South African digital lender Lulalend has announced that it has secured a $35 million (~R600 million) Series B round, led by Lightrock with participation from investors including DEG, Triodos Investment Management, and Women’s World Banking Asset Management. Existing investors including The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Quona Capital also took part.
In a statement, the startup said that the funding will be used to service the surging demand for the fast access to working capital the company offers businesses and also accelerate the rollout of Lula, its digital banking offering for SMEs.
Lula will offer a bank account specifically tailored for SMEs, an AI-driven cash flow management tool and real-time access to funding via Lulalend’s existing funding solutions.
“We believe that Lula will be a game changer for South African small business owners, enabling them to manage their entire cash flow from one highly intuitive digital platform. Simplifying their lives, saving time and allowing them to focus on growing their business,” said Lulalend co-founder and CEO, Trevor Gosling.
“Above all else, we’re determined to ensure that this investment ultimately benefits the more than 2 million formal and informal SMEs in South Africa whose financial needs remain grossly underserved,” he added.
Lulalend offers loans of R10,000 (~$576) to R5,000,000 (~$57,630) to small businesses online. The fintech markets itself as a digital lender with completely flexible repayment terms. It raised a $3.5 million Series A round in June 2019 and a $7 million unspecified round in December 2021.