After gaining a foothold in Eastern Europe in 2020, SME lending business, Lidya, has decided to close its operations in Poland and the Czech Republic, as it redirects its efforts towards the Nigerian market.
Co-founded by Jumia co-founder, Tunde Kehinde, the seven-year-old company has a particular focus on Lydia Collect, a loan recovery tool that initially served its in-house SME lending business but has since become a central element of Lidya’s new business direction.
Lidya Collect, developed on the foundation of Nigeria’s Global Standing Instruction (GSI) technology, serves as a tool for recovering loans. The GSI is a last-resort system that permits connected lenders to directly debit the accounts of loan defaulters in other banks. Lidya collaborated with the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to integrate Lidya Collect with the existing GSI infrastructure.
“Nigeria’s tech-savvy lending ecosystem is the ideal launchpad for our solutions, which support data-driven decision-making,” Kehinde, who also doubles as CEO of Lidya, remarked in a press statement.
In addition to Lidya Collect, the digital lender has introduced Lidya Bridge, a credit assessment offering launched in October 2023. Bridge utilises an analysis of 300 data points from borrowers’ bank statements to streamline the process of assessing new loan customers. Lidya plans to market Collect and Bridge to micro-finance institutions and other financial service providers, having already secured agreements with over 50 lenders and microfinance banks.
Lidya reports having analysed more than $50 billion of credit application data from around 100,000 potential customers. Since its establishment in 2016, the company has facilitated $150 million in funding for 32,500 small businesses. The strategic shift underscores Lidya’s commitment to leveraging its expertise in the Nigerian market to provide innovative and data-driven financial solutions.