Dubai, 6 February 2024 - EMURGO Africa, the Africa and Middle East-focused venture arm of EMURGO, the official commercial arm and a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain, today announced its strategic investment in Fig Finance, a US-incorporated company operating across Africa, the EU and US, bringing innovative financial solutions to underserved small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This partnership signifies a major step towards democratizing access to capital for trade across Africa, whilst also establishing a model which will be replicated in other geographies.
Across various African nations, traditional banking systems are unable to serve the needs of creditworthy small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Traditional banks generally don’t have access to credit data of would-be borrowers, and even when they do, the infrastructure needed to access large pools of SME borrowers has been inadequate. This creates a huge opportunity for those who do have access to SMEs and their data.
Fig’s founders have proven that they have the access needed to take advantage of this opportunity - their business model leverages the networks of institutional lenders they’ve built up during their time as CEOs of emerging market banks and founders of (and advisors to) the largest tech companies in Africa. Demonstrating an ability to disburse loans instantly to hundreds of small-businesses per day, with zero defaults, in partnership with the largest B2B platforms in the world, Fig is positioned as the most efficient and transparent access point for real-world DeFi lending in Africa and beyond.
"At EMURGO Africa, we are passionate about driving financial inclusion and empowering African communities on the Cardano blockchain," said Ahmed M. Amer, CEO of EMURGO Africa. "By investing in Fig, we are not only supporting a pioneering fintech company but also contributing to the development of a robust DeFi ecosystem that empowers SMEs and fuels sustainable economic growth across the continent."
Oscar Price, CEO of Fig, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, saying, "We are thrilled to join forces with EMURGO Africa and enable capital to flow from DeFi, to creditworthy businesses, with full line of sight and real time reporting that has not previously existed.”
Akinseye Akinola, CFO of Fig, commented “SMEs globally have been perennially underserved by traditional lenders, oftentimes losing valuable trading time and money as a result of lenders’ cumbersome and non-transparent processes - we’re excited to have built technology that solves this problem and can be deployed by our distribution partners with no coding required.”
"EMURGO Africa's investment in Fig is a testament to its commitment to fostering a thriving DeFi ecosystem in Africa. Through partnerships like this, EMURGO Africa empowers African entrepreneurs, unlocks new avenues for economic growth, and paves the way for a more inclusive and prosperous future for the continent."
About EMURGO Africa
EMURGO Africa is the commercial arm of Cardano in Africa, focused on accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology across the continent. By building partnerships and supporting the development of a vibrant DeFi ecosystem, EMURGO Africa empowers individuals and businesses to unlock the full potential of blockchain.
About Fig Finance
Fig Finance’s technology allows any B2B platform to automate lending programmes for their trusted small-business customers - this allows B2B companies to focus on their core business, whilst also creating a new revenue stream. Fig is chosen by leading B2B platforms because its technology is quick to deploy, white labelled, and flexible. Institutional lenders partner with Fig for scaled pipeline, end-to-end automation, and real-time monitoring.