To continue to create jobs and income, and improve the lives of Nigerians, businesses need support. Trade Lenda a digital bank in Nigeria is offering this much-needed support by providing timely access to credit and other digital financial services to businesses.
Launched in May 2021, Trade Lenda is the brainchild of Adeshina Adewumi (CEO), Shina Arogundade (COO), and Tosin Ayodele (CTO). This idea was inspired by watching their parents engage in small businesses to support the home front part-time and full-time. Together they bring over three decades of experience cutting across finance, banking, technology, retail, and operations. Adewumi brings his experience working in Wealth Management at Stanbic IBTC. Arogundade has a history in credit and risk management and writing/implementing credit policies across 20 African countries while working with United Bank for Africa. While Tosin Ayodele, a second-time founder, has experience driving several private and public projects to elevate the living standards of rural communities by leveraging technology.
According to the latest data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), there are about 39.6 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) operating in Nigeria. MSMEs make up 96.7% of businesses and contribute 46.31% to the country’s GDP. But Despite being responsible for employing over half of the workforce and propping up the Nigerian economy to a huge extent, small businesses are not properly catered to. Many of these businesses are informal and banks do not meet them where they need to. Bank loan processes often require collateral and are sometimes long drawn out. In 2017, there were about 41.5 million MSMEs and that number has fallen lower to 39.6 million.
Trade Lenda leverages technology including AI, machine learning, and blockchain technology to help serve underserved businesses. A recent report by the financial sector development organization, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access in Nigeria (EFInA) identified a lack of collateral, technical skills, low level of awareness and proximity to financial services, and a host of other issues as the reasons businesses lack financing. The EFInA report prescribes technology as one of the solutions to credit for modern businesses.
Trade Lenda is creating an opportunity for financial inclusion and growth for businesses through technology. With the technology at Trade Lenda, the company can achieve underwriting within six hours which is four times more efficient than other alternatives while de-risking the entire process of collecting loans. Business owners can also buy inventory from manufacturers and distributors even when they don’t have the finances and earn up to 24% interest p.a by saving and investing with Trade Lenda.
Driven by a belief that all businesses are capable of growing bigger, they have currently delivered access to financial services to over 240,000 MSMEs. They have grown 5x Year-over-year from 2021 to 2022 with $100k+ in revenue and are looking to multiply that number over the next 12 months. They recently completed a $520,000 investment round with investors like Sovereign Capital, ARM, Expert Dojo, and a couple of angel investors pitching in.