Nigerian credit-led fintech startup Payhippo has acquired Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB) to help it expand its product offering.
Launched in January 2020 by Chioma Okotcha, Uche Nnadi and Zach Bijesse, Payhippo provides loans to small businesses in Africa, often neglected by banks because of their lack of credit histories, in under three hours.
A Y Combinator S21 batch cohort participant, the startup has so far disbursed over 25,000 loans to SMEs in Nigeria, and recently opened an office in London. It banked a US$3 million round of funding late last year, and has now acquired MFB, a financial institution specialising in saving products, demand deposits, and investments as well as micro and SME loans.
The deal is pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, and both parties are working together to obtain the regulator’s approval.
With direct access to Nigeria’s Inter-bank Settlement System, the acquisition will enable Payhippo to launch an array of products and services for its customers. Payhippo will also grow its team with experienced professionals from the MFB team, adding in-depth experience from the banking and finance sector.
“At Payhippo, our mission is to provide seamless financial services for merchants throughout Africa. We are making this investment to enhance products and services for our customers and in turn enable us to reach a wider customer base. We are very excited to work with Maritime Microfinance Bank to revolutionise the SME financial service through digital innovation,” said Bijesse.
“Nigeria has an ever-growing need for SME lending solutions to help businesses meet their financial needs. We believe Payhippo is well-positioned to develop new and customised financial products for SMEs in the country. The team is incredibly talented, resilient and exudes excellent leadership. I am very excited to welcome them onboard and look forward to supporting them in achieving their goals,” said Adetola Atekoja, chairman of Maritime Microfinance Bank.