Humans of the Bluff: Nischay Poovaiah | LIFE+ARTS


Almost everyone has had a conversation with a friend that sparked a million dollar idea. Most of these breakthrough inventions never see the light of day, but senior Nischay Poovaiah actually acted on his genius invention. XCredit was an idea born out of a conversation in quarantine during the summer of 2021. It has since grown into a full-fledged business and is expected to launch on the App Store in less than two months.


So what is XCredit? XCredit is a Venmo-like platform that allows users to reimburse friends for food, Uber splits, and other joint purchases while simultaneously cultivating a credit score by completing a transaction on time. The platform rewards users for quickly paying back their friends and for lending money. The XCredit algorithm takes these informal loans into account and assigns each user a credit score based on their reliability.


Poovaiah thought about the idea while having a chat with a friend from home. “We were looking to get a house and realized we needed a co-guarantor or secondary signer. We got to thinking that between the two of us, we had probably done thousands of dollars in transactions over the years and always paid each other back on time. We thought this should be a gauge of your reliability rating. Thus, XCredit was born.


Olivier Pelly


Nischay Poovaiah

“A lot of times when students get out of college, they may not have access to good credit. Credit scores help you get loans, apply for housing, and more. So that’s where our business comes in; we take all of these informal friends and family loans and put them through an algorithm that gives you a score, and from that score you can open a credit card or apply for loans.

The company’s goal is to help students earn credits. By simply switching from Venmo to XCredit, you can start building your credit just by going about your normal life (and remembering to pay your friends back on time). It’s a win-win scenario.

Poovaiah is a double major in finance and film production and co-founder of XCredit. His roommate, Oliver Pelly, is an information systems and business analytics specialist who was recruited by XCredit as a full-time employee to help develop the technical side of the business. Poovaiah and Pelly are smart and ambitious young men, but equally laid back and goofy.


Pelly and Poovaiah with their instructor

The couple showed me around their home, pointing out the fun items and obscurities that came with their rental. They told me about their college experience, their hopes for the future and their inspiration behind XCredit.


Pelly with his old baseball glove


Poovaiah with her glasses broken

“Being a student of finance, I learned about the credit system and how screwed up it is. In a case study done by the credit bureaus, they found that if you have more than $50,000 in your margin credit, your score goes up somehow, and we don’t really believe that more money means you’re going to pay off your loans.. We’ve seen a lot of rich people fall for fraud, so we take Reliability is factored in. A person repaying $1 million and a person repaying $100 can have the same score.

Once their idea was born, they worked tirelessly to bring it to life. Over the summer, Poovaiah worked 18-hour days, building the framework, creating the algorithm, and reaching out to investors. Venmo partners Plaid and Stripe have also partnered with XCredit. “I don’t want to say it gives us leverage, but it definitely gives us validation.”


Poovaiah’s idea is turning into a real success story before our eyes. So if you need to start building credit, keep an eye out for XCredit’s upcoming launch. Future graduates will surely appreciate.


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