Fintech startup Asimilia has secured $2 million in pre-seed funding ($1 million equity and $1 million debt) to extend more loans to MSMEs, hire talent and expand into new East African markets.
The funding was led by Fredrik Jung Abbou, an eight-time startup founder and Norrsken Impact Accelerator while the debt round had the participation of French Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance) and GreenTec Capital Partners.
“Africa’s informal businesses are the backbone of its economy and we want to unlock their GDP to drive further growth and development across the continent. Our focus over the last few years has been to build a solution that works and this new funding will enable us to take it into new markets and impact the lives and livelihoods of more business owners,” said Tekwane Mwendwa, CEO and co-founder of Asilimia.
“MSMEs play a vital role across Africa and making it easier for them to succeed is great for the continent as a whole. Tekwane and the team have built a solution that works and we are delighted to be supporting them as they drive prosperity in a key sector for the African economy,” said Funda Sezgi, Co-founder and Managing Director at Norrsken Impact Accelerator.
Founded in 2017, Asilimia aims to empower small businesses through an affordable, easy-to-use and tailored digital payments platform.
Its Android app Leja gives business owners direct access to a payment infrastructure tailored to their needs via their mobile phone. The app allows MSMEs to easily send money at scale, invest savings on transaction fees into insurance or business loans, gain insights into their finances, and minimise payment fraud.
Last year, Asilimia scooped the Africa Cup at the South Africa Innovation Summit, walking away with $350,000) investment offer from the Unicorn Group.
Access to loans is still a major challenge for MSMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa countries forcing many to die before their third anniversary. However, new financial technologies like Asimilia are being developed and implemented changing the competitive landscape in the financial sector in Africa.