Kenya-based fintech 4G Capital raises US$18.5M series C round to expand credit facility

KENYA – Kenya-based fintech company 4G Capital, a market player in technology-driven financial inclusion has raised US$18.5 million in Series C funding to expand credit facility.

The latest funding round was led by Lightrock, a London-based private equity fund. The funds will enable the fintech to expand financial access for SMEs in Kenya and Uganda.

The equity funding comes as the fintech plans to roll out a series of new products and services including new loans that will increase the credit limit from US$1,000 and longer repayment periods.

The products are currently under development, however, the plan is to also lend to bigger businesses in the agri-value chain, as the company expands its reach from micro-sellers, who have been their target market since launch in 2013.

4G Capital offers short-term loans to micro-businesses in Kenya and Uganda, who are often locked out by formal banking institutions.

The platform plans to launch an app later this year that will enable its clients to sell on digital marketplaces and to be connected to other digital providers like delivery services.

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,” said Hennessy-Barrett, Founder and CEO.

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.”

Already, 4G Capital is conducting trials of its latest retail finance product dubbed Kuza, which allows clients to access goods from FMCG producers and distributors on credit.

The startup has extended credit valued at US$230 million since launch and loaned over 1.75 million micro-businesses over the same period, recording a 90% year-on-year growth.

4G capital has also worked with a number of debt investors that have extended them loans for onward lending including Alphamundi, the Swiss impact investor, Citi Bank among others.

In addition, the platform is exploring new growth opportunities in West and North Africa with a keen eye on partnerships in Ghana, Nigeria, and Egypt, which will happen after deepening and enriching its market share and customer value proposition in its core markets.

As it plans to scale its operations, 4G Capital plans to invest in data science enhancements for its evaluation algorithm and grow its management team in evolving its core banking system.

The recent funding round brings to US$27.5 million, the total equity funding raised by 4G Capital since 2016.

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