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How Nigerian Fintech Startup Mines Raised US$13m Series A Round

Nigerian fintech startup Mines, which builds digital credit products for underserved populations, has secured a US$13 million Series A funding round as it aims to expand into other emerging markets.

Founded in 2014, Mines provides a Credit-as-a-Service digital platform that enables institutions in emerging markets to offer credit products to their customers, with no smartphones required. Leveraging their own data sets, domestic institutions are able to serve loans to customers ignored by available credit systems and open up entirely new revenue opportunities.

The company’s proprietary technology has been used by over one million customers in Nigeria since it was launched last year. Mines is now the leading provider of consumer credit in the country, counting mobile operators 9mobile and Airtel, payment processors Interswitch and NIBSS, plus several banks, amongst its partners.

It has now closed a Series A round of US$13 million led by The Rise Fund, a global fund managed by TPG Growth. Also participating are 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.

Mines plans to use the investment for talent acquisition, continued growth in Africa, and expansion to South America and South-East Asia.

“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,” said Mines chief executive officer (CEO) Ekechi Nwokah.

“We believe the best way to realise this vision is to partner with banks, retailers and mobile operators and power digital credit products tailored to their markets so they can create the customers of tomorrow, today.”

The startup claims to have taken Silicon Valley technology and built it into a product that is robust enough for emerging markets like Nigeria.

“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,” said chief scientist Kunle Olukotun.

As part of the financing, Yemi Lalude from TPG Growth and Willem Willemstein from Velocity Capital have joined Mines’ board of directors.

“Mines combines world-class artificial intelligence and extensive use of data with a strong focus on local partnerships to build financial inclusion. We are excited to partner with them to drive financial access across the world,” said Lalude.

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