We’re excited to welcome Talino Venture Studios to the Mojaloop Foundation as a new member. Their Managing Director, Winston Damarillo, recently spoke with us about how he sees his organization and the Mojaloop Foundation working together. 

Connect with Winston on LinkedIn > 


Q&A with Winston Damarillo

Please introduce yourself and your company

I’m the founder and CEO of Talino Venture Studios, formerly Talino Venture Labs. We’re a venture builder, which means we’re a company that builds companies. 

We’ve been building startups around the world with a special focus on the unbanked or the underbanked. Some of these companies provide cross-border payments, cross-border lending, social borrowing, or inclusive insurance.  

We’re big, big fans of open source, and I have a long history with it. Back when I was at Intel, they were huge proponents of the Linux Foundation, and I’ve built a few startups and open source projects as part of the Apache Software Foundation. I was also a director of the Eclipse Software Foundation. So, I’m really excited about how Mojaloop has built itself into an open source framework. 

Why is the Mojaloop Foundation’s mission of financial inclusion important to your company?

I think that a lot of our efforts and a lot of our fellow travelers’ efforts have gone toward creating applications for financial inclusion. What’s unique about Mojaloop is that it provides an infrastructure that enables an even larger, more expansive impact for platforms of this kind. 

In emerging countries like the Philippines, this is even more important because, more often than not, large institutional banking systems tend to dominate the landscape of financial services. Using Mojaloop, and open source in general, is a good way to level that playing field. 

We’re very interested in using technologies like Mojaloop to serve the unbanked and the underbanked, and also to provide smaller institutions like rural banks and microfinance organizations with the technical capabilities to achieve parity with the larger banks. This will allow them to better serve their local communities.   

What excites you about joining the Mojaloop Foundation?

It’s a community of experts, and it’s always exciting to work with other geeks who are of the same mindset, not just in how we build things, but also in what we’re building. 

We’re early into the process, but we’re super impressed by the organization of the Mojaloop Community, and how open it is. When I called Paula Hunter and Steve Haley, it was very easy to just be part of it. 

What will Talino Venture Studios contribute to the Mojaloop community?

My team has been in stealth, working on projects bound by NDAs for a long time. Now that this is no longer the case, I think they’re eager to rejoin the community and be an integral part of it, share what they’ve learned, and even brag a little bit about what they’re doing.  

We’re excited to give back some of the code that we have derived from using Mojaloop and help take it further, especially into open standards like ISO 20022.   

There are also some use cases that we are discovering in Southeast Asia and some parts of the Middle East that we can incorporate into the collective of Mojaloop. One example is a use case for high velocity lending: we have fishmongers who borrow money in the morning and return it in the evening. It’s also highly rewarding for us to be able to contribute code reviews for things like this. 

Open source communities tend to bring the best out of geeks like us. Being able to be a part of Mojaloop will be fun for the team — and for me as well — I still write code. 

Is there anything else you would like to mention?

One of the things that we champion is to take financial participation all the way through to full banks. A lot of companies tend to stop at having wallets. I feel like that’s a disservice to citizens of emerging countries and people who are moving up in their socioeconomic class.  

We would like to wield Mojaloop to really take that goal through so that everybody will have bank accounts that are insured by their governments and that provide the full financial tool set. 


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