PayHippo raises $1 million pre-seed to improve access to funding for SMEs in Africa

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PayHippo raises $1 million pre-seed to improve access to funding for SMEs in Africa


Despite its significance, the diminutive substitute sector in Africa stays largely underserved by commercial banks. 

In Nigeria, a gargantuan share of the population operates diminutive to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in what’s referred to because the “informal financial system”. The informal financial system accounts for a huge two-thirds of the whole financial system and creates some distance extra employment opportunities than the formal sector. Tranquil, most diminutive substitute owners within the nation salvage it sophisticated to ranking admission to formal monetary products or products and services. ​The identical may well well perchance be acknowledged for Africa in fashioned.

All these businesses are creditworthy, nonetheless customary banks don’t lend to them because credit ratings don’t exist and collateral necessities are too excessive. The bulk of SME transactions is predominantly money-basically based, making it sophisticated to connect a credit footprint, coupled with a abominable culture of monetary describe-protecting by substitute owners. 

The inability of means to exact lending hinders the development means of SMEs and fixing this credit gap has change trusty into a market different that many social entrepreneurs in Africa are seizing. Let’s narrate, the market dimension for SME lending in Nigeria is estimated at $46 billion, and Payhippo’s founders possess a interior most connection to this market different.

“I helped scramble my family’s substitute in Nigeria and I do know how sophisticated financing may well well perchance be for SMEs in Nigeria,” acknowledged Chioma Okotcha, PayHippo co-founder. “That’s why I went to work in microfinance policy. Nonetheless I saw that there became quiet this type of gargantuan need for SMEs in Nigeria and the continent.”

PayHippo Logo.

Payhippo is a synthetic intelligence-pushed lending platform that offers loans to diminutive businesses in beneath 3 hours and helps them consume lender capital successfully. It has three co-founders, all of who possess founding abilities and lending domain abilities to most moving provider SMEs in Africa. Chioma serves as COO, Uche Nnadi as CTO, and Zach Bijesse, who worked at Lidya, as chief govt officer.

SMEs brand in to the platform after which the firm evaluates the money drift and substitute owner knowledge to resolve what mortgage dimension is honest for them. SME potentialities can furthermore ranking a Payhippo rating to ranking admission to up to 3x the volume of financing over time.

One ingredient that makes PayHippo stand out is the bizarre customer abilities the startup gives to SMEs making an try for financing, Chioma explained to TechCabal in an interview. PayHippo’s computerized products allow the startup to co-ranking with its potentialities and ranking to know them on a deeper stage, to tailor products to their wants better. 

The strategy is it sounds as if paying off. PayHippo has considered the stage of financing dispensed to SMEs flit within the immediate time since its initiate in January 2020. It has disbursed ₦1.44 billion in over 2,600 loans to businesses, most of which may well well perchance be community grocery stores or diminutive retail stores which may well well perchance be phase of the serious infrastructure of their communities nonetheless skipped over of doors of the customary monetary system. 

Giving founders exactly what they need has furthermore helped the startup attain an on a standard basis return every month. PayHippo has recorded a 97% repayment price since it began operations in Nigeria and grown earnings 25% month-on-month. That is a demonstration of appropriate development for the businesses PayHippo helps. “There are never-ending disorders that Nigerian SMEs abilities with financing nonetheless we’ve been taking it one step at a time,” Nnadi acknowledged.

The startup has now raised $1 million in pre-seed funding. The spherical became silent of African tech investors equivalent to Ventures Platform, Future Africa, Originate Africa, and Sherpa Ventures with participation from global investors, Hustle Fund and Mercy Corps Ventures. 

Sooner than the elevate, PayHippo had family and associates backing from vital Nigerian angel investors and from early-stage venture builder, Aidi Ventures. With the new money injection, the startup plans to rent extra engineers and a Head of Finance to seize care of up with presumably the most up to date development and take care of providing seamless financing to diminutive businesses on the continent.

“Minute businesses are at the core of Africa’s financial development and we’re extremely delighted to accomplice with Zach, Chioma & Uche as they ranking PayHippo. They’re truly bridging the $158 billion SME financing gap,” acknowledged Kola Aina, Total Accomplice at Ventures Platform Fund.

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