Asante, a Kenyan fintech startup, has raised US$7.5 million in Series A funding to expand its credit offerings to a number of African countries.
Asante has developed a digital lending platform that approves loans to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Sub-Saharan Africa using alternative data and a proprietary AI loan decisioning management system.
The company works directly with ecosystem channel partners, such as telcos, mobile-based marketplaces, airlines, retailers, payment processors, insurance companies, smartphone phone OEMs, and large FMCGs, to collect conventional and non-conventional MSME data, with the clients’ prior consent, to reduce the cost of customer acquisition and due diligence while providing sufficient alternative data for credit underwriting.
Asante has developed over 16 strategic corporate channel partnerships, giving the company direct access to over 2 million SMEs and a monthly lending opportunity of over $200 million. Asante, which was founded in Mauritius and began operations in 2018, has grown rapidly and now operates in Kenya and Uganda.
The startup has active ambitions to be in 12 countries by 2025, and after announcing a US$7.5 million Series A investment led by Goodwell Investments, with involvement from other investors such as Sorenson Impact Foundation and Forsage Holdings, it believes that it will achieve a portion of that objective.
Asante will use the Series A funding to expand its lending solutions to the underserved MSMEs in Kenya and Uganda, as well as to Nigeria and Rwanda.
“We are delighted to welcome our new investors including Goodwell, Sorenson and Forsage in our inaugural institutional fundraise. Together, we will advance access to finance, and financial independence and wellbeing for the millions of small businesses on the continent,” said Chidi Okpala, founding chief executive officer (CEO) of Asante.
“With over 650 per cent growth in lending activities since Q1 2021 and a sustained average all-in default rate of 2.5 per cent, Asante is well-positioned to fast track scale and deepen our impact in our operating markets. Our bold post-COVID response is helping small businesses recover, reconstruct and reposition for growth while ensuring that thousands of jobs are safeguarded. We look forward to a round extension very early in the new year to support the solid growth momentum.”