Lulalend raises $35M Series B funding to launch Lula, a digital bank for South African SMEs


Lulalend, a Cape Town, South Africa-based digital business lender, has raised $35 million in Series B funding round led by Lightrock the global impact investor, with participation from new investors the German development finance institution DEG, Triodos Investment Management, and Women’s World Banking Asset Management, as well as existing investors The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Quona Capital.

Lulalend intends to use the funds to accelerate growth of its loan book, bring new solutions to market, invest in digital capabilities, secure new talent and accelerate the rollout of Lula, its new digital business banking product.

“We’re truly grateful for the support and belief these global leaders in impact investing have placed in our business, and look forward to unlocking the great potential we believe exists at Lulalend through our partnership with them,” said By Trevor Gosling, Co-founder & CEO of Lulalend.

The firm aims to reach more than 2 million formal and informal SMEs in South Africa whose financial needs remain grossly underserved. The new funding will allow it to service the surging demand for the fast access to working capital it offers  businesses, as well as accelerate the roll out of Lula, its new digital banking offering for SMEs.

“We believe that Lula will be a game changer for South African small business owners, enabling them to manage their entire cash flow from one highly intuitive digital platform. Simplifying their life, saving time and allowing them to focus on growing their business,” added Gosling.

Lula will offer a bank account specifically tailored for SMEs, an AI-driven cash flow management tool and real-time access to funding via its existing funding solutions. Account opening can be done entirely online, meaning no time-consuming branch visits, and our Customer Experience team will deliver the fast, responsive and human service that is lacking from traditional banks.