Type: Opportunity gap reduction
Investor: Khaled Helioui
What is the mission?
Pesto aims to expand access to credit to the people most in need, predatory lending often remains the only recourse for people failing to meet standard credit checks from financial institutions whose standards fail to leverage current technology nor available data. Pesto introduces a new model to provide credit by issuing credit cards for their customers following the receival & appraisal of the item users provide as collateral.
Who are the founders?
Pesto was founded by James Savoldelli, a Stanford grad who became obsessed with his mission while studying, took on jobs at numerous pawnshops during covid, performed due diligence across 8 states and 4 countries, set up his own online pawnshop sometimes dealing with personal physical threats which only increased his resolution to see his mission through.
Why did Khaled get involved?
Access to finance is one of the most tangible expressions of opportunity gap. It is hard to reconcile that today, in the largest economy in the world, over 50% of people applying for credit cards in the United States get rejected. Standard forms of validation from major financial institutions are completely outdated and rule out huge swaths of the population, notably the most in need, from basic services we most take for granted. James not only displayed the drive, resilience, obsession but also creativity to come up with new financial incentives and rewire the parts of this economy that are broken so more people can be onboarded.