The best way to make money is borrow to lend not to consume and many startups are raising money to lend to Africa but most of them target individuals and not small businesses even if they say the bull of their lenders are SME owners.
Lidya, not your ex but the SME microloans startup founded by ExRocket Internet Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin which recently raised seed funding is one such firm solely targeting SMEs in Nigeria first then across Africa. Lidya uses credit algorithms to allow SMEs to build a credit score and access financing in less than 48 hours to grow their businesses. The firm currently operates in Nigeria where 20,000 businesses have registered for the service. Lidya’s digital platform uses over 100 different data points to help any SME access much-needed working capital and build a customized credit score.
There are several others like Branch, Tala, Lulalend, Umati Capital, Pollenfinance, Pezesha, Zoona among others but KiaKia thinks they are to doing enough for the Continental market of nearly a billion people and over 180 million of these in Nigeria. KiaKia brings on board a mix of direct and peer-to-peer lending . Founded by Anyadike Chiemeziem and Olajide Abiola, the platform employs proprietary credit scoring and credit risk assessment algorithm to identify legible personal and business borrowers closed out of the formal lending system.
According to Abiola, co-founder, data scientist and CEO of Kiakia, “Our Solution is very simple and fast, but highly effective and efficient. This is where our name KiaKia, meaning real-time derives from. Anyone unable to get a loan from us is definitely not qualified for one anywhere else. That’s how confident and successful our service and system has proven.”
Before you ask any questions, KiaKia is a licensed lender though it’s entirely an online peer to peer and direct lending platform targeting clients from all walks of life. KiaKia serves both individuals looking for small personal loans and SMEs who might not have chance at corporate lenders. KiaKia says its rates are mutually-agreed on as borrowers get to negotiate for better interest rates when their credibility improves.
Though it employs big data, psychometry, machine learning and digital forensics, the platform works simply by allowing borrowers to register and submit their data followed by a subsequent submission of the e-loan agreement by the borrower for KiaKia to approve. The vetting and approval of borrowers is important to both KiaKia as a direct lender and to peer lenders using the platform as most borrowers have no or little access to banking services and their credit worthiness is low making access to loans even more difficult or time-wasting.
KiaKia’s main mission is to break the heavy reliance of banks and financial institutions on institutional data instead of the real and functional understanding of people and their businesses.
“At the centre of our believe is that credible individuals and businesses should not be denied critical financial credits due to institutional bureaucracies, lack of innovation and agility to meet this simple need. We provide quick loans to credible people and businesses,” said the firm.
KiaKia simplifies the process by loaning directly to new borrowers through its KiaKia Direct while allowing vetted credible users to use the KiaKia Peer, its peer-to-peer lending section. KiaKia Direct asks the new borrowers about their job, marital status, vehicle ownership, work and home address, salary/income and business type among others. It’s loans are subject to status and affordability and the rate and fee depend on a users’ credit profile. KiaKia users have to be 21 and above. Though the data supplied is private, the firm is compelled to release data of loan defaulters to the the Credit Bureaux.