Technology

Startup eyes regional market after raising Sh222m

start-ups

CEO and Co-founder of Asilimia company Tekwane Mwendwa. PHOTO | POOL

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Summary

  • Asilimia was founded by Tekwane Mwendwa and French entrepreneur, Morgane Kablan with a target to build the financial infrastructure of the informal economy in Africa.
  • Dozens of companies have invested in Kenya’s credit market in response to the growth for quick loans, where borrowers can get loans in minutes via their mobile phones.

Kenyan financial technology startup Asilimia has raised $2 million (Sh222 million) from global venture capital backers for East Africa expansion.

The funding came from various investors including Fredrik Jung Abbou; a two-time unicorn founder and Stockholm-based Norrsken Impact Accelerator, while the debt round had the participation of French Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance) and GreenTec Capital Partners.

Asilimia, which says it helps build the digital infrastructure to connect African micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to the formal financial economy, said the funding will help boost its local expansion in Kenya and within East Africa.

It will tap the funding to hire workers as it expands to markets within East Africa, it said.

It will also extend loans to MSMEs based on data from its Leja app joining other firms in the first growing mobile loans market.

"The pre-seed funding will support team growth and expansion while debt funding will enable Asilimia to extend credit to MSMEs, providing much-needed financing to help them scale their businesses," said Asilimia in a statement.

"Asilimia is on a mission to build the digital financial infrastructure of Africa’s highly fragmented and paper-based informal economy, and address the $360 billion credit gap that is impacting the continent’s 150 million MSMEs."

Asilimia was founded by Tekwane Mwendwa and French entrepreneur, Morgane Kablan with a target to build the financial infrastructure of the informal economy in Africa.

“Africa’s informal businesses are the backbone of its economy and we want to unlock their GDP to drive further growth and development across the continent," said Mr. Mwendwa.

"Our focus over the last few years has been to build a solution that works and this new funding will enable us to take it into new markets and impact the lives and livelihoods of more business owners."

Funda Sezgi, co-founder and managing director at Norrsken Impact Accelerator said: “MSMEs play a vital role across Africa and making it easier for them to succeed is great for the continent as a whole.

Tekwane and the team have built a solution that works and we are delighted to be supporting them as they drive prosperity in a key sector for the African economy.”

Dozens of companies have invested in Kenya’s credit market in response to the growth for quick loans, where borrowers can get loans in minutes via their mobile phones rivalling commercial banks.

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