FairMoney, a Paris-based fintech startup that that uses alternative smartphone data to underwrite microcredit in Nigeria, has raised EUR10 million with the aim of creating a fully-fledged mobile banking service.
The Series A round was led by Flourish, a venture of The Omidyar Group, the partners of DST Global, and existing seed investors Newfund, Speedinvest, and Le Studio VC.
Launched in 2017, FairMoney has more than 200,000 customers using the platform to finance their small business needs. The FairMoney algorithm applies machine learning techniques to smartphone data to assess credit worthiness. The automatic underwriting process enables firm to score clients and disburse funds within five minutes.
The average loans are EUR30 and customers can grow their loan limits up to EUR400 over time by showing good repayment habits.
"Our vision is to build a holistic financial platform for underserved customers in emerging markets. We want to do that by offering an easy-to-use product to our customers and become a financial one-stop-shop for them," says Laurin Hainy, CEO of FairMoney. "We started with credit for small business owners and individuals, and we are expanding our services rapidly. Think digital bank for emerging market consumers."
As part of this, FairMoney has introduced an in-app payment function from which users can top up their phone subscriptions, buy mobile data, and pay utility bills. Other features, such as digital wallet and saving account are scheduled to launch soon, says Hainy.