Mines, an emerging markets credit startup, has closed a USD 13 Mn Series A round led by The Rise Fund, a global impact fund formed by the coalition of TGP, Velocity Capital, and nine others.
Mines is into the provision of credit-as-a-service products to large firms on a business to customer (B2C) basis. They are a tech company that facilitates local institutions such as banks, mobile operators, and others to offer credit to their base of customers.
Mine has offices in Lagos, Nigeria, and San Mateo, from which the team of tech-inclined pioneers takes advantage of mobile user-extracted big data and propriety risk algorithms to enable lending decisions. The company innovatively combines strong Artificial Intelligence technology with full deployment services, disbursement collections, different kinds of payments, loan management systems and regulatory parameters, all of which it wraps up in a box and delivers to partners, and helping them run it smoothly.
A company that can be said to be a typical client of Mines is one that wields an extensive base of customers and is looking to avail credit to its clients. Mines generates its revenue from different kinds of fees and revenue sharing arrangements with partners. It started its operations in Nigeria and currently has Interswitch and Airtel as its partners. Interswitch is a payment processor, while Airtel is a mobile telecommunications service provider. Adding to its view of talent addition, Mines plans on using the USD 13 Mn round for the overall expansion of the company, particularly its credit-as-a-service products, into new markets in South America and Southeast Asia, according to Mines’ Founder and CEO Ekechi Nwokah.
Mines is a company that prides itself as a hardcore tech firm based out of Silicon Valley with a global view, and at the same time having all the makings of an African startup. Led by a trio of innovators, Scientist Kunle Olokotun and Nwokah, along with Managing Director Adia Sowho, Mines is the outcome of a meeting in Palo Alto in 2014 between Stanford Professor Olokotun and then AWS data specialist. Picking substantial examples from their homeland Nigeria, the duo was able to determine two problems facing emerging markets, which were low access to credit across large amounts of the populations and the insufficiency of tools to aide big institutions in putting together viable consumer lending programs.
As part the Series A, Yemi Lalude, who is the founder of Rise Fund, will join Mines as a member of its boards of directors. As Mines plans to expand to Asia and South America, they are set to synergizing with the conglomeration of Nigerian tech companies who have made the same move or are planning to do so this year, including MallforAfrica and Terragon.
This development was first reported by Techcrunch.
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