US Tennis Player Serena Williams’ VC Firm Leads Ugandan Fintech’s $12.3 Million Pre-Series A Funding Round

The Uganda-based digital lending fintech startup, Numida, has said it will start offering its services to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in other African countries. Numida’s plans to offer its services to businesses beyond Uganda’s borders came shortly after it was announced that the startup had raised a total of $12.3 million in its pre-Series A funding round. Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by American tennis player Serena Williams, led the funding round.

Unlocking the Potential of Small Businesses in Africa

Numida, the Uganda-based fintech, has said it plans to take its digital lending business outside the country, using part of the $12.3 million it raised via its pre-Series A equity-debt funding. The round was led by the U.S. tennis star Serena Williams’ venture capital firm Serena Ventures. Also participating in this funding round were Breega, 4Di Capital, Launch Africa, Soma Capital and Y Combinator.

In comments following Numida’s successful capital raise, co-founder and CEO Mina Shahid reportedly touted the impact of the financial products his company has been availing to small businesses in Uganda, and how this can be replicated in other African countries. Shahid said:

I’m most excited about continuing to build and provide financial products for these micro and small business owners …. There are so many of these businesses across the continent, we really do believe that we’ve proven a model in Uganda that can be Pan-African and unlock the potential of these businesses to grow and achieve great things.

Prioritizing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

As explained in a Techcrunch report, Numida has prioritized serving micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) because they are continually marginalized by traditional financial institutions. Using the recently raised capital, Numida said it plans to increase its active client base to 40,000. The fintech startup plans to do this by expanding its operations in two countries, the report said.

According to the report, Numida, which raised $2.3 million in 2021, has so far granted $20 million in working capital to MSMEs. With the backing of Lendable Asset Management, which recently lent $5 million to the startup, Numida will increase the value of its loans and will at the same time remodel its products to ensure their affordability.

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