Kevin Mobolade’s entrepreneurial journey into the FinTech space started after drawing a personal connection to a business white paper.
Growing up, Mobalade said he watched his immigrant parents navigate both the “struggles and the triumphs” of the American financial system.
The problem wasn’t just personal; it is also incredibly prevalent across the United States. 22% of the population is unbanked or underbanked, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve. Lack of financial education — stacked on top of a predatory lending system — prohibit many people from growing wealth.
On the other side of the financial equation, banks and credit unions are constantly searching for new customers. The white paper that Mobolade said sparked his FinTech entrepreneurial interests explored what it might look like to leverage alternative data and artificial intelligence can help increase the number of people who can access financial resources.
From there, he started iterating on ideas to provide better loan products to more people.
“Over the course of the COVID pandemic, I was able to put that idea in the market and had conversations with VPs of lending. And over the course of time, Swipe Credit was kind of born,” Mobalade told Hypepotamus.
Ultimately, Swipe Credit is an automated, digital lending platform that provides more flexible and more customizable loan products. And in its early stages, it has already made waves in the Atlanta FinTech and VC community.
A New Model
While AI bias is a very real conversation both in and out of the tech world, Mobalade said it has the potential to democratize the lending process. “Any mechanism or algorithm or software takes the form of the creator,” Mobalade explained. “A lot of the biases that we see in artificial intelligence and computer vision come from the fact that the people who are building it are not Black or Brown. We want to create a product that’s going to help people that look like us to succeed, and constantly manage any threats of bias that could be implemented in the solution.”
What started as a B2C play has emerged as a B2B2C business, as customers (mainly VPs of lending or equivalent), use Swipe’s enterprise solution to track new users and their risk.
Mobalade and his CTO, Dr. Charles Lively, are both graduates of Mercer University in central Georgia and now live in Atlanta. The team has grown to include a Chief Product Officer and has open roles for Head of Design and an engineer on their site.
Mobalade recently pitched the idea at Panoramic Ventures’ inaugural Startup Showdown, a monthly competition for early-stage founders to get feedback on their ideas and pitch for $120,000.
Mark Flickinger, General Partner and COO at Panoramic Ventures, said Mobalade’s ability to articulate his solution for the unbanked and underbanked population really helped Swipe Credit stand out during the competition.
“A lot of people have tried to go B2C, but they’re doing B2B2C,” Flickinger told Hypepotamus. “That brings in another ultimate beneficiary of their products.”
While Swipe takes home the title as the first Startup Showdown winner, Mobalade is certainly no stranger to the pitch competition circuit. He also serves as CEO of Droflika Labs, a drone analytics platform that participated in Atlanta Startup Battle back in 2018.
Mobalade said Swipe Credit has a seed round in the works and plans to use the Startup Showdown money to drive customer acquisition.
Startup founders who think they have what it takes to pitch at upcoming Startup Showdown events are encouraged to apply here.