Led by ex-OPay, Kuda exec, Kredi Money wants to be the one stop shop for payments, loans, insurance and other financial services • Techpoint Africa



Nigeria’s financial services sector exploded in 2020. Payments, digital lending and savings companies have become popular with investors looking to take a share of Nigeria’s fintech market.

Therefore, examining the financial services space in Nigeria will reveal several startups with various financial use cases. But for the founders of digital banking startup, Kredi Money, consumers of financial services could benefit from a better experience.

Between 2005 and 2009, Afolabi Abimbola, CEO of Kredi Money, first worked as a sales manager for Globacom, one of Nigeria’s leading telecommunications companies. In 2010, he became Business Development Manager at Funds and Electronic Transfer Solutions (FETS) Limited, a pioneer of mobile payments in Nigeria.

He then held senior positions at Renmoney, a leading microfinance bank and digital lender, and director positions at Kuda Bank and OPay.

Based on these experiences, Abimbola began to see gaps in the financial services industry that he wanted to fill.

“For example, the average consumer in Nigeria uses a separate app to borrow, another to save, and another to invest. In some cases, some people use a particular platform for the sole purpose of making payments, ”says Abimbola.

He then brought Samuel Orji, a seasoned legal professional and investment professional, as co-founder. His most recent role is as a US-based emerging market-focused venture capitalist, where he was responsible for leading FinTech investments in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Kredi money was pretty much the product of their combined experiences in the market.

From left to right: Samuel Orji, co-founder of Kredi Money, and Afolabi Abimbola, CEO of Kredi Money. Source: provided

“The first foundations for Kredi started to be laid at the beginning of 2021. Over the past few months, we have built our fully digital bank (Kredi Bank) with absolute discretion. “

They created Kredi Money to provide solutions in five financial areas: savings, spending, investing, borrowing (loans) and protection (insurance) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals in the middle of the pyramid.

“Our goal is to be a one-stop-shop for financial solutions and to be a welcome break from the current fragmented solutions that characterize the market. We currently serve users primarily through our apps (Kredi) available on Android and iOS stores.

“However, we are developing a diverse suite of products that would allow us to reach users through multiple channels, including the web and offline through agents.”

According to Abimbola, after running the pilot phase that saw the company gain more than 8,000 users across the country, it is now ready for a full launch.

Building in a highly competitive market

Kredi will enter a space currently dominated by traditional financial services companies, digital banks and payment companies, but its unique offering appears to be appealing to its users.

Its competitors include commercial banks, neobanks like Kuda, Sparkle, Carbon, Fairmoney, and companies like Branch in the microcredit arena.

Side note: Carbon and Fairmoney both started out as microcredit companies before moving to digital banking.

Interestingly, three of these neobanks – Kuda, Fairmoney, Sparkle – raised a combined $ 125 million in 2021 alone, a testament to investor confidence in digital banking, much like other parts of the world. .

As well as offering a one-stop-shop for the entire range of financial services, Abimbola believes Kredi’s focus on the middle to lower market, which has a thicker tail, is a significant advantage.

While the large neobanks have followed either a payments-driven or a credit-driven model, Kredi’s core business model is similar to that of other banks; mobilize deposits then invest and issue loans.

Remarkably, Abimbola points out that the company has seen strong growth in fees for its B2B component.

“We are also leveraging our strong payment experience and expertise to provide API-based payment infrastructure services to other fintech startups that are not fully licensed or do not have the technology. to make mass payments, ”he explains.

Abimbola also claims that Kredi’s payments arm has generated substantial revenue and is currently growing very rapidly.

Kredi’s growing pains

Kredi has only been around for a few months. Most of it was spent laying the foundations of the business.

“We have just launched our pilot phase. However, we have grown up well. We have already exceeded $ 10,000 in monthly revenue and processed over $ 2.4 million. We plan to achieve profitability in the coming months, ”said Abimbola.

According to Abimbola, Kredi currently has over 8,500 users, and about 65% (5,525) are monthly active users. The company defines them as people who complete at least three transactions on the platform each month.

“It should be noted that we obtained these figures in our pilot phase, without any marketing expenditure. The main partners on the B2B side include Crowdyvest, Youverify and Chipper Cash. We have a strong pipeline of aligned B2B partners.

Kredi’s growth in a short period of time has not been without its challenges.

A recurring trend among budding tech entrepreneurs we’ve featured in recent years is the difficulty in recruiting talent. Kredi was no exception in this case.

“As with any startup, it’s never easy to get people to buy into your dream from the start. But we were extremely lucky to have met some amazing people who chose to take this trip with us, ”reveals Abimbola.

He also says the company has maintained a healthy work culture for its talented team.

“We pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere that encourages openness, intellectual curiosity and empathy. There is still a long way to go, but we are delighted with what the future holds on this front.

Future growth and expansion plans

So far, Kredi Money has been largely seeded to date with the support of angel investors. Abimbola reveals that he wanted to lay the foundations for a financial services company, before approaching institutional investors.

“We have obtained all the required licenses from the relevant regulators. We have reached 8,000 users without any marketing expense. Customers clearly love our product. And we have some big name players looking to partner with us. We are at an inflection point in our growth and we are looking to intensify it. “

The company is currently on the verge of entering a pre-seed round, and the founder says investors are interested, clearly astonished at the traction the company has built without external funding.

“This fundraiser is exclusively intended to stimulate growth and develop the business. This is in stark contrast to industry practice, where a significant portion of the initial fundraising is usually spent on obtaining licenses, ”says Abimbola.

In the short term, the company is focused on growing its customer base in Nigeria and rolling out new products to serve customers of other banks. One of these products is “Trickle”.

While Abimbola hasn’t explained in detail, Trickle will be a multi-bank savings and investment platform that allows users to save and invest while spending.

In the medium term, a continental expansion seems to be taking shape.

“Rwanda would be our first destination; we already have arrangements for a license there in the pipelines. We have also identified a few other markets, some in French-speaking Africa, others in southern Africa.

Last year, our analysis of Nigerian fintech industry trends using information from McKinsey and PwC, found that fintechs have largely focused on people already in the banking industry and have rarely released products to bring people in the financial industry.

This, however, reveals that there is still plenty of room for growth.

“We are optimistic about this space. We believe that the current players have only scratched the surface and that there is an opportunity for innovation to go further and wider. »Says Abimbola.

Kredi’s work may well prove to be the first of many other companies looking to expand the reach of digital banking in Nigeria.

Writer and Narrator. Technical, commercial and political analysis is my daily bread.

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