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Akiba Digital: Unlocking financing opportunities for small business using alternative data

Article provided by Akiba Digital

The biggest hindrance to the growth of small businesses in South Africa is access to financing. Traditional institutions like banks require a lot of paperwork and have a more complex lending system that doesn’t really favor small businesses. Many credit providers rely entirely on a business’s  history of credit to decide whether to give a loan or not, meaning for many businesses without a  history of credit, they can’t access funding. Furthermore, the current system offers no guidance whatsoever towards improving your business financial health.

 To lower these barriers Akiba Digital, a Fintech startup  was started with this goal in mind. Using alternative technology it aims to unlock financing opportunities for small businesses and for  lenders to better extend capital to small businesses,  providing nuanced credit insights and real-time lending decisions.Small businesses can expect a seamless and automated experience when accessing financing to grow their business, from creating your credit score and ensuring your business is financially healthy to getting financing for your business. They aim to digitise the lending value chain for lenders who partner with them so they reduce lending risk , get automated personalised loan repayments and grow their customer profile.

Akiba  launched an SME platform, Insyts a financial health tool that enables SMEs to access better financing and further monitor their financial health all in one. Businesses can sign up to the platform for free and get access to actionable insights on how to improve their business, credit scoring, set financial goals and access different lending options from different lenders in the platform . They only need to link their point of sale, QR code payments, online payments or business bank statement so that they get access to a real time dashboard that shows them their credit score, be able to track revenue growth and an affordability analysis in terms of what their customers can afford based on their spending behavior and their real time transactions. Insyts uses your linked payment transactions to suggest actions you can take to better your credit score and when you take action, you will be able to see how your score gets healthier over time. This will help in knowing when to apply for credit and how much your business can afford.

To scale up it’s operations and help more small businesses access financing, Akiba raised US$1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Expert DOJO and Oui Capital.  The cash will be used to grow its market share in South Africa and connect over 50,000 SMEs to lenders through its ecosystem and help these small businesses with their business financial health.

Akiba Digital Rebuild Initiative

In line with it’s core values of helping small businesses grow  by unlocking financing opportunities, Akiba Digital launched a Rebuild Campaign on Mandela Day that will run until the end of August to help 67 small businesses affected by the riots and lootings that went on in July across the country as well as those businesses that have been  struggling to survive because of the lockdown. Through this initiative small businesses are eligible for a zero interest rated business loan from it’s lending partners with the whole process of loan application being facilitated by Akiba.

Akiba Digital Rebuild Initiative eligibility

In order to qualify for the Rebuild Initiative and get a zero interest rated business loan courtesy of Akiba Digital you will need to provide the following :

  • CIPC certificate
  • Business bank statement of at least three months
  • Provide your  monthly turnover
  • Copy of ID of the Director/Owner
  • Duration of operation of your business
  • How much you are looking to get

Once compiled, send the information to info@akibadigital.com and Akiba will send the information to the lending partners who are part of this initiative who will then be in touch to discuss next steps in accessing the loan.

Akiba Digital are a proud Premier Member of the NSBC