Nigerian fintech startup FINT will this month launch a debt financing platform that matches investors looking for competitive returns with creditworthy borrowers.
The goal of FINT is to drive down the cost of credit and provide an alternative way for investors to earn healthy returns.
“As a result of our model, we have created a unified risk scoring system that allows us to assess borrowers across the credit spectrum. This allows us to gather data that would increase our understanding of the credit market in Nigeria and beyond,” FINT co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Chiwete John-Njokanma told Disrupt Africa.
FINT has its origins when John-Njokanma and his team were working on a payments platform, which eventually failed. After researching other opportunities in the fintech space, they began to focus on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.
“Growing up in Nigeria, it was common knowledge that it was almost impossible to get an affordable loan from a bank,” said John-Njokanma.
“You could have a stable job paying a comparatively decent sum, but if the collateral requirements didn’t kill you, then the interest rate would. My childhood was full of stories about people who were unable to do the things they wanted because they had no support.”
John-Njokanma began working on FINT in February 2016, and the platform is now set to launch.
“We managed to put together eight incredible people who could really have got jobs anywhere in the world and with anyone. Some of them were offered six figure dollar salaries, and eight figure naira salaries, but they all turned those opportunities down,” he said.
“That’s because they believe in what we are trying to do, and with that belief comes an astonishing level of passion and commitment. I do not think that I could ask for better, be it in terms of intelligence or work ethic.”
According to him, FINT is the first such company in Nigeria, with the startup now in discussions with strategic partners such as insurance companies and banks.
“On the platform side, we are seeing weekly growth numbers of about 20 per cent in signups indicating interest to borrow and invest,” said John-Njokanma.
FINT has plans down the line to extend operations to Uganda, Kenya and Ghana, with John-Njokanma saying the problems related to credit in the consumer and SME space transcended Nigeria.
“We have a straightforward revenue model with varied earning capacities. Our goal is to satisfy our customers then earn revenue after,” he said.