Rubyx, a Belgian start-up has set up a lending-as-a-service platform to facilitate access to digital lending products for small and mid-sized companies (SMEs) present in developing countries. Rubyx has just completed a fundraising round that will allow it to add credit management services to non-financial institutions to its toolkit. This is a first.
60% of emerging market countries’ GDP is generated by SMEs working in the informal economy. And yet, only 15% of them have access to credit in the formal economy. Most of them have to rely on other types of credit that are at times hard to obtain and, what’s worse, highly risky. This is a crucial point for SMEs which constitute the economic fabric of these countries.
Denis Moniotte, CEO of Rubyx: “We are in geographical areas where there is extremely little lending to private business. Banks don’t play their role. That’s why we wanted to use technology and new business models to ensure economic inclusiveness and access to credit”.
With more than 15 years of experience in finance in Africa, Moniotte hopes that Rubyx will make a real difference in the economies there. “We’re not into giving people faster access to the latest fashionable sneakers. What we’re doing is helping SMEs that have a true need for money to operate and expand. If they don’t get it, they will have little impact on economic growth. We have to give everyone a chance to work by giving them access to capital.
Whether on our European market or elsewhere in the world, lending as a service is still underused, especially in Africa. Banks are the only ones who can lend but don’t have the digital capacities to address the market. With its marketplace, Rubyx wants to fill this gap between financial institutions and digital platforms by exploiting the data they generate to identify which customers are creditworthy and to push digital lending offerings under the wing of financial institutions.