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Start-Up Spotlight: Traive
Whether you are looking for capital to buy land, pay day-to-day operating expenses, expand your operation, or refinance and consolidate debt, the founders of the digital financing platform Traive want to make securing those funds easier.
“We bring farmers the state-of-the-art technologies they need to receive a novel and fair credit risk assessment and also to increase the funding resources flowing to their businesses,” says Aline Oliveira, cofounder of Traive. “For lenders, we provide a differentiated analysis applied over alternative farming and individual data, while allowing access to a much larger and diversified portfolio of borrowers.”
Since the platform is designed specifically for agriculture, the start-up is able to eliminate some of the issues farmers face with traditional lending sources.
“Assessing the risks associated with farming is exceptionally difficult and expensive for financial institutions,” she says. “Because they lack agricultural experience, various factors make farming unpredictable, and the remoteness of small-holder farmers increases their operational costs. With more than 15 years in the finance and/or ag industry, each of our founders has dealt with these problems firsthand.”
How it Works
Sponsored by MIT, the company’s approach to ag lending looks beyond your credit score and applies relevant, real-time data. Traive considers factors like agronomic performance, experience, and growth potential to assess your credit profile in its ecosystem. This unique underwriting process helps ensure its members have a higher likelihood of paying back a loan.
As a registered user, you securely link your information to the online platform to get an automatic financial review. Once potential lenders are identified, you review the payment terms and interest rates, and choose the option you like best. Access to the loan can be gained not only online, but also through the mobile app and Chatbot.
In addition, you can interact with the service 24 hours a day through the messaging app, which is connected to the Ethereum blockchain platform. This provides a safe and secure way to run smart contracts and to exchange funds.
The prototype has been tested by farmers. To date, 450 farmers have shared their credit needs with Traive. A demo is expected to launch in the spring of 2019.
Women in Tech
The company recently participated in a Pitchfest at AgTech Nexus. The event has been placing an emphasis on females involved in the ag tech industry, something Oliveira feels is important.
“Women in agriculture predominantly work in the most vulnerable and least-paying jobs, and, effectively, they are the invisible part of the farm supply chain,” she says. “For these reasons, it is extremely important we not only give special attention to women in agriculture, but also encourage more women to enter the sector so it will adapt to their needs and their growing role in this field.”
About the Company
Founders: Aline Oliveira, Fabrício Pezente, Marjan Tabari, Babak Kia, Felipe Ferreira
Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Background: The Traive platform directly connects borrowers and lenders, which gives farmers access to affordable loans and lenders a diversified borrower portfolio.