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Lagos, Nigeria

Tyms Africa provides instant microcredit for microbusinesses (petty traders or mom-and-pop shops) in Nigeria and East Africa within 6 hours without the need for collateral, bank statement, internet or worrisome KYCs.  Tyms Africa makes this possible with 100% repayment and funds pool from the community by digitizing the centuries-old rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA) which has been the primary hope of these businesses as banks and other financial institutions have put more priorities on corporate employees and high-income businesses. 

Tyms Africa leverages existing thrift collectors (traditional ROSCA operators) and mobile money agents in different communities to carry out efficient grass-root KYC on members while also helping them digitize their existing operation which doesn’t give room for growth and expansion.

Unfair Advantage, Problem & Competition 

Running small and medium-scale enterprises in Nigeria is the most difficult thing because of the harsh economic environment. It is as a result of the harsh economic environment that many Small and Medium Scale Enterprises collapse or are operating on the margins. The increasing demand for consumer products has created a large market for small and medium enterprises in the country.

However, a major challenge facing small and medium enterprise operators is a lack of finance. Lack of capital has been identified as the most serious problem in establishing and running small and medium enterprises as other problems can be solved with adequate capital.

Most MSMEs do not run their transactions through the bank system which jeopardizes their credibility and credit scoring. Today, banks and fintech companies are increasingly putting focus towards offering credit to corporate employees and also people with good credit scoring with zero to no focus on the 76 million underserved Nigerians in the MSME category.

Their Solution

1. Micro-credit: MSMEs rotating savings on Tyms get access to credit backed by other community members through an early collection in a group.

2. Facilitate traditional thrift collectors and cooperatives: A SaaS platform (Tyms agent app) developed for traditional operators in the community to help process transactions, keep transaction records and handle grass-root KYC of members. This proves to enhance members' trust and credibility checks, while also creating job opportunities in the thrift collection niche.

3. Credit scoring: Building credit scores for MSMEs while also reporting credit to the credit bureau.

4. Financial data record: Building a large database for the MSMEs transactions outside of the banking system to further enhance their credibility before other institutions.

Market Opportunity 

With $60B worth of transactions processed outside the banking system in Nigeria between January to November 2021 (CBN), and over 400,000 existing thrift collectors and mobile money agents in the country. With a low customer acquisition cost well structured credit operation based on the team’s months of experience learning and iterating the best approach for market entry and dominance. Tyms Africa charges a 3.33% to 6.66% fee monthly on credit collections made by customers as business revenue. Tyms Africa aims to play actively in the big micro business credit offering opportunity market in Nigeria and Africa at large through the digitization of ROSCA.


1. Ibrahim Adepoju (CEO & Co-Founder); Worked previously as a Web Developer at Deep K. Tyagi Foundation Nigeria, Founded Aitechma a software development and consultancy company where he serviced organizations like Sterling Assets Management and Trustees, Lakinberg LLC, Zabira, Grip, and many other startups and organizations. 

2. Chineye Ochem (COO & Co-Founder); Worked previously as Senior Associate at PwC Nigeria, and Senior Consultant at SAPRO.