Payhippo, the artificial intelligence (AI)-driven lending platform, has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding, which it plans to use to hire more engineers and keep financing smaller businesses, a Friday (July 2) press release said.

The round was led by African tech investors such as Ventures Platform, Future Africa, Launch Africa and Sherpa Ventures with participation from international investors, Hustle Fund and Mercy Corps Ventures.

The news comes as smaller businesses in Africa still aren’t quite served well by commercial banks. In Nigeria, many are still working in the “informal economy,” which is made up of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and these businesses haven’t been able to get financial services from bigger companies.

According to stats from the press release, two-thirds of the economy of that region makes up the “informal economy.”

Those business opportunities have created more work than the formal…

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