Cape Town-based startup, Lulalend has announced that it has secured a $35 million (~R600 million) Series B round, led by Lightrock.
The round included participation from investors including DEG, Triodos Investment Management, and Women’s World Banking Asset Management and existing investors including IFC and Quona Capital.
Founded in 2014, Lulalend is South Africa’s first online provider of funding for SMEs. It markets itself as a digital lender with completely flexible repayment terms.
The fintech startup offers loans of R10,000 (~$576) to R5,000,000 (~$57,630) to small and medium-sized businesses that are often unable to obtain working capital. To date, Lulalend has disbursed billions of rand to SMEs across South Africa.
Its standout feature is the company’s digital-first approach, alongside its proprietary credit-scoring algorithm that enables it to distribute funds in hours to SMEs as opposed to the weeks or months it takes traditional lenders.
Lulalend’s customer offering has recently grown to encompass a neo-banking proposition named Lula, built in partnership with Access Bank.
Lulalend says the new capital will help to increase the size of its loan book, bring new solutions to market and invest in the technology and talent to accelerate the rollout of the company’s new digital business banking platform.
Previous rounds by the company include a $3.5 million Series A round in June 2019 and a $7 million unspecified round in December 2021.