Nigerian digital freight and hauling company MVX has partnered with Nigeria-based artificial intelligence (AI)-driven SMB lending platform Payhippo to grow trade finance opportunities for companies across the region.
This partnership “looks to generate trade across Nigeria and create positive economic outcomes for Africa’s largest economy,” according to a Tech In Africa report. The goal is “to empower underserved SMEs with easy-yet-affordable collateral-free loans that look to supercharge their businesses and create economic opportunities for the company,” the report stated.
MVX and Payhippo have also advanced $12,000 in trade finance to a small Nigerian business. MVX Trade Finance Director Abdelmuizz Bello said the collaboration with Payhippo is “exactly where we want to be as a company.”
MVX has worked with more than 200 SMBs in manufacturing, oil and gas, construction, agriculture and power.
Payhippo recently raised $1 million in pre-seed funding, which it plans to use to hire more engineers and continue financing smaller businesses. The round was led by African tech investors such as Ventures Platform, Future Africa, Launch Africa and Sherpa Ventures, with participation from international investors Hustle Fund and Mercy Corps Ventures.
Payhippo has leveraged automated technology to grant loans quickly to customers and ensure efficient spending of lender capital. After a small businesses signs up for the platform, Payhippo evaluates its cash flow and business data to select a loan that is the best fit.
PYMNTS recently wrote that small business lending has looked to new ways of funding, particularly as government funding to counter the COVID-19 pandemic runs out. Sam Graziano, CEO of Linear Financial Technologies, has said the problem stems from an overabundance of caution among lenders. However, he also pointed out that businesses are likely to be more open to digital avenues because it worked with initiatives like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).