Financial services platform, Lidya, which has its aim on improving access to credit for small businesses, has just announced raising $6.9m in Series A funding. Recall that some 14 months ago, in March 2017, the startup was said to have raised up to $1.25m in seed funding.
Omidyar network are the leaders of this latest round, with support from other investors and funds. Early Paga investor, Alitheia Capital (via the uMunthu inclusive growth fund), Bamboo Capital Partners, and Tekton Ventures are new investors that supported the round. Also in participation are some of the existing investors, like Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital.
Since its launch, Lidya has made much more than 1,500 business loans to help Micro and Small and Medium scale Enterprises. These enterprises are operating in the farming, hospitality, logistics, retail, real estate, technology, and health sectors. Lidya has helped them with the capital they need to grow their operations.
According to the FinTech company, which was just accepted into the MasterCard Start Path Programme, the new funding will be used to “expand Lidya’s loan book, scale in Nigeria, enter new markets in Africa, and bring in more skilled professionals, particularly data scientists and engineers”.
Lidya was founded in 2016 by Africa Courier Express (ACE) duo, Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin. The two founders had both worked for Jumia before now, leaving in 2013/2014 to start ACE and, later on, Lidya in 2016. We hope to see Lidya expand and reach more SMEs in the country who do not have access to bank loans.