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Israeli fintech co Fido raises $30m for African expansion

Israeli Ghana-based fintech company Fido has completed a $30 million Series A financing round led by Fortissimo Capital and with the participation of Yard Ventures and other private investors. This brings to $38 million, the total amount raised by the company to date.

Fido was founded in 2016 by president Nadav Topolski (chairman of Reshet Channel 13), Tomer Edry and Nir Zepkowitz to make financial services more accessible in locations where there are few banks. The company identified that the absence of access to financial services as a major obstacle for entrepreneurship and economic growth in developing countries in Africa. Fido claims that in those countries the banking systems are complicated, slow, bureaucratic and inefficient meaning that few people have access to basic financial services like obtaining loans, savings and payments. Fido is attempting to change all this through automating the customer experience and will soon launch new products to help customers improve their economic and financial management.

Fido CEO Alon Eitan said, “We are building a new financial culture in Africa. We are not only talking about accessibility to financial services but also making them better – faster, simpler and transparent, and that is only the start.”

Fido has built an automatic banking platform (based on machine learning models) with unique risk management models, which process hundreds of thousands of data points in real time with credit insights as well as estimating risks and identifying fraud. These enable immediate credit decisions to be made even if customers have no previous financial records or access to banks. The app is even available in regions with no bank branches. In addition, Fido will work in the future to instruct customers in keeping their credit record over time.

To date Fido has provided services to 340,000 customers throughout Africa and extended 1.5 million loans worth $150 million. Market sources believe that the company will generate revenue of $10 million in 2022 and ende the year with double the number of customers than it has at present. Fido’s main market is Ghana and at the start of the year it also entered Uganda. Plans are to start operating in South Africa and Fido also has a license to work in the Philippines and is examining potential operations in other markets.

Eitan said that until a year ago, Fido operated in stealth. “The company built the product and nobody has really heard of our activities. Then the entrepreneurs understood that they have a great product in their hands, both in terms of the size of the relevant market and its financial performance. So they brought me in and the rest of the management team.”

The company’s president Nadav Topolski is seen as a protégé of Channel 13 controlling shareholder Len Blavatnik. Fido has 70 employees including 25 in Israel and the rest in Africa. The Israel team will increase to 40 by the end of the year and 60 by the end of 2023.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on June 21, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.


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