FairMoney, a Paris-based fintech startup, has closed a EUR10-million Series A round of investment led by Flourish, a venture of The Omidyar Group, the partners of DST Global, and existing seed investors Newfund, Speedinvest, and Le Studio VC.
Launched in 2017, FairMoney started as a mobile app that uses alternative smartphone data to underwrite microcredit in Nigeria. The company reports that more than 200,000 customers use the platform regularly, with a majority focussed to finance their small business needs.
“Our vision is to build a holistic financial platform for underserved customers in emerging markets. We want to do that by offering an easy-to-use product to our customers and become a financial one-stop-shop for them,” says Laurin Hainy, CEO of FairMoney. “We started with credit for small business owners and individuals, and we are expanding our services rapidly. Think digital bank for emerging market consumers.”
“After backing digital banks in the US, UK, Latin America and South Asia, we are excited to support one of the first companies to bring this model to Africa. We believe that customers will ask a lot more of their banks – to be relevant, banks will have to move from service providers to become financial mentors for their customers,” says Ameya Upadhyay, FairMoney’s new board member. “That’s where we see a massive global opportunity for FairMoney, which combines a top-notch banking infrastructure with a culture of obsessive customer focus.”
The Paris-based fintech startup also announced today that it has introduced an in-app payment function to its users, which allows them to top up their phone subscriptions, buy mobile data, pay electricity or internet bills. Other features, such as digital wallet and saving account are scheduled to launch soon.