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Featured image, left to right: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and OneFi CEO and co-founder (Chijioke Dozie via Twitter)

Nigeria’s OneFi secures $5m debt facility for its Paylater mobile platform

Lagos based finance company OneFi today announced that is has secured a $5-million debt facility from New York and Nairobi-based debt platform Lendable.

In a statement today (8 March), OneFi said the investment will be used to deploy more loans on its consumer facing mobile platform Paylater. The platform also helps users transfer money, recharge airtime and pay bills.

OneFi was founded in 2012 by CEO Chijioke Dozie and director Ngozi Dozie. Business intelligence platform Crunchbase estimates that — excluding this latest investment — OneFi has raised a total of $10.8-million across three funding rounds.

OneFi was founded in 2012 by CEO Chijioke Dozie and director Ngozi Dozie

OneFi CEO Chijioke Dozie (pictured above) said the investment from Lendable is the firm’s first internationally-backed commercial debt transaction, and marks an important stage in the company’s development as it looks to serve the “next billion”.

“As we transition into a full service digital bank, this financing will allow us to execute on a number of new products. This includes our partnership with Visa, whereby we’ll be providing credit via QR codes at supermarkets, clinics and on public transport in H1 2019,” added Dozie.

OneFi said in the same statement that since launching Paylater in 2016, the consumer facing platform has deployed over $60-million across 750 000 loans — approving over 1500 loans daily at an average of $80 per loan.

OneFi expects to use this investment to double in size within Nigeria before it enters new markets later on this year.

The company said its deal with Lendable comes just two month after it secured a “BB rating with stable outlook” from Global Credit Rating Co. OneFi claims this is the continent’s first credit rating for a fintech platform.

Lendable’s first Nigerian deal

The funder’s deal with OneFi is its first with a Nigerian firm, with Lendable stating in the same statement that it is “one of a handful” of new Nigerian clients for the company.

Lendable’s backers include the Omidyar Network, KawiSafi Ventures and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO).

Lendable CEO Daniel Goldfarb said the firm is “incredibly excited” to launch its partnership with OneFi as it build its presence in Nigeria.

Goldfarb described OneFi as an “incredible example” of a company that has found product marker fit in a “massive market”, and that is working “tirelessly” to provide best-in-class service to those customers.

In 2017, Paylater was one of three African startups selected to join the fifth class of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator. In the same year, the platform was also one of 20 finalists of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

Last year, Paylater was one of five finalists in the fourth edition of the AppsAfrica Innovation Awards.

Read more: Aerobotics one of three African startups selected for Launchpad Accelerator
Read more: Ecobank challenge finalists announced
Read more: Nigeria’s online money lending space nears disruption

Featured image, left to right: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and OneFi CEO and co-founder (Chijioke Dozie via Twitter)

Author Bio

Daniel Mpala
Daniel's focus is on the African tech startup ecosytem. Besides that, he is passionate about online security, privacy and international affairs. He studied International Relations and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. More

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