SMEs focused mobile financier Kountable launches in Kenya

Limited access to finance has often been cited as a major setback for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with most winding up before reaching their fifth year.

World over, over 50 per cent of finance requests by SMEs are rejected against the seven per cent rejection rate for multinational institutions.

Targeting to tap into this gap, Kountable -a mobile finance platform that facilitates global trade by leveraging business and social connections –has unveiled in Kenya.

“Since we entered the Kenyan market two months ago, we have handled trade finance for 10 SMEs with Sh5 million being the minimum deal we have had,” said Kountable country director Bramuel Mwalo.

Founded in 2014 in Rwanda, the platform uses technology to assure investors of the safe handling of their investments by vetting the SME based on established criteria.

Kountable leverages on the social media business activities footprints left by SMEs it engages. Such that when the SMEs sign into the app and authenticate, it only takes a few minutes to gather data on them and give a kScore.

“Financing goes where data is. We use technology and our networks to distribute and manage risks,” said Mr Mwalo.

The app works by identifying and empowering SMEs by validating and qualifying purchase orders as well as providing trade financing.

SMEs keen on accessing finance do not require collateral when submitting deal proposals for financing, which is done through the mobile app.

Mr Mwalo said the sell point for the whole arrangement is the fast turnaround for submitted deals and SMEs access to leading and reputable global manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.