Shika raises $1.1mn in seed round to build a game- changing mobile lending platform

We’re very excited to announce that Alternative Circle has secured $1.1mn in seed funding from Credit info for our lending product — Shika. This is amazing news for us, as many start-ups founders will agree when I say fundraising is hard, especially for entrepreneurs in Africa. Fundraising toughens up entrepreneurs and serves as an incredible learning experience that helps founders and their companies focus on the most important things.

This seed round will go into building Shika a robust mobile lending platform that aims to shake up the short term lending industry by prioritizing customer needs rather than just focusing on business goals.

Securing these funds is also a big win for creatives, particularly UX in Kenya because we are the first design-led Kenyan startup to secure such funding. It gives confidence to other design-led start-ups to raise funds and I hope this will improve UX maturity in Kenya.

Our mission to shake up the mobile lending industry

Since we started developing Shika in March 2016 it has been our mission to change the way lenders treat short-term lending customers. Shika will provide users fast, low-interest short-term loans.

Our key differentiators are;

Customer centric: We are obsessively customer focused, we believe customers will always want something better than our best effort, and it’s our desire to delight customers by listening to their feedback, observing them and constantly engaging with them that is driving us to invent on their behalf.

Lending algorithm: We use psychometric scoring to evaluate our user’s risk profile, it has been established there’s a strong connection between an individual’s personality type and their likely behavior with a credit product.

Progressive higher loan limits: Our credit ranking profile rewards good credit payments with predictable progressive higher loan limits which enable our users to plan for their future credit needs.

Transparency: We are very transparent with our customers for example, all the credit costs are explained to users before taking credit, our ranking is explained to our users on how they can increase their limits and we engage with our users a lot to know their individual credit needs and personalize their credit because we understand everyone has a unique personality and credit needs

The road ahead

As an early stage start-up we are looking to drafting a bigger and stronger team that will create a great lending experience for our users and scale Shika to other markets.

At Shika we believe innovation is achieved by ‘failing fast’ — experimenting, measuring, iterating and learning from our mistakes. If that’s an environment you feel you want to work in, then we are hiring.

We are looking for a visual designer with competency in interaction design and UI design. We are also searching for 4 senior android engineers and a data scientist to join our technical team.

Join us as we create a great experience for our users!

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