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Victoria Bank to oversee investment of Sh1.5bn in tech start-ups

Yogesh Pattni.
Victoria Commercial Bank CEO Yogesh Pattni. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A Dubai-based equity fund has appointed Kenya’s Victoria Commercial Bank (VCB) to oversee investment of its Sh1.5 billion kitty in financial technology startups in Africa and Asia.

The mandate will see the rollout of the Nimai Emerging Financial Services Fund (NESF) facility seeking to benefit 1.7 million customers in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Ghana and Tanzania.

“The markets were chosen based on the existing (fintech) presence and experience. It integrates investment expertise with deep operational capability and resources,” said a joint statement.

VCB chief executive Yogesh Pattni termed the deal as an opportunity to deepen their relationship with Nimai Capital which recently gave out Sh1 billon kitty for onward lending to women-led enterprises.

The fund will be invested in technology mobility-enabled emerging financial services opportunities including but not limited to banking, insurance, retail and housing finance, microfinance.

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Nimai co-founder and managing director Pankaj Mundra said NESF will benefit from VCB’s business experience and deep understanding of the Kenyan market.

“We look forward to working with Victoria Commercial Bank to source and develop investment opportunities for the Fund across East Africa,” said Mr Mundra.

Investee companies under NESF will gain access to diaspora financial services, expert financial advice from line companies as well as have systems integrated with fintech firmd in India thereby enabling them facilitate cross-border financial services.

“We have a firm belief that the fund will make a significant and positive impact in the lives of millions of families in addition to generating appropriate financial returns for investors,” said the statement.

Successful investees must be startups with proven track records.

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