What is CDcare Nigeria?
The next frontier by any metric in the credit industry in Africa is any of the pay small small products that have been emerging on the continent. Innovators have been looking for a myriad of ways to serve Africans in the language that they know best.
Dating back centuries, across the continent of Africa the pay small small model has been part and parcel of the market structures. If a good or service is out of onces financial reach immediately, Africans begin to pay and when they prove themselves worthy of completing the payment for the product, they collect it with the hope that even as they use it they complete the instalment.
This is why CDcare Nigeria has caught fire among a huge swathe of young and old Nigerians since it launched just a few years ago in 2020. It has modernised the tradition and built an app around it. Founded by Tobi Odukoya as chief executive officer and Ayodeji Farohun as chief operating officer, last year it was part of the inaugural class of the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator Program.
On its marketplace, it lists everything from washing machines to phones and recently cars all without interest or prices above market value.
Its business model raises important questions about if instalments should always carry interest. Why should anyone be punished for choosing to spread payment for the product they desperately need to function as human beings in 2023?
“Of all the iterations to solve the instalment payment problem for Africans CDcare Nigeria seems to be the easiest, and the most culturally aligned solution for Africa and that is why we are solving it the way we are solving it,” Odukoya said.
In some belief systems, iniquity includes perpetuating the interest model, either by selling a product with interest or paying interest on a product. This makes it tricky, stressful and just extra hard for devotees of these religions to access the other pay small small models in the market.
“CDcare Nigeria is making it easy to own items. We have built the technology to enable Africans to own cars, gadgets, appliances and more using instalments that align with their beliefs and their culture. And we do this without charging any form of interest and we sell items at the normal market price,” the CEO said.
CDcare Nigeria has been able to do this by entering into partnerships with wholesalers and buying at a reduced price. So when it sells to its customers, prices remain capped at market value.
“We are able to do this profitably because we partnered with wholesalers in the market that gives us the item at the wholesale price while we sell at the average market price,” Odukoya said.
Between February 2022 to January this year, the company has sold over $6 million worth of goods through its platform. And its default rate according to Odukoya is stunningly low at 0.4%. It means customers are paying up their debt.
“There is a massive market in Africa with over half a billion people,” he said of his potential customers. He prides himself in the fact that the company is one of one with a business model that offers no interests whatsoever.
“Only CDcare Nigeria offers the complete solution. We deliver only original items. We are accessible to everyone. We have no hidden charges. Anybody banked or unbanked can use CDcare Nigeria. We don’t charge any interest at all. And we have the most convenient instalment spread of up to twelve months,” he said.
But even then he sees so many avenues for growth for the startup. “We started in Nigeria just offering gadgets and appliances. We now offer cars,” he said. The next thing for CDcare Nigeria the CEO said is to begin to expand its footprint across Africa, with plans to enter Ghana and Kenya soon.
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