Micro-credit and airtime credit startup, Lendme, announced yesterday the discontinuation of its LendmeMula and LendmeAirtime services with immediate effect. The company says they are killing the two services to focus on building a micro-credit Software as a Service platform for micro-finance institutions (MFIs).
Lendme launched their airtime credit service, LendmeAirtime, in May last year and soon expanded the service to provide mobile and web based micro-credit services in partnership with a local micro-lender, Buildvest. Working with Buildvest however, they soon discovered that the problem them have solved for the MFI, was a common one with similar organisations and they have decided to focus purely on providing this service.
“We identified the hurdles inherent to most MFI’s owning and managing the necessary IT infrastructure to automate their back-office processes and deliver loan products to consumers via online or mobile phones.” explained Charangwa, the Lendme founder and CEO in statement yesterday, “We have eliminated these hurdles and taken the experiences gained during our stint as a lender to develop a robust solution that gives Financial Institutions the tools to quickly implement under their own brands the necessary technology without the cost associated with ownership.” The new SaaS service for MFIs is called LendmeManager (logo above).
We first got information related to the discontinuation of the two products via a tip from a reader who told us they had been getting the following “you can’t borrow” error on the website:
Sorry you cannot borrow at the moment. We are currently carrying out essential upgrades to the Lendme system to make it better for you. We will inform you by SMS once we are done and you can start borrowing again. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
When we contacted Lendme back then, they basically told us they were indeed carrying out upgrades and could not process loans while this was happening.
You can read the full Lendme press release here.