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Serena Williams' venture capital firm leads Ugandan fintech's pre-series A funding round round

Numida is trying to help 1 million small business owners prosper across the African continent.

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Numida Team/Numida.

Across Africa, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 90 per cent of the private sector and provide 80 per cent of jobs, making them a crucial cog in the economies of countries on the continent. 

Headquartered in Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city, Numida is a lending firm, providing working capital loans to African SMEs. 

Working capital is dispersed via mobile phones, with loan sizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Interest rates are between 10 per cent and 16 per cent.

Since its $2.3m seed funding round concluded in April last year, Numida has issued $20m in working capital to SMEs. Sizes in unsecured credit have risen from  $250,000 per month to $2m. 

Numida CEO Mina Shahid told TechCrunch: "I'm most excited about continuing to build and provide financial products for these micro and small business owners who have been forgotten by the financial services industry". 

With the pre-series funding round, Numida hopes to double its client base to 40,000 within the next 18 months. 

According to Numida's website, the lending firm anticipates it will enable at least 1 million African small business owners to "achieve their dreams". 

Serena Ventures, with participation from Breega, 4Di Capital, Launch Africa Soma Capital and Y Combinator raised $12.3m in a pre-series A round. 

Launched in 2014, Serene Ventures has focused its investment efforts on under-represented founders, with 53 per cent of funding recipients going to women-led projects and 47 and 12 per cent going to black and Latino founders. 

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