Numida, backed by Y Combinator, raised $12.3m in debt and equity funding.
The fintech startup, founded in 2015, lends to small and medium enterprises in Uganda.
The startup’s new funding round was led by Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures.
Numida, a Ugandan fintech that offers credit to small businesses, raised $12.3 million in new funding.
The startup, which was founded by three Canadian Y Combinator graduates in 2015, wants to expand access to working capital for businesses across Africa. Numida estimates that 20 million small and micro businesses lack working capital, an opportunity it values at around $5 billion.
“Our initial process was simple: how do we provide the best form of working capital to excluded people? Mina Shahid, CEO and co-founder of Numida, told Insider.
“It is important because these people have been forgotten by traditional financial services and the major issue of economic development is the financing of companies.”
Shahid co-founded the company alongside Catherine Denis and Ben Best. The trio worked in sub-Saharan Africa for several years before creating Numida. Much of the challenge stems from the lack of a centralized credit scoring system, but also a general lack of documentation with transactions often done in cash, they said.
Numida’s platform offers loans ranging from $100 to $5,000 through its mobile app with its proprietary technology used to make credit scoring decisions.
“It was a fascinating experience to create a technology product for people who had never used a computer before,” Shahid said. “Anyone can understand an interface in the Valley, but we had to unlearn what a UI is and spent a lot of time improving our UX and customer journey.”
Serena Williams’ fund, Serena Ventures, is leading a $7.3 million equity financing round alongside Breega, 4Di Capital, Launch Africa, Soma Capital, Y Combinator and MFS Africa. The rest of the funding comes in the form of $5 million in debt from Lendable Asset Management.
Numida says it has advanced over $20 million in funding since April 2021 and is expanding its team to accommodate future growth. The company’s teams are split between Kampala, Uganda and various remote locations on the West Coast of the United States. The funding will be used to hire more of Numida’s product development team in Uganda alongside a chief financial officer and potentially a credit risk manager, Shahid said.
Further expansion into another African market such as Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt or Kenya is also under consideration.
Check out Numida’s 10-slide pitch deck below:
Read the original article at Business Intern