A recent tweet by Zach Bijesse, Co-Founder of PayHippo, a Nigerian lending app, has stirred up Twitter users in Nigeria after he revealed that 97% of the loans they give out get paid back.
Many people found this quite impressive because it was based on over $10 million the fintech has disbursed in the last 2 years, which is all the time it has operated.
Lending is typically expected to be a difficult market because there is great risk of defaults for low-income borrowers.
However, across the continent, lending apps have taken on the challenge that was mostly skirted by tradition lending institutions, thanks partly to their innovative ideas.
As for PayHippo, which lends to small businesses, the startup has revealed that its technology, in particular its lending decision engine, has been key to limiting the rate of defaults. Such technology can be thought of as an innovation or solution for the lack of reliable credit scores for many borrowers – and helps determines the credit-worthiness of a business.
As a result of constantly improving the technology, Zach revealed that the loan repayment rate that took a dip at the beginning of the pandemic quickly improved in the following months.
After ‘recalibrating’ the system based on the data, their next month saw a 100% of all loans taken being repayed.
As a further indicator of how crucial the technology is for their business, while the size of loans lent has grown 75x from March 2020 – February 2022, the repayment rate was 97% (similar to all time average).
Several Twitter users thought the 97% return rate was impressive particularly in Nigeria.
Founded in August 2019, the lending service secured $3 million in seed stage funding in November 2021. This funding was said to be going to improve the technology, in particular hiring engineers and data scientists.
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