Premal Shah, president of Kiva.org recently gave a detailed interview to Techcrunch on the peer lending portals plans for the next five years. In the interview, Premal Shah surprisingly reveals that he considers the social gaming website Zynga his biggest competitors.
“I think our biggest competitor is actually, probably Zynga. It’s not other nonprofits it’s actually competing for people’s attention. That fantasy football player in Canton, Ohio who might play two hours of Farmville at night, how do we get them to think about Uganda?…If building a real farm on Kiva can be as compelling as building a virtual farm on Facebook, then I think we’ve done our jobs really well.”
Kiva.org is an organization that allows people to lend money through the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries all around the world. As of September 19, 2010, Kiva has distributed more than US$ 160 Million in loans from 757,183 lenders. The average loan size on Kiva is $382.77(Rs 16,000 approximately). Kiva currently enjoys a repayment rate of 98.90%.
Watch the Interview in the video below.
Read the entire Interview with Premal Shah of Kiva on Tech Crunch
About Premal Shah
Premal Shah is the co-founder of Kiva along with Matt Flannery.Premal Shah worked at PayPal for nearly 6 years. He is considered to be a part of the PayPal Mafia – a group of PayPal alumni who have gone on to found or co-found other successful companies, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors and Yelp.
Premal Shah has had a long standing interest in development and microfinance. In 1997, he was awarded a grant from Stanford University to research at one of India’s then largest microfinance institutions, the Self Employed Women’s Association(SEWA). More recently Premal co-founded the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network and spent 2 months working an Indian NGO focused on women’s economic empowerment. Premal has graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.