TLG invests in neo-banking platform in Nigeria

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TLG Capital has announced an investment it has made into a Paris based fintech company, FairMoney in Nigeria.

FairMoney, which operates a neo-banking platform in Nigeria provides underbanked users with bill payment solutions and collateral-free lending. The company has a microfinance bank license from the Central Bank of Nigeria, which permits it to officially operate as a financial services provider in the country.

The company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Laurin Nabuko Hainy, says TLG’s investment supports their digital banking aspirations and helps position FairMoney to grow their share of wallet while offering services to the financially excluded and underserved.

“Together we will strive to build a financial home to our customers and we are delighted to have TLG Capital join the pool of debt investors in FairMoney Nigeria as they work to build the leading Neo-bank in emerging markets,” he added.

Just like NuBank – the US$30bn behemoth, FairMoney operates a credit-led strategy: offering credit via an app and subsequently offering bank accounts as a gateway to other services. In 2019, FairMoney expanded its reach into India.
In July this year, Tiger Global led a US$42M Series B round for FairMoney.

The company’s Series A was for €10 million, two years ago, and prior to that a €1.2 million seed round, in 2018. Tiger Global joins existing investors such as DST Partners, Flourish Ventures, Newfund, and Speedinvest.

Of the company’s over 5 million users, 1.6 million are unique bank account holders.

Saad Sheikh, Principal at TLG, said, “Large banks are feeling the pressure from financial ecosystem builders like FairMoney. Conventional banking in Africa, especially in Nigeria, is being disrupted rapidly and that’s where we feel FairMoney has a significant role to play. Not only is FairMoney making financial services accessible to all, it is building layers of products to retain those customers on its platform. At TLG, we are excited to work with disruptive tech players like FairMoney and expect to broaden our product access to best in class, tech-enabled African enterprises.”

FairMoney’s approach to underwriting credit is based on a proprietary algorithm that applies machine learning techniques to smartphone data. The average loan size is 30 Euros and customers can grow their loan limits up to 1,000 Euros over time by demonstrating good repayment habits.

Concurrently, FairMoney is building additional services around savings and investment products depending on local regulation.

Source: The Exchange

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