BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian startup CDcare has developed an online marketplace that lets users buy appliances and pay in monthly or weekly instalments at zero interest.
CDcare combines savings and loans features in its marketplace, allowing users to automate the payment of a monthly or weekly amount towards buying an appliance. When up to half of the cost of the item has been saved, it is shipped, and the automatic payments continue until full payment is made. All of this at zero interest.
The bootstrapped CDcare, which is in the process of trying to raise a funding round, has delivered more than 1,000 items across 20 Nigerian states since it was launched in February of last year by Ayodeji Farohun and Oluwatobi Odukoya. The pair go way back.
“Deji and I were classmates at university. Our friendship started when he patronised the loan-a-laptop scheme that I created in the university. He later became the operations manager of the scheme,” Odukoya told Disrupt Africa.
“Together, we built Computer Doctor, which is the first mobile computer repair workshop in Africa. We fixed more than 10,000 units of computers within two years for firms and people in Nigeria, amongst which are Paystack, Flutterwave, Cowrywise and Aella Credit. Deji was in charge of Computer Doctor’s operations while I was the lead technician. We also trained more than 100 Nigerians to become computer technicians.”
Now, the pair are applying themselves to CDcare, believing they have identified a significant problem that can be fixed by combining elements of both savings and lending platforms.
“Salaries are paid monthly in Africa. It is a problem that there is no way for Africans to buy items and pay in instalments as it exists in other countries,” said Odukoya.
“What exists are loan platforms that are either difficult to access or have very high-interest rates that people cannot usually afford to pay back. Many Africans have had to either settle for less, or buy substandard products because they can’t afford to pay one lump sum for things that they want.”
CDcare’s solution, a payment plan that lets buyers save half and get the remaining half as a zero-interest loan, is entirely new, Odukoya believes, with people in the past having resorted to high-interest buying schemes, interest-charging loans, or simply waiting until they have saved the full price of the item.
“I built our MVP within two weeks,” he said. “Having sold gadgets and appliances for many years in Nigeria, it wasn’t hard to get the major distributors of appliances in Nigeria to partner with us.”
The startup has plans to launch operations in Ghana and Kenya in early 2022, has an interesting revenue model.
“We make a profit of at least 10 per cent of the total cost of every item delivered on CDcare. Since we only loan our users half of the item’s value, we make an interest of 20 per cent on our capital,” Odukoya said.