By Daniel Lanyon on Friday 8 July 2016
African online lending platform Ovamba is partnering with Crowdcredit and Courtyard Capital to increase its reach to African SMEs.
Ovamba allows SMEs to access funds via a mobile app and online platform and able to make an initial decision within 24 hours. Crowdcredit is a cross-border marketplace lending platform, connecting borrowers and lenders around the wordl Courtyard Capital Group is a private UK and US based advisory and investor firm with a particular focus on fintech sector.
P2P/marketplace lending has exploded in popularity in recent years around the world but few platforms have expanded into the high growth frontier markets of Africa where despite lofty predictions around demography and a new wealthy middle class, few are served by tradional banking systems.
The cash will be used to fund transactions in Cameroon and support the development of the platform in South Africa and expansion into other markets. Crowdcredit has already committed €800,000 over the past six weeks, and Courtyard Capital has the scope to invest up to €500,000 in the first year, a spokesman for Ovamba said in a statement.
Viola Llewellyn, co-Founder of Ovamba, said: “We are delighted that Crowdcredit and Courtyard Capital have recognised Ovamba’s potential. Demand for capital by SMEs is growing quickly, and it is vital that we can meet that demand. With these investments we can service more SMEs than ever, stimulating growth across the country”.
“Cameroon is only the first step for us. The continued support of Crowdcredit and Courtyard Capital will allow us to break into new markets such as Kenya and Nigeria, as well as developing our operations in South Africa”.
Masahiko Yoda, head of investment of Crowdcredit said: “It is great for Japanese investors to gain access to alternative investment opportunities in Africa. The partnership between Ovamba and Crowdcredit enables Japanese investors to enjoy investment contributions from African trade finance whilst stimulating economic growth in the continent. As Ovamba has outstanding expertise in local legal requirements, business practice, and customs, we strongly believe that it is the best local partner in this region”.
Mark Gunton, managing director of Courtyard Capital said: “Ovamba adds a low correlation asset to our platform portfolio and introduces our investors to a long term partnership which fosters SME growth in West Africa”.