Kenyan firms named in world emerging FinTech Companies

Two Kenyan companies have been named among the Top 50 emerging FinTech companies in the world – in this year’s KPMG FinTech100 report

The two include Digital payments provider Cellulant, and Mobile loans provider Tala that are among the three African companies representing Africa, to be included in the list of leading global FinTech innovators – that are transforming the financial services industry and have successfully raised venture capital.

In April (2018), Mobile financial services firm, Tala, secured a US$65 million (Sh6.5 billion) investment – to strengthen the growth of its consumer-lending app.

The funds will be directed towards product development, human resource training in Kenya, and for entering new markets in Mexico and India.

Tala, which operates in Kenya, Tanzania and the Philippines, secured the Series C investment from Revolution Growth, with existing investors such as IVP, Data Collective, Ribbit Capital, Lowercase Capital and Female Founders Fund.

The round brings Tala’s total fundraising to more than US $105 million (Sh10 Billion).

In Kenya, Tala has disbursed over 5.6 million loans to over 1 million customers with a value Sh28 billion (US$280 million). The app has over 2.7 million downloads in the country.

“We are excited about how Tala is using mobile devices and data-science to unlock this huge unmet opportunity and serve a market that is underserved by traditional financial institutions,” said Steve Murray, Managing Partner at Revolution Growth who now joins Tala’s Board.

“With more than 3 billion underserved consumers globally, Tala’s ultimate aim is to deliver meaningful products and services that build radical trust with our customers and put more people in control of their financial lives,” said Tala’s founder and CEO Shivani Siroya.

On its part, Cellulant closed a Sh4.7 billion financing round – one of the largest investment in a FinTech company in Africa. The company plans to use the funds to enter two new markets in Africa before the end of the year (2019), as well as upgrade its payment infrastructure to suit emerging market demands.

Cellulant operates in 11 countries, with 12% of Africa’s mobile consumers now able to make payments using their services and products. The company is currently building ‘Agrikore’ – a block chain based smart-contracting, payments marketplace that ensures every stakeholder in agricultural value chains can do business in a trusted and transparent environment.

“Cellulant is connecting a continent. In most of Sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 90% of all payments and transactions remain cash based, yet the rate of mobile penetration in Africa is currently at 43%, we are innovating around digital payments to change this status quo. Diversity has shown itself to be a powerful driver of innovation; we have seen an explosion of innovation over the past five years, across geographies and sectors. We attribute much of this innovation to the diversity of experiences and the inherent creativity of the people working in many of these companies…” said Cellulant Co-CEO, Ken Njoroge.

The 100 companies on the list have together raised over $52 billion in venture capital.

This is more than double the 2017 figure. In the last 12 months alone, these companies have also raised $28Billion in capital.

The 2018 KPMG Fintech100 report highlights truly innovative companies that are creating products and services at the nexus of technology and financial services.

Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & Capitalfm.