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The founders of ACE just launched an online-only lending platform for SMEs

The platform's first product is targeted at SMEs as a receivables based loan, which can be between $500 and $15,000.

Nigerian naira notes are seen in this picture illustration March 15, 2016.

From PayLater, Kopo Kopo, and the many other lending platforms in Africa, the savings and micro-lending space in Africa keeps expanding with new solutions popping up on a regular basis.

Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, co-founders of Africa Courier Express (ACE) have launched Lidya, a financial services platform that aims to make securing business loans easy for SMEs.

Lidya will help users of its platforms open accounts, save money, build credit profiles, and access credit to grow their businesses and handle short-term personal needs.

“In my experience, there are two clear barriers hindering the successful development of economies across Africa. ACE was founded to address the infrastructural challenges preventing companies from connecting with their customers. Lidya is our solution for the over 300 million consumers on the continent who have bank accounts but don’t have access to credit, trade finance and personal investing tools to grow their businesses and plan their futures,” says Kehinde.

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The platform's first product is targeted at SMEs as a receivables based loan, which can be between $500 and $15,000. The credit will be disbursed to the customers within 72 hours as opposed to the 6 months it would normally take were it a traditional bank.

According to Techmoran, Kehinde says that with 600 million mobile subscribers and close to 350 million people online, digital banking and finance is the future for Africa.

Lidya hopes to use huge technological advancements in machine learning and related technologies to industrialize the risk assessment process.

“We estimated the credit gap in Africa to be several hundred billion US dollars.  To unlock capital for customers that do not have access to credit; innovative forms of banking backed with world-class customer experience must be developed. Lidya is revolutionizing how risk is assessed, credit is disbursed and customers are banked,” said ACE and Lidya co-founder Ercin Eksin.

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Users will be able to open accounts within minutes, save securely and access the credit they need. Techmoran reports that the platform's credit scoring algorithm will help customers build credit profiles that are accepted across the world, which will, in turn, enable them unlock higher loan amounts, and better financing rates.

The fintech space is already getting quite clustered for the pace of Internet penetration in Africa, but we wait to see how Lidya hopes to revolutionise online lending.

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