Silicon Valley based Omidyar Network to launch Karl Mehta’s book “Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid”


Mehta’s book “Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid” is co-authored by Financial inclusion expert and entrepreneur Carol Realini.

 Omidyar Network is hosting an “official launch event” for the book on Thursday, 7th April, 2016.

Says Mehta, “Carol and I started writing the book in 2010 almost right after VISA acquisition of my Fintech company, PlaySpan and from there on  it took 5 long years to write this book until 2015.  My work at the White House during 2012-13 helped uncover a lot of innovations.  The book is a product of all three perspectives from working at  startup, big  company and government– all of them in the same space of fin tech and helping the bottom of the pyramid.”

The book is more than the story of 2.5 billion unbanked people. It tells the stories of entrepreneurs at the forefront of FinTech—one of the hottest global industries. While the wealthy live at the top of a metaphorical pyramid, taking financial security and banking services for granted, there are billions of people who struggle at the pyramid’s base in an exhausting state of financial exclusion and insecurity.

FinTech can offer solutions, such as digital solutions for mobile money, credit scoring, insurance, alternative currencies like Bitcoin, solar energy, and small business financing. The book also reveals the interplay of mobile operators, government regulators, merchants and billions of people using the power of mobile phones. In faraway lands, without bank branches and ATM’s, Realini and Mehta paint pictures of life in Africa, India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and countries not on your radar.

In Carol Realini’s words, “We’ve revealed both the extent of financial exclusion at the bottom of the pyramid and have seen the proliferation of imaginative solutions that entrepreneurs are introducing around the world. It’s an exciting time we live in, full of the promise of increased economic opportunity for everyone. In nearly every corner of the globe dedicated visionaries are combining new technologies with social responsibility to open doors that for centuries have been closed. Going forward, we hope—and expect—that the pace of change will not only continue but quicken.”

Financial inclusion for all is indeed within our reach, and with this conviction, authors Karl Mehta and Carol Realini propose a vision for a better world and a blueprint to get there. The book has received incredible praise. Amazon reviews include one  from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About his co-author, Mehta adds,

” I look back all the long hours  sitting with Carol, almost every weekend in Starbucks, each others home, weekdays in Visa Cafetaria for first two years, etc, just constantly discussing everything in the space and Carol making diligent notes. Learned a lot from Carol about patience, copious note taking and good style of writing. 

The event  this Thursday is over-subscribed despite being ‘invite-only’ and the host is not accepting any more RSVP, so it is gratifying to see so many of Silicon Valley luminaries attending despite a working day.

After this blockbuster book, Karl Mehta is already mulling over the possibility of writing a new book- on EdTech!