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Akiba Digital, a fintech startup that lowers the barriers to entry for small businesses to get financing through their lending partners, has raised more than USD 1.1 M dollars in pre-seed capital to help it expand its market share.

Recall that since founded in 2017, Akiba Digital enables lenders to better extend capital to small businesses and individuals, providing nuanced credit insights and real-time lending decisions.

The startup uses alternative datasets to provide inclusive scores that allow lenders to score people and small businesses that cannot be reached by traditional credit bureaus – a problem that affects nearly 80 percent of small businesses and individuals in Africa.

The pre-seed  funding round however was led by Expert DOJO and Oui Capital and  also included Basecamp Fund, Soma Capital, Hustle Fund, Future Africa, LoftyInc, a former PayPal executive, and a handful of angel investors. 

Akiba Digital said it plans to use the funds to expand its market share in South Africa and link over 20,000 SMEs to lenders via its ecosystem.

While speaking, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Akiba Digital, Tebogo Mokwena, said

the fundraise will help the start up assess other African markets with the goal to be in 10+ African markets in two to three years.

Makwena also said Akiba longer term plan is to scale into South America and ultimately be one of Africa’s unicorns to IPO by 2027,  enabling millions of small businesses and individuals to access better financing through the alternative scoring. 

Meanwhile, Akiba CEO revealed the FinTech startup is already growing its revenues by 5X month-on-month and has also launched an SME platform called “Insyts” that allows SMEs in need of funding to apply for business financing seamlessly and monitor their financial health on one platform.

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