Lidya, a financial services platform focused on improving access to credit for small businesses, has just announced raising $6.9m in Series A funding. This is coming only 14 months after it raised a $1.25m seed round in March, 2017.
This latest funding round was led by Omidyar Network, with support from early Paga investor, Alitheia Capital (via the uMunthu inclusive growth fund), Bamboo Capital Partners, and Tekton Ventures. Existing investors, Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital also participated.
Lidya was founded in 2016 by Africa Courier Express (ACE) duo, Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, both of whom previously worked for Jumia before leaving in 2013/2014 to start ACE and, eventually, Lidya in 2016.
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Lidya claims to have made over 1,500 business loans since then to help MSMEs in the farming, hospitality, logistics, retail, real estate, technology, and health sectors get the capital they need to grow their operations.
According to a press release Techpoint received, the new funding will be used to “expand Lidya’s loan book, scale in Nigeria, enter new markets in Africa, and bring in more skilled professionals, particularly data scientists and engineers”.
Lidya was recently accepted into the MasterCard Start Path Programme, a global effort to support innovative startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions.
“Branding and marketing for small businesses” is the theme for the 2nd edition of our SME Clinic. Find out how you can participate here.
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Nigerian startups raised $17.6m in Q1 2019, 8.5% higher than they did in Q1 2018. Find out more in the latest quarterly edition of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report here.