In order to create an AI-powered SME banking platform, Carbon purchases Vella Finance.

Social Media Plug-ins:

Nigerian lending platform Carbon has announced that it has completed the acquisition of fintech startup Vella Finance through its parent company, One Credit Limited. This was made in a statement shared with Technext today. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

This marks a significant leap forward in Carbon’s mission to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with advanced, accessible financial services that leverage the latest in artificial intelligence.

“Carbon spearheaded the consumer finance revolution in Nigeria in 2016. Our goal was to give consumers unprecedented access to finance from their mobile devices,” said Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon.

“We have known the Vella Finance team for some time and admired their innovation and understanding of the market needs. We saw in them the same innovative and pioneering spirit that ignited Carbon. They had built an SME platform that we believe is unrivalled in the market and given our aspirations, the deal was a no-brainer”, he adds.

Vella Finance is a fintech company founded by Mark Afolabi, Segun Fagbami, Tolu Adedayo, and Gabriel Ajenifuja that offers comprehensive banking and financial infrastructure for local and cross-border payments, targeting SMEs in Africa.

Co-founder and CEO Mark Afolabi remarked that the acquisition is exciting news for the businesses and that his team is thrilled to join forces with Carbon going forward.

“These are trying times for businesses in Nigeria, and by joining forces, we can provide businesses with a platform that provides AI-driven insights into their transactions, low-cost, accessible loans, and the power of an AI model built into the platform to help with any business challenge,” he explained.

According to the statement, Vella Finance will transition business customers to Carbon Business and offer individual customers the option to upgrade to business accounts in the coming days.

“This move aligns with our commitment to providing optimal user experiences during this period,” Gabriel Ajenifuja, co-founder and CTO of Vella Finance, said.

Carbon launches AI-powered platform

Carbon Microfinance Bank is a leading digital bank in Nigeria, specialising in consumer credit and banking services for consumers and SMEs. The company has also announced the simultaneous launch of an AI-powered business banking platform. The new solution will entirely cater to SME businesses and their owners.

Co-founder Ngozi Dozie emphasised that this move demonstrates the company’s commitment to not only leverage AI internally but to share insights broadly. “At Carbon, we’re pioneering the use of AI across all departments, from accounting and finance to human resources, operations, and engineering,” he said.

According to the company, it will have the following features:

  • AI-Powered Transaction Analysis: Utilise advanced AI to gain deep insights into your financial transactions, enabling smarter decision-making and growth strategies.
  • Competitive Low-Interest Loans: Access loans with interest rates that challenge industry standards, offering financial relief and support for your business aspirations.
  • Sub-Accounts for Financial Organisation: Easily manage your finances with sub-accounts that simplify reconciliation and accounting processes. You can create accounts for salaries, savings, working capital, and many more.
  • Automated Income Splitting for Financial Planning: Set rules to allocate a percentage of funds to go into separate sub-accounts in an automated manner. You can rest easy knowing that your VAT, WHT, or savings for a new purchase are taking place every second of the day.
  • Team-Based Account Management (in development): Invite team members to collaborate on account management, fostering teamwork and efficiency in financial operations.
  • Ease of Integration and User-Friendly Interface: Seamlessly integrate the account into your existing business systems, ensuring a smooth transition and adoption.

“All Carbon Business customers will get access to our AI experience through webinars, newsletters, and how-to guides. In a time of limited talent and resources, AI is a superpower and we are going to share everything we know”, Ngozi adds.