Lipa Later, a first-of-its-kind buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) company operating in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Nigeria, has appointed Tom Gong as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Gong’s previous experience includes being the co-founder of massive China-based retail service AliExpress, and former Technical Program Manager for Google Wallet. Gong will be joining Lipa Later as its new CTO as of March 2022.
As Co-Founder and CTO of AliExpress, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba, Gong led the AliExpress team to grow and become one of the largest cross-border e-commerce transaction platforms in the world.
In 2012, Gong started Wanda eCommerce (Feifan) within Wanda Group to optimise shopping mall operations through the use of internet technologies. Wanda is now one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world.
Previous to this, Gong worked as a technical program manager for Google Wallet from 2007 to 2009.
Most recently, Gong has been working at AllDragon, a company that provides SaaS management software for over 500 shopping centres to better connect retailers and consumers.
Tom has an MA in Computer Science and an MBA, both from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
“Lipa Later is a fast-growing, Buy Now Pay Later business based in East Africa and rapidly expanding across the African market. As the level of affluence grows across Sub-Saharan Africa, Lipa Later is positioned to be able to help consumers access different products today and pay in staggered payments across a number of months,” said Gong.
“With a population of more than 1-billion people, and over 50% of that number being under the age of 18, the market for Lipa Later is enormous and I am pretty excited at being able to help Lipa Later grow and build robust technology that can help us access all of these numbers,” he adds about his new appointment.
Formed in 2018, Lipa Later leverages data analytics to provide consumers with access to convenient and affordable credit. Its proprietary credit-scoring and machine learning system enable a consumer to sign up and get a credit limit in seconds, without the need for bulky documentation and a lengthy approval process.
In January, Lipa Later raised $12-million from a consortium of investors to help it increase coverage in existing markets and expand into new ones.
“We are very excited to have Tom Gong join Lipa Later as our CTO. As a world-renowned Tech heavyweight, we are very excited to have him as part of our team and have him lead us in creating robust systems that will enable us to grow Lipa Later across different African markets. With Tom on board, we have added yet another strong member to our team, with Africa as our focus,” said Eric Muli, Co-Founder, and CEO of Lipa Later.