Are you a micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) owner and in need of easy access to finance? Lidya has been developed to meet your needs.
Lidya, the digital financial services platform focused on improving access to credit for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $6.9 million in a Series
A investment round, one of the largest in Nigerian technology history.
The funding was led by Omidyar Network, the Silicon Valley impact investment firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. New investors, Alitheia Capital (via the Umunthu Fund), Bamboo Capital Partners, and Tekton Ventures, also joined the round, which included existing investors Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital.
Cofounder of Lidya, Tunde Kenhinde said “Lidya was founded on a simple, yet fundamental idea: technology can unleash and empower a generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs throughout Africa by revolutionizing how risk is assessed, credit is underwritten, and customers are banked.”
Ercin Eksin, cofounder of Lidya also said “We are excited by the overwhelming support from the investor community, which signals a great confidence in our business model and team.” In Nigeria, where Lidya is based, the IFC estimates that there is an MSME credit gap of at least $25 billion.
Globally, MSMEs are one of the strongest drivers of economic development, innovation, and employment, and yet access to finance is frequently identified as a critical barrier to growth for these businesses. 40 percent of MSMEs in emerging markets are underserved when it comes to access to credit-representing an estimated $5.2 trillion credit gap.
“Access to flexible, affordable credit is at the crux of unlocking growth in the MSME sector. Lidya is addressing that by using smart algorithms to analyze transaction data from small businesses to assess their creditworthiness,” said Ameya Upadhyay, investment principal at Omidyar Network and Lidya’s newest board member.
“This data-driven approach allows the company to offer loans without the need of hard collateral-a requirement that has scuttled MSME financing in Africa. In the process, Lidya gathers insights that help expand its product portfolio to become a holistic partner to small businesses.”
In less than 15 minutes, an MSME can create a free account online or download the Lidya app on to their connected devices. The MSME can then share or load bank account or transaction information to the platform. Following this, the MSME can manage cash flows, customer data, and create and send invoices digitally.