This South African just raised over R3bn in a fintech funding round

Cameron Stevens, founder and CEO of Prodigy Finance was an INSEAD graduate who experienced difficulties financing an international MBA – his response was to start Prodigy Finance in the UK before he brought it back home to South Africa.

His international fintech platform that has developed the world’s first borderless credit model, just raised R3.19 billion or $242 million. This includes a R532 million Series C equity round led by venture capital firm Index Ventures, with participation from Balderton Capital and AlphaCode; and a R2.66 billion debt facility led by a global investment bank.

The company, which has 126 staff across offices in London, Cape Town, and New York, offers loans to postgraduate students accepted into business, engineering, law and public policy degrees at the world’s top universities, such as Harvard, Oxford, INSEAD and the University of Cape Town. Since it was established in 2007, the company has provided more than 7,100 students over R4.32 billion in funding. The business expects to lend to 20,000 customers by the end of 2018.

This fundraise marks the firm’s tenth anniversary, and will help the UK-headquartered company expand its operations and create highly skilled jobs in its subsidiary locations – Cape Town and New York offices.

Prodigy Finance’s unique global credit model assesses applicants based on projected earnings rather than historical credit, allowing the company to provide funding to students without collateral, a cosigner or guarantor. To date, more than 80 per cent of its borrowers have had no alternative access to financing. It also enables qualified investors, and the alumni of top schools, to help fund students from their alma mater or home country, while earning a financial return.

Stevens hails from Cape Town. He noticed that students from emerging markets were particularly disadvantaged in financing their education at leading universities, and that banks were unable to assist.

Stevens said: “We’re excited about this investment as it will help us double the size of our student portfolio. We saw a market failure in international lending and have spent the last decade rectifying this problem. Our business model and the schools we work with have also allowed us to build a talented team of experts, including our tech professionals and programmers in Cape Town. We believe in financial inclusion and talent mobility, and look forward to continuing to help international students break the funding barrier and further their education at a top school.”

Farai Mwamuka, a Zimbabwean who worked for a number of years in South Africa, needed funding for his 18-month MBA at London Business School, which costs almost R1.28 million in tuition fees alone. He cites the exchange rate as a major issue affecting his budget.

Mwamuka explains: “It’s tough to get financing especially for MBA courses of this magnitude. Prodigy Finance fills a gap that students from developing countries need.”

Dominique Collett, Head of AlphaCode, the fintech investment arm of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings, said: “Prodigy Finance has a truly differentiated business model solving a real customer need, and is powered by a talented team – it is one of the leading lights of international fintech.”

  • With additional reporting by Prodigy Finance

Related Content

Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases As of 26 May 2020, 9am EAT

Central (12,167 cases; 343 deaths; 3,226 recoveries): Burundi (42; 1; 20),Cameroon (4,890; 165; 1,865), Central African Republic (652; 1; 22), Chad (687; 61; 244), Congo (487; 16; 147), DRC (2,297; 67; 337), Equatorial Guinea (719; 7; 22), Gabon (2,135; 14; 562), Sao Tome & Principe (258; 11; 7) Eastern (12,809; 349; 3,409): Comoros (87; 1; 21), Djibouti (2,468; 14; 1,079), Eritrea (39; 0; 39), Ethiopia (655; 5; 159), Kenya (1,286; 52; 402), Madagascar (542; 2; 147), Mauritius (334; 10; 322),

Coronavirus – African Union Member States (54) reporting COVID-19 cases (112,290) deaths (3,359), and recoveries (44,920)

African Union Member States (54) reporting COVID-19 cases (112,290) deaths (3,359), and recoveries (44,920) by region: Central (11,906 cases; 340 deaths; 3,094 recoveries): Burundi (42; 1; 20), Cameroon (4,890; 165; 1,865), Central African Republic (604; 1; 22), Chad (675; 60; 215), Congo (487; 16; 147), DRC (2,297; 67; 337), Equatorial Guinea (719; 7; 22), Gabon (1,934; 12; 459), Sao Tome & Principe (258; 11; 7). Eastern (12,291; 332; 3,295): Comoros (87; 1; 21), Djibouti (2,270; 10; 1,064

Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 update, 24 May 2020

Download logoHighlights of the situation report Two (2) new recoveries were reported from Harare. 282 RDT screening tests and 219 PCR diagnostic tests were done. The cumulative number of tests done to date is 37039 (21484 RDT and 15555 PCR). To date the total number of confirmed cases remains at 56; recovered 25, active cases 27 and 4 deaths, since the onset of the outbreak on 20 March 2020. Number of Tests Done Number of Confirmed Cases Number R

Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases As of 25 May 2020, 9am EAT

Central (11,416 cases; 334 deaths; 3,051 recoveries): Burundi (42; 1; 20),Cameroon (4,400; 159; 1,822), Central African Republic (604; 1; 22), Chad (675; 60; 215), Congo (487; 16; 147), DRC (2,297; 67; 337), Equatorial Guinea (719; 7; 22), Gabon (1,934; 12; 459), Sao Tome & Principe (258; 11; 7) Eastern (12,189; 332; 3,283): Comoros (87; 1; 21), Djibouti (2,270; 10; 1,064), Eritrea (39; 0; 39), Ethiopia (582; 5; 152), Kenya (1,214; 51; 383), Madagascar (527; 2; 142), Mauritius (334; 10; 322),

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

In conversation with Ethiopia’s first female president

In this CNBC Africa Special, Forbes Africa Editor Renuka Methil, speaks to a leader who made history as the first female president of Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. President Sahle-Work Zewde is currently the only serving female head of state in Africa and in October, will complete two years in office....

How e-commerce is transforming SA’s liquor industry amid COVID-19 lock-down

South African’s were able to quench their thirst from Monday, after the 2 month alcohol ban was lifted under level 3 lock-down regulations. Liquor stores across the country opened their doors to eager customers who are able to buy alcohol in stores and online in the limited days of Monday to Thursday. Jonah Naidoo, Co-Owner of the Boutique liquor store Dry Dock joins CNBC Africa for more.

Is there space for specialty items in post-Covid-19 Rwanda?

The Kigali Farmers and Artistans Market is a monthly event which brings over 250 independent vendors together to create a shopping opportunity for items such as handmade art, clothing and accessories; juices, natural cosmetics, artisanal food items, and fresh produce. By now the event should not only have expanded to Mombasa, but this month would've been their 3 year anniversary. Now with over 2 months out of commission, what have they done to survive? And will there be a market for what they offer when they return? Kigali Farmers and Artistans Market Founder, Florence Mwashimba joins CNBC Africa for more.

Nokanda becomes first locally made App to rank #1 on Google Play Store Rwanda

This week, Made in Rwanda cashless payment app, Nokanda, a product of software company, Hexacomb; rose to the number one spot on Google Play Store’s, “Top Free” category in Rwanda. The ranking, which often belongs to social media giants such as, WhatsApp and Facebook reflects a change in priorities for mobile users in the country. CNBC Africa spoke to Ernest Kayinamura, founder and CEO of the company for more.

Partner Content

Sanlam Emerging Markets and its partners on the African continent invest over $12 million to fight COVID-19

As we go through this global pandemic together, it is the little things we miss. A high five, a handshake, a walk...

VIVO CEO is a dynamic leader for this innovative global brand

May 2020 -- Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to...

Trending Now

Zedcrest Capital CEO on COVID-19, debt sustainability & Nigeria’s economic future

Nigeria’s National Assembly has approved the $5.5 billion external loan request of the executive arm of government to fund the country's budget deficit. While addressing the revised Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, the lawmakers raised the oil price benchmark to $28 per barrel from the $25. Dayo Amzat, Managing Director and CEO of Zedcrest Capital joins CNBC Africa for more.

What OPEC+ meeting means for prices in the near term

Oil producer club and its allies failed to agree on moving its planned June 9th and 10th meeting to today despite the recommendation by Algeria; which holds the rotating presidency of the group. But what will this meeting mean for oil prices in the near term? Kola Karim, Chairman of Shoreline Group joins CNBC Africa more.

Against the Odds with Peace Hyde EP06 hosts Udo Okonjo

Udo Okonjo is an international lawyer and real estate entrepreneur who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Fine and Country West Africa, a global real estate brand, specializing in providing a premium service through exceptional marketing. But to get to the top of the chaotic luxury real estate market in West Africa, Okonjo had to not only be exceptional at what she does but also overcome insurmountable challenges against all odds. https://www.cnbcafrica.com/category/tv-shows/against-all-odds/...

Transcorp CEO on adapting to the post -COVID economy

Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge with the latest update indicating that over 11,000 cases have been confirmed so far. As businesses explore ways to sustain their operations amid the outbreak, Owen Omogiafo, President and Group CEO of Transcorp joins CNBC Africa to discuss how the conglomerate is adapting to the post COVID economy.
- Advertisement -