Nigerian fintech startup Arteri helps African healthcare SMEs access multiple credit options to finance their assets, inventory and running costs at low interest rates.
Formed in 2021, Arteri is focused solely on chemists, small pharmacies, labs, and clinics, which serve the bulk of the population across the continent.
It allows them to access various financing options via a single application, and also offers management tools to help digitise the operations of these SMEs.
“We first launched an AI-powered recommendation tool for health insurance with financing, but later pivoted to focusing on financing for healthcare businesses,” Ayomide Owoyemi, Arteri’s COO, told Disrupt Africa.
Though SMEs constitute 96 per cent of businesses in Nigeria and contribute half its GDP, commercial bank lending to SMEs has remained below one per cent for the past decade.
“This situation is worse for healthcare SMEs, who also have to contend with challenges in managing their operations and growing their businesses. Also, healthcare SMEs lack the right tools to help them run their businesses efficiently,” Owoyemi said.
Arteri provides this access to finance and these tools, and has so far disbursed over US$35,000 in loans to health SMEs, without any defaults. It has more than US$250,000 in active financing requests, and two live BNPL integrations.
“We have been in a bootstrapped stealth mode for the past 9 months. We are currently raising to push out our more advanced system,” Owoyemi said of Arteri, which makes money on loan interest and processing fees, and is already generating revenue.
“We are presently operating in Nigeria alone, but we plan to expand to Gambia, Cameroon, Togo, and Liberia.”