Y Combinator-Backed Nigerian Micro-Lender Raises $10M, Plans To Build On The Blockchain
Nigerian micro-lender Aella Credit, which participated in Y Combinator‘s 2017 incubator program, has raised $10 million from Singapore-based HQ Financial Group in a debt-financing round, according to a statement.
Founded in 2015 by Akin Jones and Akabi Wale, Aella Credit offers financial products — savings, insurance, and loans — to low-income households and early-stage businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, and the Philippines via a mobile app.
Aella plans to use the $10 million funding to scale its lending operations and expand its product base into payments, Weetracker reports.
The fintech firm also plans to create a blockchain-based lending market called Creditcoin to build borrower creditworthiness, according to Techpoint.
Aella has raised $12 million to date including $2 million in 2017 when the micro-lender took part in the Y Combinator program in Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator is perhaps the world’s most powerful startup accelerator program.
In November 2019 alone, three fintech companies targeting Nigeria’s payments market received $360 million in investments.
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Sub-Saharan Africa’s remittances market was worth $38 billion in 2017, according to World Bank data.
Nigeria has the largest number of remittance recipients, with almost 58 percent — $21.9 billion worth — of sub-Saharan Africa’s total remittances.