We built Lendsqr to innovate affordable credit for all

3 min readMay 14, 2021

There’s no shortage of research to show how crucial consumer credit is to the average Nigerian and the economy as a whole. But we like to think of credit from how it affects people and it is often the one tool people use to deal with economic shocks.

In Nigeria, those economic shocks can be delayed salaries, rising food inflation or even the loss of a job. Sometimes credit is more proactive, it helps people to afford the expensive upfront payments for rent or make an investment in good education for their kids.

Yet credit is difficult to access because big banks know that there are easier ways to make money than consumer credit; why give N100,000 to 10,000 customers when you can give N1b to a single corporate client? It has fallen to innovative companies like Carbon, Fairmoney, QuickCheck, etc, to overcome most of the challenges associated with giving loans.

It has been a long and thankless journey for these companies and there’s no doubt that a few of them have made costly mistakes. Yet, what has differentiated them from the banks is that they are using technology to address these challenges.

But the technologies used by the established digital lenders are often expensive to build, even more, expensive to run. In addition to technology, these players also need the kind of expertise that money cannot always buy.

This is a significant barrier that smaller lenders cannot overcome.

Consider this; Fairmoney and Carbon, between themselves, disbursed over N60 billion in loans in 2020 alone., But we know that the market is way bigger and in the region of N74 trillion. Nigeria needs hundreds of Carbons and Fairmoneys to serve the addressable market.

But if the technology to help digital lenders remains expensive, and there isn’t any other way to scale lending without technology, then it wouldn’t be out of order to say that the market potentials would never be realized. And the growth of Nigeria, driven by accessible credit, may never happen as well.

Yet it is not all gloom. What if there was a cloud technology available to smaller lenders at a fraction of the cost? Instead of needing to build their proprietary technologies, this platform would allow lenders to serve millions of borrowers at scale. It would provide algorithms for scoring, channels for getting borrowers, integrations to the vast financial ecosystem…the whole nine yards.

We have seen the power of cloud and Software as a service (SaaS). Without the cloud and easy access to compute, successful startups like Paystack and Flutterwave wouldn’t exist.

At Lendsqr, we cracked the lending code

In 2020, we successfully pivoted to solve this problem and by September 2020, our first lenders started reaping the benefits of superior but cost-effective clouding lending at scale.

Lendsqr built a cloud lending ecosystem to make lending a breeze. We call it an ecosystem because it’s more than just technology. With powerful, automated features, you can provide streamlined loan experiences for your borrowers; and access bank data that inform loan decisions

With the Lendsqr ecosystem, every single loan granted or rejected, every fraud detected or prevented, makes life easier and better for every lender; the platform learns, becomes better, smarter. The lenders become more profitable.

And what we are doing isn’t rocket science. Think about it like this; when you flag a spam email in Gmail, billions of email boxes get protected — it’s community immunity for players who otherwise would have to learn the hard way about people they should not give loans to.

This kind of advantage is great for every lender. They don’t have to worry about size; with Lendsqr, there is no small player and everyone gets the kind of protection available to the biggest players.

We have cracked the lending code, now it’s time for you to take advantage of that