Nigerian based lending startup Lidya has raised $8.3 million pre-Series B funding round to scale its lending operations across its markets.
The funding round was led by Alitheia Capital through its uMunthu Fund. Other participating investors include Bamboo Capital Partners, Accion Venture Lab and Flourish Ventures.
Speaking on the investment, Alitheia Capital co-founder and managing director Tokunboh Ishmael expressed excitement backing the Lidya team.
According to him, “Lidya is tackling the fundamental challenge of providing access to credit for dynamic small and growing businesses that otherwise have limited options for financing working capital to scale their businesses in Africa and Europe.”
The latest pre-Series B comes after a $6.9 million Series A and a $1.3 million seed round secured in 2017. The Nigerian fintech has now raised a total of $16.5 million in funding.
According to the company, the new influx of funding will be used to grow its lending operations for small and medium businesses across its markets
The quickest SME loan plug
Founded in 2016 by Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, Lidya is a fintech that provides financing based on the cash flow in your bank account and without collateral.
The startup touts itself as a platform for quick loans. Businesses can create accounts and apply for loans ranging from $500 to $50,000 on its platform, with decisions made within 24 hours.
Since its launch, Lidya has disbursed over 25,000 loans and claims to have more than a 90% customer repeat rate.
In October 2019, the company expanded its lending operations to Poland and the Czech Republic. However, it was not until March 2020 that the company’s activities fully kickstarted.
Despite the pandemic, Lidya says it has disbursed over $3 million to SMEs in its two new markets. Currently, both European markets represent about 30% of the companys disbursement volume while the overall default rate is less than 1%.
Lidya wants to solidify its presence in the three markets with this influx of funding.
The company’s has also changed its leadership structure. Co-founder, Eksin has left Lidya to pursue other projects while Kehinde takes over as the sole CEO.
In addition to expanding its market, Lidya plans to grow out its teams in Lagos, Prague and Warsaw as well as use a portion of the funds to support more lines of credit.
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