London, 06 July 2016: Ovamba Cameroon Solutions [“Ovamba”], an online African funding and logistics services provider for SMEs (small and medium sized businesses), today announces partnerships with two investors, Crowdcredit and Courtyard Capital. The partnership highlights the commitment of all three companies to unlocking the potential of SMEs in Africa.
According to the World Bank, Africa suffers from a credit gap of over $360bn, and SMEs struggle to access the capital needed to scale their businesses and create further employment. Ovamba provides a simple solution to this problem in the form of a mobile app and online platform. SMEs can apply for capital online, and using the advanced due diligence and risk management software Ovamba is able to make an initial decision within 24 hours.
To achieve Ovamba’s mission to close the credit gap and unlock the consumer market for SMEs, Crowdcredit has already committed €800k over the past six weeks, and Courtyard Capital has the scope to invest up to €500k in the first year.
Viola Llewellyn, Co-Founder of Ovamba, said “We are delighted that Crowdcredit and Courtyard Capital have recognised Ovamba’s potential. Demand for capital by SMEs is growing quickly, and it is vital that we can meet that demand. With these investments we can service more SMEs than ever, stimulating growth across the country”.
The new investments will be used to finance transactions in Cameroon and support the development of the platform in South Africa and expansion into other markets.
Llewellyn continued, “Cameroon is only the first step for us. The continued support of Crowdcredit and Courtyard Capital will allow us to break into new markets such as Kenya and Nigeria, as well as developing our operations in South Africa”.
Crowdcredit is a cross-border marketplace lending platform, connecting borrowers and lenders on a global scale. Courtyard Capital Group is a private UK and US based advisory and investor group focussed on the fintech sector. Both investors realised the potential in Cameroon’s SME market.
Commenting on the announcement, Masahiko Yoda, Head of Investment of Crowdcredit added “It is great for Japanese investors to gain access to alternative investment opportunities in Africa. The partnership between Ovamba and Crowdcredit enables Japanese investors to enjoy investment contributions from African trade finance whilst stimulating economic growth in the continent. As Ovamba has outstanding expertise in local legal requirements, business practice, and customs, we strongly believe that it is the best local partner in this region”.
Mark Gunton, Managing Director of Courtyard Capital noted that “Ovamba adds a low correlation asset to our platform portfolio and introduces our investors to a long term partnership which fosters SME growth in West Africa”.
NOTES TO THE EDITORS
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3745 4971 Tel: +44 (0) 20 3745 4963
Adeline Sede, Ovamba
Ovamba is an online African SME funding and logistics services provider in Africa. Set up in 2013 by Co-Founders Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole, Ovamba was created to meet the market demand for business finance in Cameroon by bridging the divide between SMEs and lending institutions. SMEs comprise over 90% of Africa’s economic fabric yet only c.30% of its GDP, largely due to severely limited access to capital: there is currently estimated to be a $368 billion small business credit gap across Africa.
Ovamba has disbursed €10.5 million ($12 million) to SMEs which signals a transaction volume increase of tenfold from 2014 figures. Customers typically operate businesses in consumables, electronics, fast moving goods, non-perishables, spare parts, automotive and logistics. Ovamba is sharia compliant.
Crowdcredit, Inc. is a financial crowdfunding platform. It was founded in January 2013 to fill funding gaps and lending gaps on a global basis by connecting borrowers and lenders around the world. Crowdcredit endeavours to offer its customers both social return and economic return through its business activities.
As of June 2016, Crowdcredit has raised and mobilised more than 60 funds from Japanese investors, amounting to over JPY 840 million for European, Latin American, and African borrowers.
About Courtyard Capital:
Courtyard Capital Group is a private UK and US based advisory and investor group focussed on the fintech sector.