Mines, a Nigerian fintech startup re-inventing credit in emerging markets secured $13M funding. The Series A round was led by The Rise Fund, a global fund managed by TPG Growth.
The startup says it plans to use its investment for talent acquisition, continued growth in Africa, and expansion to South America and South-East Asia.
Mines provides a Credit-as-a-Service digital platform that enables institutions in emerging markets to offer credit products to their customers. Leveraging their own data sets, domestic institutions are able to serve loans to customers ignored by available credit systems and open up entirely new revenue opportunities.
“There are more than 3 billion adults globally without access to credit. Our vision is that every one of them will have instant access to credit in the next 10 years.” said Ekechi Nwokah, Mines CEO. “We believe the best way to realize this vision is to partner with banks, retailers and mobile operators and power digital credit products tailored to their markets so they can create the customers of tomorrow, today.”
By mining high-volume data like phone records, bank records, and payment transactions in real-time, Mines can instantly assess credit risk in markets that lack robust credit bureau infrastructure. It then integrates its risk models with identity, origination, payments, loan lifecycle management, and customer service to form a holistic platform. The net result is a seamless user experience where partners’ customers can apply for and receive a loan in less than 60 seconds or make instant purchases with virtual or physical credit cards.
The company has hardened its proprietary technology in Nigeria where it has been used by over 1 million customers since launching in 2017. It is now the leading provider of consumer credit in the country, counting mobile operators 9mobile and Airtel, payment processors Interswitch and NIBSS, along with several banks amongst its partners. “What we have done differently is take Silicon Valley technology and built it into a product that is robust enough for emerging markets like Nigeria, Brazil, or Indonesia”, says Chief Scientist Kunle Olukotun. “We can extend credit to all types of customers, including customers without smartphones or even bank accounts as these are the people who need credit the most.”
As part of the financing, Yemi Lalude from TPG Growth and Willem Willemstein from Velocity Capital have joined Mines’ Board of Directors.
Also participating are Velocity Capital, Western Technology Investments, First Ally Capital, X/Seed Capital, NYCA Partners, Persistent Capital, Singularity Investments, Trans Sahara Investments, and the Bank of Industry.