Akin Jones quit his job as Head of Investment Banking Group at a financial services company to start Aella Credit. Aella Credit is an online platform that enables people to access loans instantly. Akin holds a degree from Howard University in Washington DC, USA. He also attended the famous Kings College, Lagos.
Faith History interviewed Akin Jones more than a year ago. Here are the major takeaway from the interview:
Akin Jones: Aella Credit Rewards Its Customers To Borrow More
Five years of market data drive the lending platform. Better borrowers were identified using the data. Borrowers get rewarded for the loans they request for. The organization rewards borrowers in order to get them to request more loans. The startup not only provides the platform they also provide the loans. This is as opposed to partnering with lending companies. The goal according to Mr. Jones, as at a year ago, is to get lending companies on the platform in the nearest future. This will make Aella Credit a marketplace of lenders and not just a lender.
The platform is integrated with the major credit bureaus in Nigeria. This allows Aella Credit analyze the debt to income profile of prospective borrowers, social demographic information etc. It is tough to get a loan from the startup according to Mr. Jones. Prospective borrowers must scale eighty percent of its verification process.
Akin Jones: Aella Credit Didn’t Do Any Marketing When They Launched
Many of Aella Credit’s customers were based in Lagos as at the time of its pilot. During this time it partnered with about twelve companies in Nigeria. The partner companies gave them access to about five hundred thousand borrowers. The additional borrowers they acquired were people who applied on their website. They didn’t have to do any marketing as there was high demand for their product. Essentially, everybody needs money! The startup gave out a thousand loans within six months of launching the platform. The value of the loans given out at the time was $800,000.
Akin Jones: Loans Are A Fundamental Human Right
Their analytics revealed that the greatest need for loans were housing, healthcare and education. Mr. Jones believes that loans are a fundamental human right. Consequently, there should be the creation of platforms that make it easier to access them. The startup is working with tech developers to ensure their processes are more seamless. At the time of the interview, they were planning to launch their mobile app. Looks like they have achieved that goal already. The startup has even gone on to attract more funding.
According to Mr. Jones, if you want to start an online solution, you either need to get a technical co-founder or a consultant. As regarding people who inspire him, he mentioned the team at Venture Garden Group, Tayo Oviosu and Abiola Olaniran of Gamsole. In Mr. Jones’ view Abiola proves that local talent can achieve great things if given the same opportunity as foreign talent.
Need an instant loan? You might want to check out Aella Credit. Don’t forget to listen to the full interview here. Do share this article with your friends and colleagues because there is love in sharing.