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Luxembourg firm invests Sh100m in microfinancier Musoni


Musoni has been partnering with local firms in agriculture ventures. file PHOTO | NMG

Luxembourg-based private equity (PE) firm Fonds Européen de Financement Solidaire (Fefisol) has invested Sh100 million in Musoni Microfinance Ltd that targets small-scale farmers and the informal sector.

The Nairobi-based credit-only lender founded in 2010 on Thursday said the funds will go towards developing financial products that stimulate food production and agri-business.

It uses Safaricom’s #ticker:SCOM M-Pesa platform and real-time gross settlement (RTGS) transfers to conduct its digital lending.

Chief executive Stanley Munyao said that with the investment, Fefisol now becomes the sixth shareholder of the micro financier from the European Solidarity Financing Fund for Africa.

Others are Access Africa Fund LLC, KfW Development Bank, Oiko Credit, Musoni Investments BV and Grameen Foundation USA.

“Fefisol has been an ideal partner in our rural expansion strategy and we look forward to their invaluable support as we accelerate our financing of smallholder farmers and value chains and improving of rural area living standards,” said Mr Munyao.

READ: Firm uses credit-scoring database to boost farmers’ loan access

Musoni has been partnering with several local firms in various agriculture value chain ventures. Its clients are individuals or groups engaging in agri-business or players in the informal sector, like boda boda riders.

The groups must comprise between five and 20 members.

Mr Munyao said Musoni has been collaborating with credit reference bureaus (CRBs) to assess the credit worthiness of their customers before they engage them. As at January 31, 2018, its loan book stood at Sh1.2 billion, with 25,000 loan customers.

The loans range from Sh500 to a maximum of Sh3 million. Repayment is between three months and three years with a flat interest rate of 1.83 per cent (group loans) and 1.67 per cent (individual loans) per month.

The default rate is three per cent. It has a total customer base of 40,000 and 23 branches countrywide.