Asilimia raises a $2 million pre-seed fund to expand its SME credit services in Kenya
Kenyan fintech company Asilimia has raised $2 million in pre-seed capital to expand its operations into new markets in East Africa and accelerate the company's growth. The funds will be used to accelerate the company's growth.
Fredrik Jung Abbou (co-founder of Kry and Lendo), Norrsken Impact Accelerator, and other well-known European startups contributed to the $1 million in seed funding raised by the company.
Bpifrance and GreenTec Capital Partners led a $1 million debt financing for Asimilia, which was also backed by other investors.
According to the company, the funds will be used to hire employees as the company continues to refine its technology and expand into other East African regions.
Additionally, it plans to make loans to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) based on data collected through its Leja mobile application.
In order to help this segment of the population who is frequently overlooked and considered high-risk by traditional banking institutions, the startup is taking advantage of the current market opportunity to lend to them.
When Asilimia begins to offer mobile loans, it will join a market of approximately 100 lending applications, including Branch by Branch International Ltd. of San Francisco and PayPal-backed Tala, which are both already available.
In 2017, Tekwane Mwendwa and Morgane Kablan co-founded the company with the help of a group of investors. It empowers small and medium-sized businesses by providing them with digital payment platforms that are affordable, simple to use, and personalized..
According to the company, it is also developing digital infrastructure to connect African SMEs to the formal financial system.
Over the last three years, the Kenyan fintech company has served as a lifeline for Kenyan traders, enabling them to conduct mobile money transactions without incurring transfer fees through its Leja app, which is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
Also included is bookkeeping functionality, which enables traders to easily track their income and expenses without the need for technical or accounting knowledge.
Asilimia intends to use the information gathered through the Leja app to develop credit scoring algorithms that will determine how much money borrowers will be able to borrow from financial institutions.
"Because all of their business-to-business transactions, cash flow, sales, liabilities, and expenses are stored in the app, we will take into consideration all of their transactions." We have been able to accomplish this because traders adore our lending app, which, in contrast to other lending apps, includes inventory management. The app's creator, Mwendwa, describes it as "the operating system for informal businesses." "We're thrilled that it serves as a one-stop shop for traders," she says.
According to the company, the average user completes three transactions per day, and the company's revenue is growing at a rate of 30 percent per week on average.
About 27,000 people use its apps, and the Leja app has processed approximately $20 million worth of transactions.
The company has already completed the prestigious Station F incubation program in Paris, as well as the Norrsken Impact Accelerator program.
A $350,000 investment from the Unicorn Group, a pan-African investment group, was made in 2019 after the startup won the Africa Cup at the 2019 South African Innovation Summit. It invested the funds in expanding its operations, which included the acquisition of Leja.
Asilimia is looking into opportunities to expand outside of East Africa in order to continue bridging the financial divide that traders across the continent are experiencing.
Founder and managing director of Norrsken Impact Accelerator, Funda Sezgi, believes that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are critical to the development of Africa and that making it easier for them to succeed benefits the continent as a whole. It is for this reason that the Asilimia services are so important.
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