Founder and CEO of Loanegyzer, Gerald Kalyondo is passionate about inclusive tech and a firm believer in social innovation.
He is also a Full Stack Developer, Web Specialist, Designer and Mobile App Developer. He loves working and doing business at the intersection of social impact and technology, “I am a strong champion of #TechForGood.”
His startup, Loanegyzer is a cloud-based loan management platform that helps micro and small lenders to digitise their businesses securely and cheaply.
“We are helping them solve the problem of non-performing loans, operational inefficiency and poor customer service and experience. Loanegyzer consolidates borrower data and manages loan payments/repayments.”
Gerald points out some of the benefits of using the Loanegyzer APP
- Automatic flagging of non-performing loans.
- Increase in the quality of loan servicing.
- Consistency of lending decisions and compliance.
- Improved customer experience.
- Value-added services such as SMS alerts for transactions/reminders.
What is the inspiration behind Loanegyzer? Gerald had previously worked many years in a social enterprise. That helped me to know that he could do something good for society and make a profit out of it.
“I have always been passionate about helping individuals and companies solve social problems with innovative technologies. For that reason, I formed a tech company (for profit) that operated with the heart of a non-profit organisation and a biased focus on helping social enterprises and SMEs deliver real and lasting impact. It was not the magnitude of the enterprise, the budget, or the name behind the brand; we cared more about the story the organisation tells and the impact it has on the community.”
Before Gerald established his startup, he faced the challenge of building up a team because, at the time, Loanegyzer was just an idea on paper but there was no money. This also meant that capital was another challenge in setting up the business.
“We had to bootstrap our company and we didn’t have any external investment. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think we are ready for an investor.”
Added to the list of challenges was cashflow management, the business didn’t have enough money to pay bills as the cashflow was uncertain. Additionally, the business struggled with a marketing strategy on the right way the product and services would be advertised.
“Even though we’ve learnt how to cope with some of the problems we’ve faced starting the business, capital and cash flow are still issues that we are struggling with. Our budget does not seem to have enough to market our company to its full potential.”
Gerald is currently a participant of Fintech4U, a programme we are running in partnership with UNCDF. Gerald saw the programme as an opportunity to partner with BongoHive and UNCDF to fine-tune Loanegyzerfor the market.
“Since we were new to the FinTech industry, we had difficulties in connecting and partnering with established DFS providers like MNO and Banks. Additionally, being new to the finance industry we needed to understand what regulatory frameworks we operate in and how to navigate through those gaps.”
What was your takeaway lesson from Fintech4U?
“The valuable lesson I got from the programme is understanding the real challenges our customers face. This has helped us in designing and developing our platform in alignment with our market needs. This we learnt in our “design thinking” and “human-centred design” sessions. A very valuable lesson indeed.”
Fintech4U final pitches will take place next week and the top 3 startups will each receive $5000 for the purpose of further development of their products.
Gerald mentions that Loanegyzer has great plans for the future.
“Our business strategy and plans for the growth and expansion of our businesses are described below:
- We plan to expand our distribution channels. We currently only have one channel through which our platform is accessed, that is via the web. We plan on expanding to USSD and mobile app soon.
- We intend to continue our focus on product development. We are committed to producing a future-proof lending technology that renders it simple and cost-effective to expand the portfolio of loan products, clientele growth, and drive more repeat business, allowing any money lender to scale up effectively at any stage of the lending life cycle.
- We intend to enhance our value-added services. We want to maintain our long-standing relationship with our customers by providing more value-added services such as in-house Credit Bureau from the big data that we are building.
- Geographical expansion. We intend to penetrate new markets starting with our surrounding neighbouring countries. We would like to penetrate new geographical markets by expanding our presence in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana and Tanzania.”
As BongoHive, we are committed to working with the startup ecosystem and supporting businesses that are making an impact.