Nigerian fintech startup CredPal is making it easier for consumers to access different types of credit, and after strong initial uptake is in the process of raising US1.5 million to scale further.
Launched in 2017 by Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal develops consumer credit infrastructure to ease consumer credit purchase and enable retail businesses to provide on-demand credit for consumers.
The startup, a graduate from the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator, integrates with e-commerce and physical stores to allow customers to make purchases and pay in installments. This helps retailers increase their customers’ spending power and boost sales.
Meanwhile, CredPal also helps financial institutions grow their lending portfolio by leveraging its point-of-sale financing. Essentially, the startup describes itself as the “first and only consumer credit platform”, addressing issues that are prevalent in Nigeria and across the continent.
“Most Sub-Saharan African economies are largely cash-driven, and that has contributed to its people’s low standard of living, low purchasing power, and financial difficulties. Many customers can neither pay outright nor access credit for purchases, which leads to high cart abandonment and low sales for merchants. Lenders also experience decreased profitability due to the high cost of customer acquisition and credit risk underwriting,” Olaogun told Disrupt Africa.
CredPal solves these problems by providing consumer credit infrastructure that allows banks and other financial institutions to deliver consumer credit in real time across point-of-sale channels. Olaogun said this solution is distributed in the same way consumer credit took off in the United States – by leveraging merchants and retailers, as they are consumers’ primary point of contact.
All of this is done with no credit risk to the startup at all, as credit is provided by partnered financial institutions who provide loans to customers through CredPal’s software.
Customers, financial institutions, and investors like the concept. Over 500 merchants are already signed up, and over 40,000 purchases have been financed. CredPal also has financier partnerships with reputable financial institutions with a total lending portfolio of over US$50 million.
This has attracted funding, with the startup having raised various forms of capital in the past from the likes of CF Ventures, the Visa Everywhere Initiative, YCombinator, EFInA, and a couple of other Silicon Valley-based VC funds. Now, though, it is looking for more. CredPal hopes to conclude a US$1.5 million round by the first quarter of next year.
This investment will be used to power international expansion. Currently, CredPal is operating in Nigeria, but Jegede said it plans to scale to emerging markets in other parts of Africa and North America. The startup, which makes money from commission charged to lenders and merchants, has faced its share of challenges in building its product and customer base, but Olaogun believes it has a bright future.
“Setting up a consumer credit infrastructure of this scale in Nigeria has been met with various challenges, like the reception of consumers towards this type of solution, curating a channel of merchant’s distribution, and dealing with the large population of consumers who have close to no credit history,” said Jegede.
“In all, we take on the challenges as they come and find solutions that cater to our consumers.”