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Fintech platform Mines raises $13m in Series-A round led by The Rise Fund
US-based fintech Mines — which was founded by a Nigerian team — has raised $13-million in a Series-A round led by US impact investor The Rise Fund.
The startup announced the funding in a statement last week. The investment will finance talent acquisition, and expansion into Africa, South America, and South East Asia.
The deal will see TPG Growth’s Yemi Lalude, and Velocity Capital’s Willem Willemstein join Mine’s board of directors.
Velocity Capital, Western Technology Investments, First Ally Capital, X/Seed Capital, NYCA Partners, Persistent Capital, Singularity Investments, Trans Sahara Investments, and the Bank of Industry also participated in the round.
Mines plans to use the investment to fund talent acquisition, and expansion into Africa, South America, and South East Asia
Mines was founded in 2014 by Stanford Univesrsity professor Kunle Olukotun (pictured above, right). He initially started off as a research project on high performance artificial intelligence.
A chance meeting between Olukotun and Mines CEO Ekechi Nwokah (pictured above, centre) — a former computer scientist at Amazon Web Service’s A9 — led to the duo focusing on solving the challenge of financial access.
The startup’s platform enables institutions in emerging markets to offer credit products to their customers.
By mining high-volume data like phone records, bank records, and payment transactions in real-time, the startup is able to instantly assess credit risk in markets that lack robust credit bureau infrastructure.
The startup then integrates its risk models with identity, origination, payments, loan lifecycle management, and customer service to form a holistic platform.
The net result is a seamless user experience where partners’ customers can apply for and receive a loan in less than 60 seconds or make instant purchases with virtual or physical credit cards.
Commenting in the same statement, said there are more than three billion adults globally without access to credit. “Our vision is that every one of them will have instant access to credit in the next 10 years,” he said.
Nwokah added that the startup believes the best way to realise this vision is to partner with banks, retailers and mobile operators to power digital credit products tailored to their markets so they can create “the customers of tomorrow today”.
The company currently has partnerships with mobile operators 9mobile, Airtel, payment processors Interswitch and the Nigerian Inter-bank Settlement System.
Since launching in Nigeria last year, the startup has been used by over one million customers.
Olukotun, who is also the chief scientist at Mines, said the startup has taken Silicon Valley technology and built it into a product that is robust enough for emerging markets like Nigeria, Brazil and Indonesia.
“We can extend credit to all types of customers, including customers without smartphones or even bank accounts as these are the people who need credit the most,” added Olukotun.
Featured image (from left to right): Mines executive team Adia Sowho, Ekechi Nwokah, and Kunle Olukotun (Supplied)