Access to credit is A major talking point in Nigeria’s banking sector. Although banking is a high-risk business, Nigerian banks take way too much precaution and, in the process, clog up the system when lending to customers. This makes access to credit both difficult and time-consuming.
To mitigate these issues, FinTechs, like PayLater, have sprung up to provide faster access to credit–their innovations are taking off quickly too. Recently, the startup claims it now has over 500,000 users and over 900,000 downloads. Additionally, startups have forced banks to take the loan business seriously. Similarly, Wema Bank’s ALAT, Access Bank, and even QuickTeller now offer instant loans.
Paylater is the best app. I started with a small money but today i almost at 100k. The approval and disbursement are done very quick. Keep it up please.
— kelechi (@kcman1972) August 9, 2018
Yet, these services still grapple with one unique problem: credit rating. Banks with their far superior access to customer data have failed to develop a viable credit rating system. Meanwhile, the system makes it easier to evaluate customers’ creditworthiness and the possibility of them defaulting on payments.
Without credit rating systems, the loan business remains both manual and long. Additionally, it forces smart-thinking FinTechs to impose annoying credit caps.
That’s all about to change, thanks to Mines.IO.
What is Mines.IO
Mines.IO is a data analytics company that operates a platform for financial analytics. Using its platform, the company developed a proprietary credit rating and anti-fraud system.
“We’re a technology company that facilitates local institutions — banks, mobile operators, retailers — to offer credit to their customers,” says Mines CEO and co-founder Ekechi Nwokah.
Congrats to the team at https://t.co/x8jRgitrVt! They've created an incredible consumer credit platform for emerging markets. Proud to be an early investor and excited for what's next: https://t.co/Zimtv1AOP5 Yes, they're hiring! #Mines #Investment #Fundraise #Fintech #Startup
— Alan Chiu (🧋,🧋) (@alanchiu) August 10, 2018
Running as a Credit-as-a-Service platform, Mines provides institutions in developing markets insights on customers before granting to credit to customers.
To evaluate customers, the company analyses data such as phone records, bank records, and payment transaction history. Leveraging several risk models, the platform provides quick responses, under 60 seconds, about the creditworthiness of a customer.
We combine a strong AI technology with full…deployment services — disbursement…collections, payments, loan management, and regulatory — wrap it up in a box, give it to our partners and then help them run it. –Mr. Ekechi Nwokah
It’s a pretty neat innovation.
Operations, Client Base, and Funding
Founded in 2014, the company is run by three Nigerians–Ekechi Nwokah, Kunle Olukotun (the Chief Scientist) and Adia Sowho. It has its offices in Lagos and California.
Couldn’t be more proud of our friends at https://t.co/1TWlRqL5fi as they announce their $13m Series A Funding. The first day I met Ekechi, I knew this was only a matter of time! So humbling to be a partner on this journey. Impossible is nothing. #Africa #Tech #SiliconValley https://t.co/9Bd8Mw1euN
— Uzoma Nwagba (@uzonwagba) August 10, 2018
Its target market includes “banks, retailers, and mobile operators…who want to power digital credit tailored to these markets.” And by 2017, it had already courted big clients such as Airtel and Interswitch.
Mines.IO just closed an impressive $13 million Series A funding round. The round was led by private equity company TPG’s The Rise Fund. Other investors at the table include 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.
However, in 2014, for its seed round of funding, Mines.IO raised nearly $1 million from XSeed Capital. It raised a further $2.2 million in 2016 from a round led by First Ally Capital and four other investors. And in April 2017, the company got a $1 million in debt financing from Western Technology Investments.
This means that the company has raised over $17 million dollars since 2014. An impressive feat for a Nigerian-led startup.
With expansion into Asia and South America on the cards, the future looks bright for Mines.
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