Paris-based fintech startup, FairMoney has raised $11.02 million in a Series A funding to boost its expansion plans in a bid to become a fully-fledged mobile banking platform in Nigeria.
The Series A round of investment was led by Flourish, a venture of The Omidyar Group, the partners of DST Global, and existing seed investors Le Studio, Speedinvest, and VC Newfund.
Laurin Hainy, CEO of FairMoney revealed that the company’s vision is to create a holistic financial platform that can cater to underserved customers in emerging markets.
“Our vision is to build a holistic financial platform for underserved customers in emerging markets. We want to do that by offering an easy-to-use product to our customers and become a financial one-stop-shop for them. We started with credit for small business owners and individuals, and we are expanding our services rapidly. Think digital bank for emerging market consumers.”Laurin Hainy, CEO of FairMoney
The new fund raised will be used to expand the company’s engineering team in order to develop a platform that will fuel its dream of becoming a fully-fledged mobile banking platform in Nigeria.
Founded in 2017 by CEO Laurin Hainy, former CEO of Venture Builder, FairMoney was created as a mobile app that uses alternative smartphone data to underwrite microcredit based on a proprietary algorithm to provided instant loans.
According to FairMoney, their app currently has more than 200,000 users and facilitates more than 400 payments daily, with the majority of their users seeking to finance small business needs. The app also includes an in-app payment function, which allows users top up their phone subscriptions, buy mobile data, pay electricity or internet bills.
Ameya Upadhyay, a principal at Flourish and a new board member at FairMoney says after backing digital banks across 4 continents, he is excited that their model is coming to Africa.
“After backing digital banks in the US, UK, Latin America and South Asia, we are excited to support one of the first companies to bring this model to Africa. We believe that customers will ask a lot more of their banks–to be relevant, banks will have to move from service providers to become financial mentors for their customers.”Ameya Upadhyay, a principal at Flourish and a new board member at FairMoney
According to the World Bank, more than 2 billion people globally have limited access to financial services and working capital. Upadhyay believes that there is a massive global opportunity for FairMoney with its model of digital banking.
“That’s where we see a massive global opportunity for FairMoney, which combines a top-notch banking infrastructure with a culture of obsessive customer focus,”Ameya Upadhyay, a principal at Flourish and a new board member at FairMoney
Access to loans for many banks are mostly given to big enterprise clients, leaving a large population that do not have credit scores underseved. With startups like FairMoney, technology creates access for this segment of the population to working capital to run smaller, under the radar businesses.
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