Fido, a fintech startup based in Ghana, has said it is on the quest to expand the coverage area of its operations, and develop new products. This comes after the startup completed its series A funding round, closing with $30 million.
The funding round, which is a combination of equity investment and some undisclosed debt financing, was led by an Israeli-based private equity fund, Fortissimo Capital. The funding round also had participation from Yard Ventures – a VC fund by Harvard alumni.
Part of the intentions Fido has for the fund is to spend it on expanding its web of services to Uganda and other parts of the continent, open its second Research and Development (R&D) center in Accra – Ghana’s capital; and to scale the automation of its services.
Fido was founded in 2015, by Nadav Topolski, Tomer Edry and Nir Zepkowitz. The startup provide loan facilities of up to $250 to individuals and small business, and allows them payback in single or multiple installments.
“What we are seeing in the market today is a segment of customers, who are mostly small entrepreneurs, that don’t really have access to traditional banking systems … and we see an opportunity to offer these customers, who are outside banking systems, savings products that are fully-digital and very easy to use. Customers will be able to deposit from mobile money, cards and even cash, and we receive attractive returns on those savings. Our payments product will be layered on top of existing payment rails, as we want to create interoperability between all the different payment rails that are popping up in different countries today,” fido Elton, who serves as CEO, said.
Elton added that the startup has helped its customers of over 350,000 with loans worth over 1.5 billion, and it plans to double that amount with the expansion it is working on.
“Uganda in many ways resembles Ghana, and we understand the regulation very well. We think it’s a very big market, both in terms of population size, but also in terms of the penetration of mobile. So, there are about nine million mobile accounts in Uganda and so it’s very important for us to go to a market that is already mature because it helps us deliver our services instantly, which is what we really want to do,” Elton said.
Speaking on the fundraise, Yochai Hacohen, a partner at Fortissimo Capital said in a statement:
“We are truly impressed by the team’s [Fido’s] ability to underwrite people instantly while delivering sustainable economics. This differentiates them from the other players in the space. Fido brings a genuinely differentiated offering that solves an enormous challenge by using disruptive technologies. Now world-class fintech technology is available to all, for mutual growth and shared prosperity.”
Fido currently has 65 employees, which includes digital debt collectors