Nigeria-based One Finance Technology has raised a USD 5 Mn debt facility for its consumer facing platform, Paylater. The financial injection comes from New York and Nairobi-based Lendable, a technology-enabled funding provider to African consumer and SME lenders. The raise will be used to deploy more loans to Paylater customers, specifically through a suite of innovative new products.
First of Its Kind
The USD 5 Mn backing marks OneFi’s first ever international support, even though it has quite been in the thick of money since its launch. Since its launch in 2016, Paylater has deployed over USD 60 Mn across 750,000 loans, approving over 1,500 loans a day with an average of USD 80 per loan. With this new debt facility, the company will now look to double its size within Nigeria before entering new markets in 2019.
Just two months ago, 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.
The comment from Chijioke Dozie, OneFi CEO says, “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”.
“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.”
Lending Made Simplistic
There are currently only 120,000 active POS merchants in Nigeria, with over 50 percent of transactions occurring with the commercial hub 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.
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.
Lendable CEO Daniel Goldfarb, says: “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.”
Paylater was launched in the West African country in 2016, after being contrived by Nigerian finance entrepreneur siblings Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie. From an initial focus of providing hitch-free loans devoid of human intervention or bias in decissionmaking, the firm has doubled own 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.