Story of Impact:
Inventure

Before Unreasonable


Shivani Siroya

Shivani Siroya

Shivani Siroya, Founder of InVenture, attended the Unreasonable Institute in 2011. At that point, Shivani had a bold vision to unlock access for billions of creditworthy individuals around the world. She knew that while 2.5 billion people did not have any kind of formal credit score that could help them qualify for formal loans, 90% of the world’s population did have access to a mobile phone.

So, she thought, why not use that mobile access to give the underserved and unbanked access to a financial identity that could help them qualify for the resources they need? Although Shivani had tested her model prior to the Institute, received funding and had a small team in LA and India, InVenture was just getting off the ground. She needed resources and support to help turn her vision into reality.

Unreasonable Difference

At the Unreasonable Institute, Shivani received the mentorship and community of support she needed to turn her early idea into a thriving company.

  • Unreasonable mentors helped Shivani both push her vision and sharpen her strategic focus, identifying the core elements of the financial access challenge that InVenture was best suited to address. She continues to be in close contact with Unreasonable mentor (and founder) Daniel Epstein, who provides guidance, encouragement, and connections.
  • Shivani also learned how to build long-term investor relationships. As she says, “Unreasonable taught me that it’s not all about pitching. Even if you don’t have an ask, you can still build a relationship and that’s much more important.”
  • Unreasonable introduced Shivani to the Halloran Foundation, who invested $100,000 in InVenture one year after the institute. Shivani credits that critical investment with providing her team the time and flexibility to refine InVenture’s technology, invest in product-market fit, and really “get it right” to ensure that they were meeting the needs of their customers and communities.
  • Unreasonable introduced to the Vodafone Americas Foundation, who awarded InVenture $100,000 as a winner of the Wireless Innovation Challenge and continues to provide advice and support today.
  • Shivani credits the Unreasonable community as an invaluable and unwavering source of support for both her and InVenture. At the Institute, she built relationships that will last forever, and Unreasonable has introduced her to a tight network of peer entrepreneurs around the world. As she says, “I have leaned on the Unreasonable community whenever InVenture has faced a crisis; I’ve reached out to them for help and they’ve always been the first responders.”

Inventure Today

Since Unreasonable, InVenture has grown into a leading mobile technology and data science company accelerating the emergence of 3 billion unbanked people into the global middle class. Having grown from a team of 3 to a team of 19, with offices in Mumbai and Nairobi, the company’s work has been recognized by USAID, the Economist, Vodafone, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Shivani went on to be named a 2013 Ashoka Fellow and 2015 TED Senior Fellow.

Why Unreasonable?

Shivani says of her Unreasonable experience: “The Unreasonable Institute forces you to always think big. By watching your peers and meeting mentors and advisors, by the end of the Institute you have the confidence and support to solve big problems. You also develop friendships and connections to a global community that provides inspiration, personal support, and further networks in solving the even bigger challenges that will come along the way!”