Lendable Inc, a company that bridges the gap between institutional debt investors and high growth alternative lenders in Africa, has raised $6.5 million in series A funding round to scale operations, drive market expansion, and roll out new products.
Investors in this round include KawiSafi Ventures, Omidyar Network, Fenway Summer Ventures and a number of prominent FinTech angel investors from the United States, including Larry Rosenberger, the former Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) CEO.
The Nairobi based company has also launched the first technology-enabled deal platform designed specifically for alternative lenders in frontier markets. The Lendable platform enables these companies to raise scalable forms of off balance sheet financing in weeks.
Lendable has so far completed five transactions, raising USD$2.83 million (KES292 million) for East African alternative lenders. With the scaling up of operations in Nairobi and New York, 2018 will see Lendable on track to complete ten transactions per quarter. The company will also be launching its services in Tanzania, Rwanda, and at least one other market while expanding its line of products.
Typically, Lendable transactions are a purchase of consumer or SME borrowing contracts secured by productive assets – payroll, SME, livestock, and a range of equipment including farm machinery, vehicles and home appliances. A portion of the alternative lenders’ loan book is purchased, which frees up capital for lenders to make more loans and grow exponentially. In just under 12 months, Lendable has helped four originators all at least double each of their loan books. So far, the largest portion of borrowing contracts have been secured by solar home systems. As such, Lendable is helping to accelerate the trend, where more micro entrepreneurs and their families living off the grid, will harness cleaner, safer, more reliable solar energy.
Lendable has built Africa’s most advanced asset backed finance software platform, Maestro, which assesses alternative lender financials, customer collections, and customer payment histories. It uses payment patterns and secondary data to predict future payments and to automatically price and monitor the financing facility.
East Africa’s alternative lender market is experiencing high growth and is expected to reach US$15 billion by 2020.
Daniel Goldfarb, CEO and Co-Founder of Lendable says, “Over the last year we have shown we can raise commercial capital for alternative lenders, deliver commercial returns to US investors, and help our alternative lending partners grow exponentially. We are excited to use this money to dramatically increase the scale of capital we are moving and continue to prove out this asset class.”
Recently, Lendable secured US$1.5Million in debt finance for Mombasa based Watu Credit for a programme to help more ‘boda boda’ (motorcycle taxi) drivers to get an opportunity to own their own vehicles