Nigerian startup Indicina, which has developed a data-driven lending platform that digitises the credit value chain, has raised a six-figure US dollar funding round as it looks to further build out its product.
Founded in 2018, Indicina helps both bank and non-bank lenders apply a data-driven approach to credit underwriting at scale, providing new insights into consumers and de-risking unsecured loans.
The startup offers a cloud-based software to digitise the lending business, with its flagship product Originate taking an analytics-driven approach to lending. It empowers clients to unpack the credit value chain and digitise each step, including identity verification, credit decisioning, and disbursements and collections.
Indicina raised US$100,000 in capital last year, and recently closed a new, larger six-figure round from investors including Acuity, Kepple, Itanna and Future Africa. Chief executive officer (CEO) Yvonne Johnson told Disrupt Africa the funding would be used mainly for product development, in areas such as engineering and artificial intelligence (AI), as the startup looks to build on already-impressive uptake.
“We’ve processed over US$30 million in loan applications covering over 22,000 customers,” Johnson said. “Our client base includes lenders as well as SaaS verticals embedding finance within their platforms.”
Africa has a poor credit infrastructure, with only 11 per cent of the continent’s population having their credit information recorded by private credit bureaus and only 17 per cent of African banking customers having consumer loans. Johnson said this was a “massive consumer credit opportunity” that required technology and credit risk innovation that most lenders currently do not have.
Indicina provides both, with Johnson saying its competitive advantage over other players in the space was its deep understanding of the financial services industry across key emerging markets. Johnson herself previously led the Strategy team at First Bank of Nigeria.
“We understand the business of credit and how technology – specifically end to-end credit journeys – can drive profitability of consumer loan portfolios. Innovation has placed demands on traditional lending business models,” she said.
“How do you expand consumer credit to under-and-unbanked populations in a prudent manner while shortening time-to-decision? Taking a cue from fintechs, leading banks have embraced the digital lending revolution, bringing “time to yes” down to five minutes, and time to cash to less than 24 hours.”