Round 11
Winner
Mobility asset tracking

Tracks motorcycle ownership and driving behavior to unlock credit for African taxi drivers

Budget request:  
$50,000
*
WebsiteCode

Project Stage

Research

Category

Micro & B2B Payments

Based in

New York City and Kampala, Uganda

Team size

104

Active since

June 2016
Products & Services

Product 1: Mobility Asset Tracking

  1. Problem: Motorcycles are often resold to new owners, for whom it’s difficult to assess the bike’s mechanical condition and value - how was the bike handled by the previous owner and what road conditions did it endure? Paying too much for a depreciated motorcycle is a huge risk for Ugandans, whose annual income averages $1,000. More than 1 million motorcycles are on Ugandan roads today and their value cannot be accurately estimated without smart tracking.
  2. Product: Every Asaak motorcycle has a GPS tracker that measures whether a driver brakes too suddenly, turns too sharply, etc. allowing us to generate a safety score for the driver that’s highly correlated with the asset’s depreciation. Accurately measure a motorcycle’s depreciation based on the quality of roads it traverses as well as the driver’s handling → get a fair value for the motorcycle for selling it, or borrow against the motorcycle at a fair interest rate by using it as collateral.
  3. How it works: Using Stellar’s smart contracts, Asaak can accurately track the ownership of a motorcycle across multiple drivers as well as track the depreciation of the bike under each owner. Depreciation is calculated as a function of driver behavior observed through the GPS tracker.


Product 2: Zero-Fee Wallet

  1. Problem: The Uganda Shilling (UGX) depreciates quickly compared to USD. Most Ugandan bank accounts pay 0% interest against 7.4% annual inflation. Our customers, boda drivers, would love to save money in a currency that doesn’t depreciate quickly. They may also need to send money abroad as some drivers are migrant workers.
  2. Product: A mobile wallet that converts UGX into a more stable currency like USD/USDC so that the user’s savings do not depreciate quickly. The wallet will also support zero-fee payments to bank and mobile money accounts.
  3. How it works: Use an on-ramp to convert UGX into USD/USDC and hold it in the Stellar wallet. Convert it back to UGX when the user wants to withdraw.
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Previous Project(s)
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Progress so far
Goals
  1. Gain familiarity and a working knowledge of the Stellar protocol in months 1-2 following project start date. Conduct interviews with existing customers (boda drivers who already have a motorcycle loan from Asaak) to better understand their needs. Conduct interviews with other financial sector players to gather feedback.
  2. Start developing a prototype/MVP of Product 1, Mobility Asset Tracking and Product 2, Zero-Fee Wallet in months 3-5 of the project.
  3. Launch MVPs of both products in month 6, collect users’ feedback, and iterate.
To get there, we  will use our requested budget of  
$50,000
*
  to:
  • Necessary resources: money to upskill and expand the Tech team, learn the Stellar protocol, and start developing. Money to acquire users and conduct user research.
  • Licenses or legal support: for product 2 the zero-fee wallet, we may need a Payment Service Provider license from the Bank of Uganda. We will first consult with our existing lawyers to confirm whether this PSP license is needed or not.
  • Personnel or freelance support: if Stellar can allow us to consult with an engineer familiar with developing on its protocol, that would help our Tech team adapt to it faster.
Overview

Business Context: Our target customers, African taxi (“boda”) drivers, live off the formal financial grid and do not exist in credit reference bureaus (CRBs) or government databases. They earn in cash and their informal borrowing behavior (e.g. a cash loan from a relative/friend) is not reported to CRBs. They have usually dropped out of school early and cannot access white collar jobs. The lack of a credit score makes it impossible for boda drivers to access traditional financial institutions.


Boda drivers use motorcycles to carry passengers and deliver packages, but most drivers do not own their motorcycles. Our core product, the motorcycle loan, helps boda drivers to formally own an asset for the first time in their lives and double their income. We also give fuel, smartphone, and personal loans as secondary products to boda drivers who have built a strong credit profile with us on the initial motorcycle loan.


Uganda’s 1 million boda drivers comprise almost 5% of the adult population. There are over 15 million boda drivers across Africa who collectively earn $39B income annually.


