By Sankalp Shangari | There are about 1.7 billion people in the world who are unbanked, and almost all are adults living in the developing world. Many of them are migrants who lack reliable identification, credit history or may be faced with unreliable intermediaries. Rather than looking at piecemeal solutions, LALA World is creating an entire financial ecosystem for this group.
Building the ecosystem on blockchain technology, LALA World looked at the root problems migrants and the unbanked faced. The first problem that blockchain can help with is identification.
As a decentralized ledger, blockchain can establish digital identities for an individual and make that verification available to others, securely. In fact, when confronted with an influx of refugees, Finland did precisely that using blockchain technology. Once identification is solved, many things we take for granted as basic human rights will suddenly become available.
Next, we built our ecosystem – credit scores, cards, transfers, peer-to-peer and direct lending, bill pay, pensions & saving, insurance – revolving around this digital identity. We’re also continuously adding new functionality to the ecosystem, such as peer-to-peer and direct lending.
Driving adoption for LALA World will keep the ecosystem vibrant and viable. We are doing this through global partnerships, leveraging existing infrastructure, engaging in partnerships with corporate houses and with NGOs, government, local companies and with distributors. One of our partners MI-gram – along with Bestinet (which is also our shareholder) – has distributed 68,000 SIM cards in Bangladesh. These SIM cards can act as electronic identification (EKYC) and drive adoption in the ecosystem.
Credible Team, Clear Strategy
We have a team of passionate bankers, blockchain experts and technologists, as well as an advisory board that includes Ari Paul and Richard Rofe. We also have partnerships with Bestinet, Blocksocial, Cambridge International School, ClothesBox Foundation, Cynopsis Solutions, Ethos, iomniscient, MiGrams, Rebit, SmartPesa, Stellar, Tasstech and World Education Placement Services amongst others.
Today, LALA World is an established and fast-growing Asian technology company that uses blockchain to create a connected financial ecosystem for the unbanked, undocumented, migrant labourers and refugees around the world. Unlike other blockchain startups that focus on geography or product, LALA World looks at the situation of the ecosystem to put the migrant at the center of the solution.
With a presence in five countries, over 100 global partners including government agencies, a working global wallet and a scalable business model, LALA World is creating a social business that makes it profitable to reinvest into the social ecosystem.
About The Author
LALA World CEO and Founder Sankalp Shangari’s personal experience as a migrant student in the UK – where he was pursuing Masters in Finance degree from the CASS Business School – inspired him to tackle the problems faced by migrants, such as difficulties in cross-border remittances. Coupled with his work experience at Macquarie, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Chase in London and Singapore and his passion for Blockchain technology, Sankalp seeks to use technology to make a social difference.