Lipa Later Raises $12 Million, Plans to Extend to More African Markets From Kenya

Lipa Later raises $12 million in pre-Series A funding. The Kenyan tech-led consumer lending platform plans to extend to other countries in Africa.

Cauris Finance, Lateral Frontiers VC (one of Lipa Later’s early investors), and GreenHouse Capital led the equity and debt investment round, which also included SOSV IV LLC, Sayani Investments, and Axian Financial Services.

The Kenyan BNPL startup, which was launched in 2018, is now planning to grow into Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria, as well as expand in its current markets of Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.

“As we strive to grow and extend into other African areas, we are thrilled to be working with our investors.”

“In the next 12 months, we want to quadruple our presence in existing regions while also expanding into 3 to 5 additional African markets,” said Eric Muli, co-founder, and CEO of Lipa Later.

“This latest round of funding leaves them well-positioned to extend their product offering and moves Lipa Later one step closer to being the leading Buy-Now-Pay-Later player on the continent,” said Samakab Hashi, partner at Lateral Frontiers VC.

Lipa Later has exclusive arrangements with businesses in various markets, allowing customers to pay in installments for their purchases.

Customers can pay for products like furniture, electronics, and even perishables in monthly installments thanks to Lipa Later’s cooperation with French retailer Carrefour (who has a regional presence).

Customers pay a monthly interest rate on the credit granted to them (approximately 2.3 percent in the case of Carrefour).

In order to expand into more African countries, the firm plans to form more agreements with merchants.

“Lipa Later is not only transforming the consumer credit landscape in Africa, which has been mostly inaccessible to most until now, but it is also igniting the future of shopping, e-commerce, and payments,” says the company.

Consumers can join up and receive a credit limit nearly instantaneously thanks to Lipa Later’s own credit rating and machine learning engine.

The company has also developed a BNPL API that links with e-commerce platforms and allows merchants to sell products directly to customers while also allowing customers to pay for items in monthly installments.

The latest finance follows an undisclosed 2020 investment by Tokyo-based Uncovered Fund, which invests in Africa’s early- and seed-stage firms. Lipa Later was one of five companies to get investment.

Lipa Later is a major competitor in Kenya’s BNPL market, competing against Aspira, Miti, Flexpay Technologies, and Julla.

According to this 2021 survey on Kenya, the BNPL payment business in the country has grown rapidly due to rapid e-commerce penetration and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic-related economic slowdown.

Kenya’s BNPL business is predicted to grow at a 30.8 percent CAGR from 2021 to 2028. From $51.6 million in 2020, the gross BNPL merchandise value is predicted to reach $589.5 million in 2028.

Lipa Later will face competition from Payflex (which was recently bought by Australian BNPL Zip) and PayJustNow in South Africa, as well as PayQart and Carbon Zero in Nigeria, in its quest to expand across Africa, where opportunities exist as e-commerce and alternative credit sources increase.

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Hassan Barakat
Barakat Temitope Hassan is a competent and dedicated Radiographer who is also interested in Tech, Writing and Medical Research.

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