Asaak’s Traction and Business Case Validation:

  • Originated $10M across 7,000+ total loans
  • 15.8X revenue growth July '21 - July '22
  • $3.15M+ ARR as of Aug. 2022
  • Strong portfolio: 95% repayment rate
  • Presence in 5 cities in East Africa
  • $20M credit facility for scale in 2022
  • Exclusive partnership with largest bank in Africa, Standard Bank Group
  • Untapped $100B vehicle financing market (2% current penetration)
  • Projected $20M+ ARR end of 2023


Technical Specifications for Product 1:

Asaak uses custodial Accounts for each client (driver) and unique Account+Asset pairs to represent each asset (motorbike). When the physical asset is transferred to/from Asaak, the virtual asset is transferred between Asaak's account and client's custodial account. Summary usage data is then stored on the bike Account as custom attributes, raw GPS data is stored centrally in Asaak's data warehouse but remains connected to the bike's Stellar Account ID. Asaak uses the data to assess the valuation of the bike at time-of-sale.


Future Extension of Products 1 & 2: Credit Score

Our motorcycle loan is payable by the driver in weekly installments over a period of 2 years. Observing the driver’s repayment behavior on the loan allows us to build a credit score for the driver. This credit score, plus the driver safety score from Product 1, could be sold by Asaak to other financial institutions wanting to lend to our drivers.

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Links:
Asaak

Asaak is an African fintech startup unlocking the economic potential of small business owners. We have originated $10M in motorcycle (“boda”) loans with a 5% default rate. Our proprietary loan origination tech allows us to originate loans 30x faster with 1/8th the manpower of traditional lenders. We are backed by notable investors including Resolute Ventures, Social Capital, 500 Startups, HOF Capital, Catalyst Fund, and Founders Factory Africa.

Team

Kaivan Khalid Sattar (Kaivan#1099)

CEO & Founder, Asaak

Kaivan most recently worked as a Data Scientist at LendingHome (Kiavi) and previously as a quant at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for 3.5 years, where he valuated loans in the Discount Window’s $2 trillion portfolio and was the lead developer of two risk models for the Fed’s annual stress test of “Too Big to Fail” banks. In university, Kaivan conducted field research in Ghana, Bangladesh, and India to better understand how the poor save and borrow money without access to banks. This early research informed Kaivan’s mission to redefine finance in emerging markets. He holds a masters in Operations Research from Columbia University which was attained in 2016 and a bachelors in Mathematics-Economics from New York University which was attained in 2012. Kaivan has lived in 7 countries and speaks 7 languages so far.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kksattar/


Anthony Leontiev

CTO, Asaak

Anthony most recently was a Senior Architect at AltSchool, where he was a team lead on front and back-end development projects. He was previously a software engineer at Honest Buildings and has worn various hats at early to mid-stage startups. Anthony is building Asaak’s mobile platform and automating the loan origination process. Anthony holds a bachelors in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University which was attained in 2011.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anthony-leontiev/


Edward Egwalu

COO, Asaak

Eddie was most recently the Head of IT and Operations at Pilgrim Africa, an international public health-focused NGO. Before Pilgrim, Eddie consulted with various companies and government agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture on how to better improve their digital offerings and presence. Eddie holds a bachelors in Information Technology from Uganda Christian University which was attained in 2009 and a diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation from the Uganda Management Institute (UMI) which was attained in 2020.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/eegwalu/


Dylan Terrill (dylan#0907)

CBO, Asaak

Dylan most recently worked on the Business Operations team at LendingHome (Kiavi), where he worked for 2 years. At LendingHome, Dylan scaled the loan servicing/customer experience team from 2 individuals to over 50, leading investor relations, treasury, customer service and special servicing. Prior to LendingHome, Dylan was an investment banker at William Blair & Co. where he focused on M&A in the TMT space. He has held positions in venture capital, private equity, business development and capital markets in 8 different locations including Latin America and Africa. Dylan holds a dual degree in Finance and African American Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst which was attained in 2014.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dylanterrill/