Lidya, a leading fintech platform based in Nigeria, has raised US$1.25 million in a seed funding round to expand access to capital for underserved small businesses in the country.
Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, founders of logistics company African Courier Express (ACE), first announced Lidya back in September 2016 in a bid to allow small businesses secure loans without much ado.
The startup then launched officially on 2 November 2016, offering small businesses unsecured loans between US$500 and US$15,000, and provide invoicing service.
Since then, 20,000 small businesses in the country have registered for the service. The platform uses over 100 different data points to help any SME access much-needed working capital and build a customized credit score.
Once a customer has been evaluated by the platform, qualified businesses receive a loan under 48 hours based on their risk and capacity. Businesses spanning the agriculture, consumer goods, services, and creative industries have used the platform, with the startup targeting ₦1.5 billion loans in its first year of operations.
“Our vision is to digitize and streamline the credit assessment process to make it easy for any SME across Africa to access the funding they needed to grow their business,” said Tunde Kehinde, co-founder of Lidya.
The fresh funds will now allow Lidya to accelerate product development, thereby expanding access to capital for underserved small businesses, and further develop its team.
Co-founder of Lidya, Ercin Eksin said, “This round of funding and backing from our world-class group of investors is a strong validation of the potential of fintech in Africa and will position the company to be the go-to source of financing for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.”
The funding round was led by Accion Venture Lab, the seed-stage investment initiative of financial inclusion leader, Accion. Newid Capital and several angel investors also participated in the funding round.