Nigeria-based fintech startup Lidya has recently expanded into Europe and it plans to disburse around $1.1 billion as loans to small businesses in the next five years. After opening an office in New York, the startup now has operations in Warsaw in Poland and Prague in Czech Republic.
According to reports, in Europe, Lidya may provide loans up to $15, 000, compared to $3, 000 in Nigeria.
Ercin Eksin, co-founder of Lidya told the media, “We have built a world-class business that is helping SMEs to access the credit they need to grow, often for the first time. Our technology is proven in Nigeria where we have helped thousands of businesses to create wealth and employment. Improving access to credit for SMEs is a global problem and we have ambitious international expansion plans to meet this challenge.”
He added, “Through Lidya, we have the opportunity to empower the growth of SMEs in Africa, Europe and around the world. SMEs create the most number of jobs and significantly contribute to GDP. We are on a mission to support the creation of 100 million jobs in fast-growing economies.”
Lidya is backed by venture capital firms such as Omidyar Network and Alitheia Capital. Each year, Lidya plans to tap into four international markets, potentially in Europe.
Lidya’s fintech platform allows small and medium-sized businesses to register online for loans starting from $500 and get that credit within 24 hours. This process helps SMEs build a credit history for the first time.
So far, Lidya has provided more than 10,000 loans to 2,000 businesses in Nigeria, as of July 2019.