Launched by Mina Shahid, Catherine Denis and Ben Best in 2017, Numida began life enabling traditional MFIs to provide unsecured credit to semi-formal businesses, but pivoted 18 months ago to begin lending to micro and small businesses directly.
The company hope this will help solve the challenge of Small businesses in Africa needing digital banking services, including plenty of credit without getting access to said services.
So far, Numida has provided more than US$2 million in unsecured credit to 3,000 micro and small businesses in Uganda with outstanding collections, repayment rates, and client retention.
It has now closed a US$2.3 million seed round led by pan-African payments leader MFS Africa, with participation from DRK Foundation, Equilibria Capital, and Segal Family Foundation alongside angel investors.
With this new financing, Numida plans to expand aggressively in Uganda and pilot in a new market.
Th companies CEO Mina Shahid stated that With all the data the company was collecting from traditionally thin-file businesses, there are well-positioned to provide additional financial services through the Numida app such as payments, micro-insurance, and deposits in the future.
From May 2017, when it pivoted, to September 2019, the company has kept its outstanding portfolio very small and iterated on its underwriting process and credit risk algorithm.
After making several iterations, the company went full on to the market in October 2019, and the CEO says the company has grown 6x in lending volumes.
With this new financing, the company plans to expand aggressively in Uganda and pilot in a new market, preferably in West Africa.
Pan-African payments company MFS Africa led the seed round.
There was also participation from firms like DRK Foundation, Equilibria Capital and Segal Family Foundation alongside angel investors.