In today’s world, where construction costs continue to rise, many individuals find their dreams of progress and home improvements hindered by limited finances.
Whether it’s a minor repair or an essential purchase like solar panels or a water tank, these improvements can significantly enhance one’s quality of life.
However, for those without access to traditional financial services, securing funding for such endeavors can seem nearly impossible. But what if there was another way?
Tigere an innovative company, is making significant strides in addressing the housing finance challenges faced by the under banked in Africa by leveraging the power of blockchain technology.
Tigere specializes in granting home micro loans to existing and prospective homeowners, enabling them to build incrementally or make necessary home improvements.
Unlike traditional lenders, the company doesn’t require formal employment as a prerequisite for loan approval.
Its credit assessment process combines the borrower’s capability and willingness to repay, utilizing multiple data points to ensure fair and accessible financing.
With our help, you can finally realize the home you deserve, regardless of your financial circumstances.
In an interview, with one of the Co-founders and CEO of Tigere, Vusa Chimanikire, he shared the company’s journey and its mission to provide accessible housing finance solutions through a unique alternative credit scoring process.
Reflecting on Tigere’s approach, Vusa explained, “We developed a credit scoring process that synthesizes psychometric analysis and financial information. We delve into the psychology of potential borrowers, assessing their capacity and willingness to pay. We then evaluate their financial health, considering traditional financial data as well as alternative sources like mobile money and remittances.”
This approach, according to the co-founders eliminates the reliance on credit history, enabling individuals in Africa’s informal sector to access loans for building homes and securing a better future for their families.
The inspiration for Tigere arose from the firsthand experiences of Vusa and Tanaka Mhabmi, the compnay’s CPO and Co-founder, who witnessed the challenges faced by individuals when attempting to access credit for housing.
Vusa realized that many productive individuals were being denied mortgages due to a lack of credit history and traditional documentation.
“These people weren’t poor; they were simply under-banked individuals working outside the formal financial system.”, Vusa commented.
On meeting Tanaka Mhambi who had been working on a credit scoring tool for a number of years, there was an immediate synergy in what we were trying to achieve.
“We both understood that credit is a critical component of any growing economy and we believed financial inclusion ought to start with a dignified home. Today we are a marketplace for housing finance & credit. Our platform is the table where all stakeholders converge. We connect financial institutions to under-banked, creditworthy individuals seeking housing finance to build their homes stage by stage.”, he added
According to Vusa, loans issued by their partner institutions are purpose driven and as such, can only be redeemed in the form of building materials from our qualified suppliers.
Embracing cutting-edge technologies, Tigere leverages blockchain to enhance accessibility and transparency in housing finance.
Vusa explained, “We upload borrowers’ credit scores and subsequent transactions onto a secured blockchain network, where it cannot be tampered with. We see ourselves as the catalyst for borderless credit”
Blockchain technology allows borrowers on Tigere’s platform to take their trusted credit score and clear transaction data to other countries and jurisdictions, to allow them to access credit wherever they are.
For instance, you can take your verified credit data from one country through an application on your phone in your pocket and you gain access to credit there.
With this, Tigere wants to enable borderless credit, facilitated by blockchain technology.
Machine learning and digital credit risk assessment play pivotal roles in Tigere’s evaluation of creditworthiness and the provision of affordable housing solutions.
Vusa highlighted, “Our algorithm will keep learning and adapting to the our borrowers traits. Our credit scoring tool will be a living organism that will continue to evolve to limit default risk and maximum value to our customers.”
Tigere takes a holistic approach to credit scoring that allows us to go beyond traditional financial information. “We want to know and truly understand our customer and give them an opportunity to build their legacy.”
When asked about their journey and the role of Africa Blockchain Institute’s incubation program, Vusa expressed gratitude for the program’s valuable guidance and resources, stating, ” The program helped us develop our business acumen, develop our blockchain technology piece and aided us in achieving our first capital raise.”
Tigere’s commitment extends beyond finance as it encompasses environmental sustainability. “Our process is entirely paperless, and we promote housing products that comply with environmental impact assessment laws,” shared Vusa
Quality assurance is also a priority as Tigere collaborates with trusted suppliers who have a long-standing reputation for delivering high-quality materials, ensuring that the housing designs cater to the specific needs of the under banked population.
In all this, challenges have also come along the way, Vusa acknowledged the resistance to tech solutions within their target communities. To overcome this, Tigere adopted a mixed approach, blending online and in-person application processes.
Additionally, they plan to introduce smart tech-enabled booths in key locations, allowing clients to onboard themselves remotely.
Collaboration with financial institutions and stakeholders is integral to Tigere’s mission. Vusa explained, “We engage and pre-approve borrowers for banks and financial institutions”. In addition to its unique psychometric analysis, Tigere has onboard borrowers based on specific needs and interests of partner banks.
“Our system connects the right borrower to the right bank and ultimately to the right building material supplier.”
Looking ahead, Tigere has ambitious plans. The platform is preparing for its hard launch in Zimbabwe in the coming months, and from there expand across Africa.
Featured Image: Vusa Chimanikire, Co-founder/CEO, Tigere (Left); Tanaka Mhabmi, Co-founder/CPO, Tigere (Right)
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to blockbuild weekly digest for updates.