Platform Capital invests in SoLo Funds, an innovative peer-to-peer financing platform in the USA
Lagos and Los Angeles, April 14, 2021: Platform Capital (“Platform”), a leading investor in emerging markets, is pleased to announce its investment in and partnership with SoLo Funds Inc. (“SoLo”), an innovative and proprietary peer-to-peer financing platform based in the US, which has revolutionized the access to and delivery of short-term funding for individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses.
Twenty-five percent of Americans have no or inadequate bank accounts, while 80% of American workers live on paychecks and do not have sufficient savings to cover unforeseen expenses. In addition, implicit and explicit biases mean that women and people of color are three times more likely to have their loan applications turned down. As a result, they are left with no other options and fall prey to payday lenders, where a small loan can accumulate over 400% APR, trapping them in a debt cycle.
SoLo replaces payday lenders with a community-based, market-driven model of access to short-term funding for individuals. Through its community, individuals can access funds between $ 50 and $ 1,000 for up to 2 weeks, delivered within hours through a simple and unapproved sign-up process based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The platform connects users directly and determines a SoLo score based on repayment ability, spending habits, payment frequency, behavioral data and location-related data. No fees or compound interest is paid to SoLo or the member of the community providing the funds, avoiding the debt trap common with traditional short-term credit.
Since the start in 2018, the SoLo community has grown to over 300,000 users. The company has adopted its model heavily in states with large populations and high cost of living. In the past 12 months, the SoLo community has seen more than 2,000% growth, introduced a new “Lender Protection Service” product feature that secures the funded amount in the event of a default, and has partnered with Kiva to help entrepreneurs and business owners between 1,000 and $ 15,000.
SoLo Fund’s mission is to replace payday lenders with a community-based, market-driven model for individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses to access finance. The company has raised $ 10 million led by international investors including ACME Capital, Impact America Fund, Techstars, Endeavor Catalyst and CEAS Investments to further develop its technology, grow its team and expand in the US.
Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of Platform Capital, will join the board as an observer and advisor.
Rodney Williams, Co-Founder of SoLo Funds Inc., said, “We are excited to partner with Platform Capital and look forward to expanding our services to Africa. This partnership enables us to realize our vision of being the leading provider of funds for people and businesses in need. We believe our platform will certainly influence and transform the discussion in Africa about business and individual access to money. “
Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of Platform Capital, said, “We are proud to partner with SoLo Funds. Access to money is a problem that affects millions of people around the world. We believe SoLo’s alternative approach to access to funds will impact millions of lives and position them as an innovative disruptor in the finance space. We look forward to working with SoLo Funds to scale their innovative solutions to positively impact people’s lives. “
About SoLo Funds Inc.
SoLo Funds is an online community where members can apply for and fund short-term needs. SoLo was founded in 2018 with the aim of providing an alternative to short-term loans that was non-predatory, simple, and community-oriented. Since then, they have processed over 100,000 loans and redefined lending for more than 300,000 users. Today they are being driven to new heights, but with the same hope and mission: to build a community that allows financial autonomy for all.
About platform capital
Platform Capital is a sector-independent main investment and consulting company geared towards growth markets. We deploy patient, value-adding capital together with international and local value investors to create top companies with the potential for regional or global reach. The platform also offers tailor-made end-to-end advisory services for corporate finance and capital markets. What sets us apart is our obsession with changing the African narrative.