Pakistani Fintech startup Creditfix has announced that it has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by the venture capital fund, Insitor Partners Pte. Ltd.
The Singapore-based impact investment firm confirmed this as their inaugural investment into Pakistan.
The landmark deal is the first-of-its-kind in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem, marking the first-ever convertible loan financing from an international investor into a Pakistani company to be approved by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The unsecured convertible loan facility also has onboard local investors, ACT Group, and High Net Worth (HNW) individuals. The financing arrangement was announced on June 16, 2021, in Karachi, in the presence of representatives from Creditfix, Insitor Partners, Deosai Ventures, and ACT Group. Creditfix has also been assisted by StratLink, an emerging markets-focused financial advisory company.
With over 100 million people in Pakistan remaining unbanked, Creditfix was founded in 2018 to offer conventional and Shariah-based lending solutions and financial services, particularly targeting Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME).
By adopting new technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to reduce the operating cost of disbursing loans, Creditfix utilizes its mobile application platform to underwrite and extend asset-backed, productive loans, starting from USD 60 to USD 6000.
The CEO and Founder of Creditfix, Owais Zaidi, while highlighting the significance of the deal structure, which promises to open more foreign funding avenues in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem said, “We are happy to work with our investors that share our vision of profitability with responsibility and are geared up to show our Risk at Scale ™ framework in action in Pakistan and East African market.”
Hammad Umer, the Pakistan Country Manager for Insitor Partners, a majority female-owned firm, said, “We believe CreditFix’s underwriting model can help transform how credit is delivered to micro and small entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. Our goal is to pave the way for cheaper, faster and equitable access to finance for all strata of society”.
He said, “The SBP has been instrumental in making this deal possible by granting special permission, which sets the ground for more foreign convertible loan transactions in the future. We are looking forward to announcing more investments into the ecosystem.”
Umer has been working closely with Creditfix to implement several impact indicators and ESG frameworks to validate and track their progress.
Nicholas Lazos, the Chief Investment Officer of Insitor, said, “Creditfix reinforces our long term commitment to Pakistan and is the first of many more investments into impactful businesses in the Country. We’re pleased to back a high quality team and their innovative approach to provide financial services to the masses.”
Shehryar Hydri, Managing Partner at Deosai Ventures, said, “Creditfix is the only Fintech that combines a field-tested proprietary credit scoring model and technology platform with deep knowledge of the consumer lending space. Their team has a unique founder market fit and we’re excited to help them scale during a historic boom for this sector.”
One of the most pressing areas when it comes to financial inclusion in Pakistan is the gender gap, with Pakistan recently ranked 153/156 on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2021.
Mehvish Owais, Creditfix’s spokesperson and shareholder said, “Our like-minded investors are cementing Creditfix’s mission to empower women in Pakistan through employment creation. Promoting responsible lending rates will pave the way for other Fintechs in the country and abroad to do the same.”
CreditFix is a Pakistan-based Fintech company founded in 2018. The company seeks to provide a financial identity and financial services to the unbanked population, with the aim of addressing the finance gap of millions of SMEs in the country – thereby promoting financial inclusion.
Insitor Partners is a Singapore-based impact investment firm with a mission to invest in pioneering entrepreneurs in emerging Asian markets that are serving the next billion consumers in low-income communities.