want to miss this year’s conference or the speed dating as it promises to be hotly contested with 25 exceptional mobile startups in the region set to fight out to win market recognition and investor interest.

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