Zazuu, an African payment fintech company, announced that it has raised $2 million round to build a remittance marketplace for Africansfundraising led by Launch Africa, Founders Factory Africa, Hoaq Club, Tinie Tempah, Jason Njoku, CEO IrokoTV, Babs Ogundeyi, CEO Kuda Bank, and other angel investors.
Zazuu was Founded in 2018 by Kay Akinwunmi (CEO), Korede Fanilola (COO), Tola Alade (CDO), and Tosin Ekolie (CTO), Zazuu aims to bring transparency to the remittance industry by allowing users to search and compare top providers from one app.
Cross-border payments remain expensive globally with fees at about 6pc of the value. In Africa, it is even worse with transactions into Africa costing up to 22pc of value in certain cases.
Infrastructural challenges are often cited as a leading cause of the high costs of remittances, however, according to the World Bank, lack of transparency among remittance providers is actually the leading challenge.
“In addition, a lack of transparency in the market has had the impact of reducing competition, as consumers tend to continue to patronize traditional market players because they are not aware of and cannot compare services, fees, and speed of their existing remittance service against other products.” Remittance Prices Worldwide, a World Bank Initiative states
“In 2018, I sent about $3000 back home to Nigeria. I thought I got the best deal on that transaction until about two weeks later when someone informed me I could have saved up to $30 in fees on that transaction if I had used a different provider. I was livid,” shared, Korede Fanilola. “We all have experiences like this where we only discovered in hindsight that we had lost more than we should on transactions back home simply by choosing the right provider.”
“The mission has always been simple for us from day one. Africans have consistently gotten the shorter end of the stick with remittance transactions. We discovered that the primary reason for that was a lack of transparency on the part of the providers. We’re solving that problem by building a smarter way to transfer money. With Zazuu, users can search multiple money transfer providers in their region, compare the rates and fees, and then choose who to send money with, at no extra cost,” Kay Akinwunmi added.
Over the two years of operation, Zazuu has evolved from a simple chatbot informing users of the daily rates in Facebook and Telegram groups, to an FCA-licensed organization in the UK with users in 8 countries across North America and Europe. Nearly a hundred thousand users have used the current iteration of its Search and Compare service to find the best rates for their corridors.
The Fintech startup has recently launched a Pay with Zazuu feature that will allow users to complete transactions in-app. This means that users can search, compare and complete their transfers with these providers (if they so please) without having to leave the app. Although this service is only currently available to senders in the UK and receivers in Nigeria and Ghana, Zazuu is working rapidly to expand access to more people.
Speaking on the roadmap following the fundraising, Korede Fanilola, the company’s COO, added, “The plan for us is growth. We want to scale our solution as quickly as possible. We’re working on getting licenses that allow us to offer our service to users in other European countries before the end of the year. We’ll also be concurrently improving the product with new features that ensure that everyone sending money to Africa gets the best money transfer experience.”