Fintech company, 4G Capital, is renowned for providing credit facilities to small and micro businesses. The startup, which is based in Kenya, has recently announced that it has raised $18.5 million in its Series C funding round.
The funding round was led by Lightrock. Lightrock is a London-based private equity platform that invests in sustainable businesses built by purpose-driven, and innovative entrepreneurs.
With the funding, 4G Capital is on a mission of providing financial access to more African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), through loans, and other credit facilities.
In addition to the company’s mission, 4G Capital would also use the money to expand access to its products in Kenya and Uganda.
“We are delighted to partner with Lightrock to further our financial inclusion mission. Lightrock and 4G Capital share a complete alignment of purpose and mission. They bring unrivalled experience of Africa and emerging markets. This capital will have a transformative effect in enabling us to scale the best products and services to the world’s most important sector,” 4G Capital Founder and CEO, Wayne Hennessy-Barrett said.
Riding on the back of this funding, 4G Capital would be launching a new loan facility that increases the minimum loan threshold from the current $1,000, and also increase the loan repayment period from the current minimum of one month.
The company also plans to launch an app to enable its users buy and sell on digital marketplace, while also getting connected to the services of delivery companies.
“We will be building new loan products this year, with longer durations and larger amounts and lend to bigger businesses in the agri-value chain…We are also planning to launch an app that will allow our clients to run their businesses better, have access to our goods and services, and connect them with other providers like FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) distributors. The future of 4G, is a really enriched value proposition for our clients driven by data and AI,” Hennessy-Barrett said.
4G Capital was founded in 2013 by Wayne Hennessy-Barrett after the founder’s time at a lending corporation in Kenya.
With less than a decade in existence, 4G Capital boasts that it has granted $230m worth of credit, and extended its lending facility to over 1.75 million micro-businesses – representing a 90 percent year-on-year increase.
Speaking on the funding round, Partner at Lightrock, Shakir Merali, said:
“Often used to justify the backing of many African companies, ‘Financial inclusion’ has not always translated into positive outcomes for customers. What is needed on the continent is investment capital to back companies with the mission of financial empowerment. 4G Capital provides liquidity to the vast market of economically generative businesses – the mobile phone repairers, hairdressers and food sellers – that dot the landscape of Africa. The systemic value of improving lives is compounded, as productive employment leads to economic outcomes and better education and health outcomes in the communities these businesses serve. That’s where 4G Capital plays. That’s why we believe they are doing necessary work and why we are excited to become a part of their growth journey.”