SC Ventures, Standard Chartered Bank’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Yabx, a company incubated by Comviva and part of the Mahindra Group, to address a deep-rooted need for responsible consumer finance in Africa.
Africa has over 700 million mobile wallets, and about 450 million bank accounts but access to formal credit remain severely constrained due to poor credit infrastructure and the slowly evolving risk appetite of financial services players, especially traditional banks. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitization in the financial sector and created a fertile environment for new and disruptive products to be taken to the market. The partnership between SC Ventures and Yabx is leveraging on this to create unique, Africa-specific products that will increase access of credit to the underbanked across Africa.
Nimble future-ready technology, data analytics combined with a deep understanding of banking will reduce the cost of delivery of innovative credit products, thereby widening inclusion across underserved segments in Africa where it is needed most. Given the scale and the complexity of the opportunity, SC Ventures and Yabx have taken a collaborative approach to jointly address the challenge. Loans will be provided to customers for specific purposes like education and skill development using an innovative data-driven scoring and analytics engine that has been built with rich experience from African markets. These loan products will be initially launched in Uganda and then subsequently expanded to other countries in Africa.
Jiten Arora, Member SC Ventures said: “We are excited at the prospect of using a data-driven, technology-enabled partnership model to serve the underbanked through purpose-driven loans in Africa, a continent for which we have a deep understanding and a strong commitment towards.”
Manoranjan Mohapatra, the CEO at Comviva, commented: “Yabx has seen exponential growth over the past one year, and we will continue to invest in its mission to serve millions of consumers and MSMEs in emerging markets who have limited traditional sources of funding available to them.”
Rajat Dayal, the CEO at Yabx, said: “We have a lot of synergy with SC Ventures in Africa and together we are uniquely positioned to create a seamless embedded finance experience. This partnership further bridges the gaps in the current market, driving digital innovations and bringing significant benefits to the underserved population of Africa.”
SC Ventures is a business unit that provides a platform and catalyst for Standard Chartered to promote innovation, invest in disruptive financial technology, and explore alternative business models.
Yabx, a fintech headquartered in Netherlands, aims at simplifying financial access to New to Credit (NTC) and Thin-file customers and MSMEs in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Yabx is operating in over 20 markets worldwide and have scored over 100 million customers.
The company has been recognized as the “Best BNPL Platform” at the Global Fintech Fest 2022 and has also won the title of “Lendtech of the Year” at the Asia Fintech Awards 2022. Yabx was selected to solve the issue of savings disparity in the Solomon Islands out of several players competing at the UNCDF Pacific Island Fintech Innovation Challenge’22 while also being one of the finalists at MWC Barcelona and GSMA Glomo Awards’23 for being the most innovative fintech platform.