With $150M worth of loans already disbursed, Fintech startup Fido’s series-A funding round accelerates the company’s growth ahead of Africa expansion. Fido will also use the funds to establish an R&D center and tech hub in Ghana.
Fido, a leading fintech company whose mission is to empower individuals and entrepreneurs to reach financial freedom, announces the completion of a $30 million series-A financing led by Fortissimo Capital along with participation from Yard Ventures, the venture capital fund of Harvard alumni, and additional private investors. This brings the company’s total funding to $38 million thus far. The additional funds will be used to launch new category-creating financial products in Ghana, grow the company’s customer base throughout Africa, and establish a tech center in Accra to train engineers for higher levels of software development.
Lack of access to financial services is a key constraint on the growth of entrepreneurship in Africa. The banking sector is complicated and bureaucratic, its processes are time-consuming and not very customer-friendly, so access to financial services remains beyond the reach of a significant segment of the population.
Fido changes this paradigm by automating the whole customer journey from onboarding to credit analysis and even provides financial guidance. Its autonomous banking platform and unique machine learning-risk models, make instant credit decisions even for customers with no financial track record, while helping reduce operational costs. Fido’s autonomous banking system relies on mission-critical, real-time machine learning models for risk scoring and fraud detection, based on non-financial data, to approve or reject a loan in real-time, and simultaneously deliver market-leading default rates. The B2C mobile application is fast, data-driven, low latency, and built on a distributed cloud architecture, helping boost accessibility to financial services to unbanked regions.
Fido is going beyond just digital-financial services and aims to educate customers on how to improve their credit scores over time and incentivize positive financial behavior. Later this year, the company plans to launch savings and cost-effective payment products in some of its markets to help users easily improve their financial health with a product that’s simple to use.
To support the launch of its new financial products Fido will expand the tech team in Tel Aviv and open a tech hub in Accra to attract and develop local talent. Fido is led by a seasoned team of creative entrepreneurs and AI veterans, that include CEO Alon Eitan, CTO Guy Shaked, and CCO Kelvin Abdallah, who joined co-founder Nadav Topolski in mid-2021 to triple revenues over the past year. The company has grown to a team of 60 that includes data scientists, engineers, and financiers, while already having underwritten 1.5 million loans to more than 340,000 customers at a value of over $150 million.
“We are building a new culture of money in Africa by making financial services instant and accessible,” said Alon Eitan, Fido CEO. “We’re proud of what we are building and grateful to have such a talented team and experienced group of investors backing our vision. This is not only about making financial services accessible, but also about making them better: instant, simple, and transparent. We are just getting started.”
“We are truly impressed by the team’s ability to underwrite people instantly while delivering sustainable economics. This differentiates them from the other players in the space,” said Yochai Hacohen, Partner at Fortissimo Capital. “Fido brings a genuinely differentiated offering that solves an enormous challenge by using disruptive technologies. Now world-class fintech technology is available to all, for mutual growth and shared prosperity.”
“In addition to being impressed by the team and upside of Fido’s business model, we take pride in supporting such an impactful business that is helping to democratize access to financial services for those who were previously neglected by traditional institutions,” says Ron Levin, Partner of Yard Ventures and author of The Higher Purpose Venture Capital Blog, which profiles venture-backed companies that are helping to solve problems around wealth inequality.