SuperFluid Labs

SuperFluid Labs: SuperFluid Labs democratises data insights for financial inclusion for all

Nairobi, KenyaNairobi, Kenya
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

SuperFluid Labs is a data analytics firm with the mission of democratising data insights for everyone, fostering digital financial inclusion. We develop and deploy cutting-edge analytics technologies for enterprises and consumers to allow the under and unbanked populations to control their finances.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if advanced data analytics from a feature-phone-enabled app could alleviate poverty, increase gender equality, and provide the entire population with the tools and info to manage finances, save money, and support communities through social dev?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

As a result of more than 3 billion un- and underbanked individuals, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South East Asia (SEA), there is more than USD$1 Trillion in transaction volume annually by alternative financial service providers from hidden fees, exploitative rates, predatory financial products and federally uninsured accounts that significantly disadvantage and target those in poverty, women, and the uneducated.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We propose SuperWallet, a simple personal financial tracking, management and analytics application to allow the financially underserved to establish and own rich digital financial profiles. These profiles will accelerate the provision of relevant and appropriate digital financial services to enhance digital financial inclusion on multiple fronts in a truly unique way. These include: i) aggregation of user financial behavior from alternative and non-traditional data sources, ii) use of best-in-class big data and analytics capabilities, iii) real-time and relevant insights for stakeholders, and iv) customer-centric design that builds on how the poor manage their money. Our products are currently being used and validated with clients.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

By developing a profile on each individual user, we can improve profits and decrease losses for banks while simultaneously saving money for the user. Once the user has been evaluated using our credit risk evaluation platform, we can accurately predict defaults on loans reducing the price for worthy clients and saving the banks by drastically reducing defaults. Additional services offered to underbanked clients means more revenue institutions while decreasing costs and increasing savings for individuals to better manage financial security. Furthermore, by enhancing credit worthiness, we can improve outcomes for entrepreneurs to grow and start businesses and assist unbanked individuals climbing out of poverty from slipping backwards.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date, we are still in the development stage of our first enterprise solution with a major bank in Africa and hope to begin to have quantitative data on our impact on their services and profitability within the next 6 months. Furthermore, several other international banks and institutions have been in discussion with us about working together, and we hope to announce several of these projects in the coming month. We hope to help individuals save much of the more than USD$1 Trillion in "products" and "services" that primarily gouge uneducated and unbanked individuals, as well as simultaneously helping banks and international financial institutions increase profits by providing targeted products and services to their underbanked clients, saving individuals money while increase revenues and profits for the bank.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Immediately our focus is on SSA, but we have short term plans to expand to SEA, as well as West Africa. Within 5 years we hope to be operating throughout most of north Africa and all of SEA, with a spread to India, southern Africa, the Middle East, and South America within 10 years. We hope to be able to replicate our products throughout the world, adapting them locally to account for unique cultural and other practices that affect financial management. We also plan to increase our product offerings as we grow our user base to include options in other industries besides banking.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Currently SuperFluid Labs has been bootstrapped by it's founders, but we have already signed one major bank in Africa as a client and have contracts in the works with several others in Africa and SEA. In combination with these clients, and the development of our SuperWallet app for individuals, we will soon see an increase in growth of revenue that should sustain the company. We are in the process of closing a seed round from VCs and angels.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In the competitive landscape, you have traditional technology allies on one hand and modern FinTech threats on another. What formal institutions need is a modern technology ally to stay ahead. And we believe SuperFluid is best placed to do this. Some of our competitors include the likes of Palantir, but we’re unique because of our specific focus on the financial services sector and emerging markets, and our enterprise SaaS model ensures that our overall proposition is cheaper, faster and better than any alternative out there.
Team

Founding Story

Three of the founders, Tim, Abdigani, and Tonya, worked together solving problems for large financial institutions in Africa and realized that while banks and alternative financial service providers were making huge profits, many of the individuals around them were suffering and constantly mired in debt. Individuals were turning to communities to support them where basic financial management could have prevailed and helped bring them out of poverty. William spent significant time in India, China, and several other countries where he witnessed similar un- and underbanked populations, and felt that developing tools to help them help themselves was a cure instead of treating the symptoms.

Team

SuperFluid Labs was formed in 2015 by Dr. Abdigani Diriye, Timothy Kotin, William Marks, and Tonya Nyakeye to address one of the major challenges facing people in Africa. The founding team comprises world-class research scientists, consultants and operation managers from leading companies and institutions such as IBM Research, Microsoft Research, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, the Boston Consulting Group, Harvard University, Cornell University, University of Cambridge, Carnegie Mellon University and University College of London with expertise that spans financial technology, computer science, engineering, statistical analysis and project management. The team has also published over 45 papers, reports and patents in leading scientific journals and outlets. The founding team has also hired several employees and is in the process of hiring many more to ramp up production of our services and products as we gain clients and traction. Together, we have the know-how for the complete package to grow, develop and run a successful company. We plan to increase hiring of developers and project managers as we grow, as well as building out in-house services like legal, marketing, HR, and design to fill out the team as we expand into other products and markets.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Co-Founder and President

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I have previously won awards at the Harvard College Innovation Challenge i3 Business Plan Competition three years in a row, and have been developing startups from a young age. In addition to my work as a management consultant for BCG, I also helped numerous larger startups develop products and services and put in place plans for growth, as well as helping many ideas begin to take that first step.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We have several partners and advisors (who wish to not be named at this time) in the FinTech space in Africa and SEA, and have been developing relationships with several more individuals we hope to recruit as advisors in the very near future. We have been very fortunate to have a great group of individuals helping us at every stage and look forward to continued success with their backing.

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