Micro-lender Branch eyes SMEs with loans in deal with Jumia

Jumia Kenya MD Sam Chappatte (left), vendor relationship manager Ben Kimutai  (centre) and Director of Africa for Branch Daniel Szlapak. PHOTO | COURTESY

Mobile phone-based lender Branch has partnered with e-retail platform Jumia to offer start-up loans for small-scale traders.

The sellers on Jumia will access loans of up to Sh30,000, repayable within six months, to finance their businesses.

Sellers will be selected for the programme based on their Jumia sales history and forecasts. The loan is then made available on the Jumia seller’s Branch app account and disbursed instantly through M-Pesa. Loans will be repayable at an interest rate of 1.2 per cent per month.

“The Kenyan economy is driven by small and medium-sized businesses. Through this partnership, we are using the power of data to unlock much-needed access to credit for these entrepreneurs,” said Daniel Szlapak, Branch director for Africa.

Branch offers M-Pesa loans of up to Sh50,000 via an Android application. Over the past two years, the company has lent more than Sh3 billion to more than 200,000 customers in Kenya and Tanzania.

The lender has previously partnered with e-hailing service Uber to advance loans to drivers. The financial tech company used data from the taxi-hailing firm to grant loans to drivers who had high ratings and completed 500 trips.

Mobile-based lending has been steadily growing with telcos, banks and other players jostling for a share of borrowers.

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