liwwa, an Amman-based fintech start-up and a peer-to-peer lending platform, announced the issuance of over $11 million in debt to small businesses across more than 300 loans since its inception. liwwa was founded in 2013, but began to operate in 2015 with the aim to offer simple financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its digital lending marketplace. The marketplace connects businesses in need of capital to individual and institutional lenders looking to generate returns on their investments. Today, liwwa lends approximately $1m a month.
SMEs in the MENA region struggle with access to capital. The shortage of credit histories and high transactions costs are among the factors prohibiting traditional financial intermediaries from adequately serving the SME segment. liwwa facilitates SME funding by leveraging its digital platform and credit analytics engine to streamline the loan application, credit assessment and funding processes.
Following the announcement, Ahmed Moor, liwwa’s co-founder and CEO, said, “liwwa was founded to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses because we believe in the power of SMEs to improve economic conditions, generate income and create jobs. Reaching the $11 million lending milestone demonstrates the market’s demand for our services and shows the potential for innovative fintech companies to bridge the MENA region’s capital access gap. Over the next few months, liwwa will continue to invest in its growth to facilitate SME lending and provide investors with access to a new asset class with superior investment returns.’’
He further added, “liwwa’s innovative approach to addressing operational challenges, our commitment to using data to drive business decisions, our strong focus on customer service, and the company’s commitment to its accomplished and diverse team all point towards a company capable of becoming a regional pioneer for SME lending.”
Currently, liwwa serves SME borrowers in Jordan, and will extend its coverage to other parts of the MENA region in the near future. liwwa is available to investors in the MENA region and Southeast Asia.