2 years ago, Fehintolu Olaogun co-founded CredPal alongside Olorunfemi Jegede, a technology platform that allows middle and lower-class consumers to buy across online and offline merchants and offer payment in instalments.
The startup recently raised a US$1.5million funding in a round led by Y Combinator and GreenHouse Capital as well as launched its range of credit cards.
In this piece, Fehitolu shared some thoughts on how the team survived 2020 with in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and civil unrest that characterised the year.
Q: How would you describe your team’s 2020?
A: I don’t think there are enough words to describe how this year has been. As a country, we’ve been through unimaginable events with the police protests which I know has affected members of my team in one way or another.
It has also been a year of trials and errors that have led to significant learning for us at CredPal.
Q: What were your biggest setbacks in 2020 and how did you overcome them?
A: The emergence of COVID-19 was an event that nobody had expected. I mean, you plan for things like new competitors in the market, new products to meet the growing demands of customers etc. but planning for a virus that nobody on the team has lived long enough to ever experience.
Another one was transitioning the team to work remotely, it started out rocky at first but we were able to find a balance that actually worked so well.
Q: What kept you going in spite of these challenges?
A: Our vision to be the largest consumer credit brand out of Africa keeps us obsessed with the drive to satisfy customers in Nigeria and beyond. We will not relent until we hit our goals.
One of the most amazing things that can happen to an entrepreneur is a great team. My team is definitely a source of inspiration on days when the challenges are daring.
Q: What were your biggest learning points in 2020? What were the lessons?
A: The first lesson is that we can push beyond limits. 2020 was definitely a year of discovery proven by the pandemic.
Although most businesses were near shutting down, we persevered and continued to serve our customers. Other lessons have been, preparing for the unexpected and adapting to changes.
Q: I am sure you had some exciting wins. Could you share?
A: We raised funding to continue to do what we set out for – which is to mainstream consumer credit. We also launched our credit card in Q4 and the adoption has kicked of better than we expected.
We are delighted to finally make non-revolving credit card available to consumers.
Q: What are your expectations in 2021?
A: Product expansion to cater to other market segments and most definitely geographic expansion.
Q: Are there exciting updates your users and would-be users should be looking forward to? Please share:
Fehintolu: Exciting merchant deals – we’ve always worked with merchants and 2021, we’re will be us leveraging on that relationship and offering our customers the best deals.
Second, our newly revamped and improved mobile app.
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