Nigeria’s fintech startup Finance Limited (OneFi) has today announced that it has secured a $5M debt facility for its consumer-facing facing platform, Paylater. The facility comes from New York and Nairobi-based Lendable, a technology-enabled funding provider to African consumer and SME lenders.
The news comes just two months after the company secured Africa’s first credit rating for a fintech platform, achieving a “BB” Rating with a “Stable Outlook’ from Global Credit Rating Co.
OneFi says it will use the debt facility to deploy more loans to Paylater customers, specifically through a suite of innovative new products.
Since its launch in 2016, Paylater says it has deployed over $60M across 750,000 loans, approving over 1,500 loans a day with an average of $80 per loan. With this new debt facility, the company says it will now look to double in size within Nigeria before entering new markets in 2019.
“Securing this investment from Lendable represents the first internationally-backed commercial debt transaction for us, marking an important stage of our company’s development as we look to serve the “next billion” Chijioke Dozie, OneFi CEO said.
“As we transition into a full service digital bank, this financing will allow us to execute on a number of new products. This includes our partnership with Visa, whereby we’ll be providing credit via QR codes at supermarkets, clinics and on public transport in H1 2019.”
There are currently only 120k active POS merchants in Nigeria, with over 50% of transactions occurring in Lagos alone. Leveraging the power of the mobile phone, of which there are 150M active connections in Nigeria, Paylater is aiming to help millions of customers transact at their point of need, and drive offline payments via lower cost QR installations.
Paylater, launched in 2016 by Nigerian finance entrepreneurs Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie, provides hassle-free loans without need for human intervention or bias in decision making. The company has transitioned to a one-stop-shop offering additional products such as savings, bill payments and credit reporting. To-date, the Paylater app has been downloaded over 1 million times with over 1,575 loans approved daily with all applicants getting a free credit report
“We are incredibly excited to launch this partnership with OneFi, a market leader, as we build our presence in Nigeria. At Lendable, we build financial products to enable lending companies to scale, and we are proud to support OneFi’s mission of providing credit to the underbanked consumer and SME segments in Nigeria. They are an incredible example of a company that has found product market fit in a massive market, and are working tirelessly to provide a best-in-class service to those customers.” Daniel Goldfarb, Lendable CEO said.
Lendable, backed by Omidyar Network, KawiSafi Ventures, FMO, and other leading institutions provides credit facilities to consumers and SME credit providers operating in digital lending, microfinance, and a range of Pay-as-you-go (PayGo) services. This investment into OneFi marks the first Nigerian deal Lendable has signed, and one of a handful of new Nigerian clients for the company.
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