Kenyan startup LipaLater, a tech-driven consumer credit platform, launched in Rwanda towards the end of last year and shall be expanding into Nigeria and Uganda in 2021 after securing investment.
Formed in 2016, LipaLater leverages data analytics to provide consumers with access to convenient and affordable credit.
“In simpler words, we seek to promote affordable living across Africa by offering convenient and flexible payment options to our consumers,” said chief executive officer (CEO) Eric Muli.
“A major pain point of Kenyan consumers was the inability to access affordable consumer products, not having the finances to purchase essential items. LipaLater has bridged the gap by enabling Africans to access these essential consumer facilities at affordable and convenient monthly instalments, therefore increasing their purchasing power.”
When he says “Africans” rather than “Kenyans”, Muli means it, with LipaLater having launched in Rwanda in Q4 of 2020, and more expansion planned.
“Following continued exponential growth, we shall be expanding into Nigeria and Uganda this year,” said Muli.
This international growth comes after LipaLater raised funding, most recently last month, when it raised a seven-figure bridge round from investors including Lateral Capital and Platform Capital, but the startup has been performing well in its home market too.
“We have had quite a number of milestones, like on-boarding all tier one electronic brands in the market,” Muli said.
“On the product front, we launched our very own online marketplace called The LipaLater Shop, which enables our customers to access all our retailers on one platform, and pay for items in either instalments or in cash.”
The demand in the East African market, he said has been “super, almost shocking”, hence the startup’s need to expand.
“As life happens, there’s a concomitant increase of responsibilities, families grow, and different needs arise. Therefore our core mission is to strive to always provide financial inclusion, and significantly increase the purchasing power of consumers,” said Muli.
This large demand is especially welcome as LipaLater, which monetises through commissions and interest charges, initially faced challenges in securing customers.
“Creating awareness was initially a great challenge, as we are the first to market here in East Africa,” said Muli. “But as our customers and retailers fell in love with our product, this was soon to be solved. Funding the growing demand is also always a challenge as the market is insatiable. Nonetheless, significant strides have been made addressing this and the future has never been brighter.”