Numida: Facilitate access to credit for small companies
Fonded by Mina Shahid, Ben Best, and Catherine Denis, Numida is a startup that tries to solve the problem of lack due to lack of data on the quality of cash flow of African companies. Their first product is a free financial management app built for Ugandan small business owners that also offers them unsecured credit directly in the app.
Introduce yourself and your journey
Mina Shahid, Cofounder and Co-CEO of Numida. I’ve been working on the problem of access to credit for African small businesses for the past 5 years, first in Ghana with a previous start-up I Cofounded that provided working capital to agribusinesses that had a food security focus and now with Numida in Uganda where we use cash flow data and financial management behavioral data to unlock convenient and fair credit for Ugandan entrepreneurs.
What is your project and its mission?
Numida is building the missing digital products that African small businesses need to thrive. Our first product is a free financial management app built for Ugandan small business owners that also offers them unsecured credit directly in the app. Entrepreneurs use Numida to keep track of their cash flows and we use this data to determine the creditworthiness and issue unsecured loans within 24 hrs via mobile money.
How did you get the idea to start your business?
While running my previous company, Kulemela, in Ghana one of our big challenges was the lack of quality cash flow data from the small businesses we were lending too. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs in Ghana and Uganda keep extremely poor financial records, if any at all. This makes it very difficult to determine the businesses capacity to repay a loan. Numida was born out of the failure of Kulemela.
Can you introduce your team?
Our team is spread across San Francisco, Canada, and Uganda. The founders Mina Shahid, Ben Best, and Catherine Denis are all second-time founders having founded social enterprises in Ghana and Rwanda previous. We have over 15 years of experience working on issues of poverty and development across Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Mali, Haiti, and Colombia.
What is the problem solved by Numidia?
Entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa manage their business with pen and paper even though they have a computer in their pocket. And although small businesses in Uganda create 4 out of 5 new jobs and contribute 33% to the GDP, 300,000 of them identify access to finance and cost of financing as the main constraints holding back their growth. Numida solves both of these problems by using real cash flow data collected through our financial management app from our clients to make evidence-based loan decisions.
What are the next steps ?
Numida is building a suite of digital products to make Ugandan entrepreneurs more productive. Financial management and unsecured credit are our first two and we’ll be launching an inventory management product for retailers in the the new year.
What do you need and how can Seedstars / AfrikaTech help you?
We are always looking for great advice from successful tech entrepreneurs and product builders on the continent. Furthermore, we are raising a seed round and expect to close it by July 2018, connections to investors who understand the African tech landscape would be great!
What are the contacts of the startup? Website, email, Mobile / WhatsApp, links to social networks?