Do you want to speak at SOCAP23? The SOCAP Open Session Submission Period Is LIVE!

Submit Your Ideas Here by April 1!

Building the Future of Employer-Based Lending with DeFi

Nikhil Raghuveera July 13, 2022

Traditional financial institutions do not or are unable to extend credit to many smallholder farmers and laborers in Kenya. In response, employers often offer loans to their employees. Decentralized finance (DeFi) can help employers offer credit at lower interest rates and reduce the administrative burden. 

Mercy Corps Ventures and the Celo Foundation recently partnered to launch a 4 month employer-based lending pilot with agriculture company Cinch Markets in Nanyuki, Kenya. Cinch employees were able to access loans in M-pesa of $50 to $150 dollars at 8% APR through their feature phone. In this workshop, we will give participants the chance to try the technology, discuss the lending pilot, and explore how DeFi can create new and better models for employer-based lending and community-based finance.

**If possible as a second option to this session, we’d like our third speaker to be Abigail Munende, a member of the Kotani Pay team in Nairobi, Kenya. Unfortunately, Abigail is unable to travel from Kenya and attend SOCAP, and so we would like to have her join virtually. A third option is Alexander Fankuchen, CEO and Co-Founder of Cinch Markets, who may be able to travel from Nairobi to San Francisco.**



Meta Themes

  • Power and Capital


Purpose and Desired Outcome

The purpose of this session is to showcase the technology, discuss the pilot, and demonstrate how DeFi can be used for real world use cases. DeFi has thus far been primarily utilized for speculation in crypto markets. We hope to help attendees explore new use cases for DeFi that empower users and promote financial inclusion.


  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Corporate & SME

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Government

  • Academia

  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Asset Managers


  • NameNikhil Raghuveera
  • TitleHead of DeFi and Partner in Strategy & Innovation
  • OrganizationCelo Foundation
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameScott Onder
  • TitleCo-Founder and Senior Managing Director
  • OrganizationMercy Corps Ventures
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameAbigail Munene (Option 2)
  • TitleDigital Marketing Manager
  • OrganizationKotani Pay
  • StatusInvited
  • NameAlexander Fankuchen (Option 3)
  • TitleCEO and Co-Founder
  • OrganizationCinch Markets
  • StatusInvited
Join the SOCAP Newsletter!