Lulalend Raises $35m Series B Round To Scale Its Business
The South African fintech startup provides business funding and uses proprietary AI technology to simplify cash flow management for business owners.
Lulalend has raised a US$35 million Series B funding round to help it scale its business. Lulalend will use the capital to scale its business and address South Africa’s enduring SME credit gap, which is estimated to be more than US$20 billion per year, according to the International Finance Corporation.
The startup’s US$35 million Series B funding round was led by Lightrock, the global impact investor, with participation from new investors the German development finance institution DEG, Triodos Investment Management, and Women’s World Banking Asset Management, as well as existing investors the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Quona Capital.
The capital raised will enable Lulalend to increase the size of its loan book, bring new solutions to market, and invest in the technology and talent that will accelerate the rollout of Lulalend’s new digital business banking proposition. In addition, in partnership with new investor Women’s World Banking Asset Management, the company will work to scale its product to women-owned SMEs in the region.
Its customer offering has recently grown to encompass a neo-banking proposition named Lula, built in partnership with Access Bank. Offering a bank account specifically tailored for SMEs, an AI-driven cash flow management tool, and real-time access to funding via the existing Lulalend funding solutions, Lula promises to simplify money management for the more than two million formal and informal SMEs that exist in South Africa. The platform’s current waitlist comprises 20,000 businesses, highlighting the demand for this new approach to business banking.
Trevor Gosling, co-founder, and CEO of Lulalend said: “We are excited to utilize these funds to grow and evolve our products so we can better serve the needs of South Africa’s SMEs. We hope that our impact on this vital sector of the economy, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of GDP and 60 per cent of private sector employment, is nothing short of transformative. Our vision is to drive financial inclusion, and act as a catalyst for growth and prosperity across the SME sector.”
Arul Thomas, principal at Lightrock, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Trevor and his dedicated team, who are levelling the playing field for SMEs with their simple, fast, and transparent approach to business finance.”