Asante Raises US$7.5m Series A for MSME Lending Platform

Asante Raises US$7.5m Series A for MSME Lending Platform

by 20 October 2021

MSME lending startup Asante Financial Services Group announced that it has raised US$7.5 million in the first tranche of its Series A fundraise. The round was led by Goodwell Investments with participation by investors including Sorenson Impact Foundation and Forsage Holdings.

This is the 20th investment made under the uMunthu fund by Goodwell Investments. Half of the fund is invested in financial inclusion ventures.

The funding will be used to scale Asante’s credit offerings in Kenya and Uganda, and expand its presence to Nigeria and Rwanda.


The company is currently testing a Business Lending Platform, which comes with solutions such as a Business Financial Manager, a Management Toolkit and tax advisory, as well as insurance, payments, and other products.

The startup was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Nairobi.

Asante collects alternative data for its platform through channel partners

Asante provides a digital lending platform that approves MSME loans using alternative data and a proprietary AI loan decisioning management system. Data for credit underwriting is collected from channel partners with prior consent of clients, helping to reduce the cost of customer acquisition and due diligence.

The company’s channel partners include “Africa’s largest telcos, mobile-based marketplaces, airlines, retailers, payment processors, insurance companies, smartphone phone OEMs and large FMCGs,” the company said.

Asante is also a strategic partner of MasterCard for digital lending in Africa, and was part of the MasterCard Start Path program in May this year.

The company has access to two million MSMEs through 16 strategic corporate channel partnerships, with a monthly lending opportunity of over US$200 million.

Chidi Okpala, Founding CEO of Asante

Chidi Okpala

“With over 650% growth in lending activities since Q1 2021 and a sustained average all-in default rate of 2.5%, Asante is well-positioned to fast track scale and deepen our impact in our operating markets.

 

Our bold post-COVID response is helping small businesses recover, reconstruct and reposition for growth while ensuring that thousands of jobs are safeguarded. We look forward to a round extension very early in the new year to support the solid growth momentum,”

Chidi Okpala, Founding CEO of Asante, said.

Other players in this space include Tugende in Uganda, Pezesha from Kenya, and Nigeria’s Payhippo.

Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash

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