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Nigerian FinTech startup Lidya raised $6.9 million in Series A round

by Felix Omondi

Lidya, the Nigeria-based fintech startup, has secured $6.9 million from Series A round of investment led by the Omidyar Network. The fund is said will be used towards expanding the startup’s operations across Nigeria and Africa. The startup is also going to grow its team.

Lidya, launched in 2016, is a digital financial services platform with a focus on improving users’ access to credit. The fintech startup current key market are micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises across Africa. The startup also raised $1.25 million funding in March 2017.

Up to date, Lidya prides itself of having loaned over 1,500 businesses from sectors like agriculture, health, logistics, health, retail, technology, and real estate.

The $6.9 million Series A round of funding was led by Omidyar Network (the Silicon Valley-based investment firm founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar), Tekton Ventures, Bamboo Capital Partners, Newid Capital, Accion Venture Lab and the new Alitheia Capital (via the Umunthu Fund).

The money raised will go towards expanding the fintech startup’s loan book, while expanding throughout Nigeria and across Africa. The firm is also set to hire more skilled professionals including engineers and data scientists.

Lidya was founded on a simple, yet fundamental idea: technology can unleash and empower a generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs throughout Africa by revolutionizing how risk is assessed, credit is underwritten, and customers are banked,” – Tunde Kehinde, co-founder of Lidya.

We are excited by the overwhelming support from the investor community, which signals a great confidence in our business model and team. – Ercnin Eksin, co-founder of Lidya.

Lidya also got a new board member Ameya Upadhyay, the investment principal at Omidyar Network, who said that the key to unlocking medium and small-scale enterprises lies in availing access to flexible and affordable credit.

Lidya is addressing that by using smart algorithms to analyze transaction data from small businesses to assess their creditworthiness. This data-driven approach allows the company to offer loans without the need of hard collateral; a requirement that has scuttled MSME financing in Africa. In the process, Lidya gathers insights that help expand its products portfolio to become a holistic partner to small businesses,” said Upadhyay.

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