Paylend, a Kenyan fintech startup that assists micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in better recording data and gaining access to loans, is conducting surveys in Tanzania and Nigeria ahead of beta tests in those markets. Founded in 2019 by Bednodn Murgor and Eliutherius Juma, Paylend enhances relationships between business entities and their customers by providing access to credit.
In an interview with Disrupt Africa, Juma stated;
“Loss of the book or tampering with records becomes a source of conflict, leading to poor business relationships and huge loss of revenue. This is the biggest problem that Paylend aims to solve.”
He further added:
“Most MSMEs in Africa experience stunted growth due to poor recording of their daily transactions. We identified a culture that exists in the African market where shopkeepers give credit to their customers, who payback within a week or a month. These customers most of the time tip the shops. The shops record these transactions on paper, a practice that is tedious and bulky.”
Paylend gives business owners access to proper transaction documentation, allowing them to become bankable and providing them with an advanced credit management system. They are more of a complementary tool to other financial products than a competitor, as they provide data that can assist stakeholders in making wise decisions and driving more business on their end. Banks can identify potential shops to offer loans using Paylend data, and insurance companies can create policies to provide insurance for the credits that shops give their customers for a monthly fee.
In Kenya, the startup has over 6,500 customers who use its mobile app and USSD to access goods and services or redeem vouchers. It has already signed up over 2,000 businesses and is actively looking to expand into new markets. Speaking on the expansion Juma had this to say:
“We plan to expand to Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, and Zambia. We are already conducting surveys in Tanzania and Nigeria in preparation for a beta test in the last quarter of 2021. By the end of 2022, Paylend will be operational in three different markets – Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria.”
This expansion will take advantage of Adalabs, Paylend’s incubator, being present in these markets. The startup is also in the process of contacting venture capitalists to raise a seed round in the coming months.
Funding has been a significant issue for them, but new opportunities are emerging. Juma appeared optimistic in his speech about raising funds in the coming months to scale the business and become pan-African.
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