Payhippo, an artificial intelligence-driven lending platform that provides loans to small businesses has raised $1 million in a pre-seed round
Investors in this round include Ventures Platform, Future Africa, Launch Africa, and Sherpa Ventures with participation from international investors like Hustle Fund and Mercy Corps Ventures.
Founded in 2020 by Zach Bijesse, Chioma Okotcha, and Uche Nnadi, Payhippo’s goal is to serve the 40 million small and medium-sized businesses in Africa that are unable to gain access to the funds necessary to grow their business.
In Nigeria, a large percentage of the population operates small to medium-sized enterprises but the SMEs sector in Africa is largely underserved by commercial banks. Most small business owners in the country find it difficult to access formal financial products or services like loans. The inability to secure lending hinders the growth potential of SMEs and that is what PayHippo is trying to solve.
Since its launch, Payhippo has disbursed N1.44 billion in over 2,600 loans to businesses most of which are community grocery stores or small retail shops. The startup claims to have recorded a 97% repayment rate and is currently making a 25% M-o-M revenue growth.
The startup plans to use the fund to expand its reach to more Nigerian cities and also build its team of engineers. Apart from this, it plans to hire a Head of Finance to match the business’ current growth rate.
What they are saying
Kola Aina, General Partner at Ventures Platform Fund said, “Small businesses are at the core of Africa’s economic growth and we are thrilled to partner with Zach, Chioma & Uche as they build PayHippo. They are essentially bridging the $158 billion SME financing gap”