Nigeria’s Aella Credit Raises $10m to Penetrate West Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
One of Nigeria’s FinTech startups, Aella Credit, has got $10 million funding package from HQ Financial Group, a Singaporean private company specialising in blockchain financial investments, to finance its expansion across West Africa.
In what is Aella’s second debt financing round, the company is seeking to expand to serve the underbanked population in West Africa and other emerging markets.
Speaking on the new development, the co-founder of Aella, Mr Akin Jones, said that the startup wants to develop new financial solutions and create a credit platform that will work with new technology.
“Lack of access to credit and financial services has been the main impediment to MSME growth and poverty reduction in several emerging economies.
“Aella’s commitment to providing trustworthy credit to millions of people in the world’s emerging markets is improving financial inclusion, enabling MSME expansion and accelerating economic growth and this raise will allow us scale our expansion across Africa quickly,” Mr Jones said.
He also said that the company will invest in new products, including a blockchain-based lending market app called Creditcoin, to build borrower creditworthiness and aid in the acquisition of one million additional users by the end of 2020, making it the largest blockchain backed financial services project that is currently operational.
“We are building a one-stop app for all transactions partnered with regulated industry leaders to help distribute products faster, better and cheaper to end-users in Nigeria and across the markets we plan to launch.
“This app will allow users to access multiple financial services at low costs compared to what is currently available in the market,” he said.
On the part of HQ Financial Group, which provided the funding and has already deployed over $70 million in investments since 2015, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sun Han Gyu, said, “We are excited to announce our partnership with Aella Credit which will significantly aid in the proliferation of micro-loan services to the underserved African populations who are unable to access banking services.”
“HQF is impressed with their outstanding growth with very low default rate in the micro-loan business in Nigeria and look forward, through this initial investment of $10m to new growth opportunities in Africa and South Asia,” he added.
With this partnership, Aella will be looking to expand its loan products by offering investment, insurance, bill payments and peer-to-peer money transfer services while HQF will be able to expand its base to the African continent.