Zanifu, a Kenyan fintech startup that provides inventory financing to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), has raised $11.2 million in debt-equity funding in a pre-Series A round led by Beyond Capital Ventures and Variant Investments.
The round also saw participation from Founders Factory Africa, AAIC Investment, Google Black Founders Fund, and existing investor Launch Africa. The funding brings the total debt-equity funding raised by Zanifu to $12.7 million.
Zanifu was founded in 2017 by Steve Biko and Sebastian Mithika. The company uses data and machine learning to provide credit to MSMEs that are often unable to access traditional financing due to a lack of collateral or formal financial records.
The funding will be used to expand Zanifu’s solutions for distributors and scale its operations in Kenya. The company also plans to develop new financial products and services, such as insurance and bookkeeping tools, to support its customers.
“We are excited to partner with Beyond Capital Ventures and Variant Investments,” said Steve Biko, co-founder and CEO of Zanifu. “This funding will allow us to expand our reach and support even more MSMEs in Kenya.”
“Zanifu is a unique company with a strong team and a clear vision,” said Michael Kimani, managing partner of Beyond Capital Ventures. “We are excited to support their growth and help them make a positive impact on the Kenyan economy.”
The funding for Zanifu is a sign of growing investor interest in fintech startups in Africa. The continent is home to a large and growing population of MSMEs, which are often underserved by traditional financial institutions. Fintech startups are using technology to provide these businesses with access to the capital they need to grow.
Zanifu is one of a number of fintech startups that are making a difference in Africa. Other notable examples include Flutterwave, a payments company that has raised over $1 billion in funding, and OPay, a mobile money platform that has over 40 million users.
The growth of fintech in Africa is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing availability of mobile internet, the growing number of smartphone users, and the rising demand for financial services among MSMEs.
As fintech continues to grow in Africa, it is expected to have a significant impact on the continent’s economy. Fintech startups are providing businesses with access to capital, helping them to grow and create jobs. They are also making it easier for people to pay for goods and services, and to save and invest their money.
The growth of fintech in Africa is a positive development for the continent. It is helping to boost economic growth and improve the lives of millions of people.