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Serena William’s VC firm leads $12.3M round in YC-backed African fintech Numida

Numida founders
Image credits: Numida

Reportedly, traditional financial services have forgotten a set of people from getting loans. Many fintechs have emerged in this space to make sure more people get access to loans. The challenge comes from a lack of a centralised credit scoring system and a general lack of documentation with transactions often done in cash.

We recently saw fintech startups such as Auxmoney and HeavyFinance secure funding to provide loans to people. A Ugandan fintech startup Numida was created to address the significant challenge of providing the best form of capital to excluded people.

$12.3M funding round

Now, the Ugandan fintech startup, which provides credit to small businesses, has raised $12.3 million in funding. Serena Williams’ fund Serena Ventures (which backed Wondermind and Let’s Do This) led a $7.3 million portion of equity funding alongside Breega, 4Di Capital, Launch Africa, Soma Capital, Y Combinator, and MFS Africa. The rest of the funding came in the form of $5 million in debt from Lendable Asset Management.

The funding will go towards further hiring on Numida’s product development team in Uganda. It will also hire a CFO and potentially a head of the credit risk. Further expansion into other African markets like Nigeria, Ghana, Egyptian, and Kenya is also under consideration. To support its next phase of growth, Numida plans to double its team to 200 people across credit operations, data, product development, and growth functions over the next 18 months.

Mina Shahid, Numida’s CEO and co-founder said, “It’s been a fascinating experience building a tech product for people who have never used a computer before. Everyone can understand an interface in the valley but we’ve had to unlearn what a user interface is and have spent a lot of time on improving our UX and customer journey.”

Founded by Y Combinator graduates

Numida was founded by three Canadian Y Combinator graduates – Catherine Denis, Ben Best, and Mina Shahid in 2015. The trio worked in Sub-Saharan Africa before forming Numida.

The startup’s objective is to expand access to working capital for businesses across Africa. Numida believes 20 million small and micro enterprises are lacking working capital, an opportunity it values at around $5 billion.

Numida’s platform offers loans between $100 and $5,000 via its mobile app. Its proprietary tech is used to make credit scoring decisions. Instead of borrowing from informal lenders or family, business owners can download the Numida app, apply for loans in minutes, and receive capital within a day.

Since 2021 the company has provided $20 million in working capital to 27,000 businesses in East Africa. The fintech aims to build on its Ugandan success and grow its active client base to 40,000 businesses while launching in two new target markets.

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