Nigerian Fintech, FairMoney, Looks to Replicate Growth in India

By McKenzie Carpenter Thursday, February 18, 2021

Access to traditional banking methods can be a problem for individuals as they may not be conveniently located near a bank or because they simply need to use alternative banking methods. FairMoney, a Nigerian mobile fintech startup company and mobile app, has dedicated itself to providing banking services to people who may be underbanked.

Fintech concept over a city skyline.

What Is FairMoney?

FairMoney is a fintech business that allows users of the mobile app to take out loans and pay bills instantly to underbanked individuals in emerging markets. The fintech startup company has the added mission to provide digital banking through its app for the nearly 2 billion underbanked people in the world.

The fintech startup business was launched in 2017 and had a little more than 100,000 users in its first year. Today, the fintech app claims to have 1.3 million unique users. Through the app, the fintech business states it has given out more than 2.5 million loans. Furthermore, the startup company is projecting to disburse a $140 million loan volume by the end of 2021. Loan amounts from the business vary between as little as ₦1,500 (roughly $4) and as much as ₦500,000 (approximately $1,300). Repayments can take place between 61 to 180 days, with monthly interest rates between 10% to 30%.

In addition, the fintech startup company has raised €11.2 million (roughly $13.6 million) through a series of funding rounds with investments from Flourish Ventures, Newfund, and SpeedInvest.

Business Expansion to India

In regard to expanding the app to other regions, FairMoney CEO Laurin Hainy said in an interview with TechCrunch that “If our ambition is to build the leading mobile bank for emerging markets, we need to start with very large markets.”

In August 2020, the fintech startup company expanded business operations to India. As the second most populous country in the world and in Asia, FairMoney wanted to tap into a huge potential market through its fintech app since there are 1.7 billion people that are unbanked globally. Additionally, half of those globally unbanked individuals come from 40% of the poorest households in their economy.

Gaining credit can be difficult in India compared to Nigeria. In fact, only 33% of Indians that are eligible for a loan have access to a bank account. That is why the fintech company is tapping into the 141 million people that microfinance banks do not serve.

Since launching the app in the country over six months ago, FairMoney claims to have received half a million loan applications from over 100,000 unique users, approximately five to six thousand applications per day.

In the future, the startup company would like to gain its commercial bank license, which could take five to ten years.

About the Author

Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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