Zanifu a Kenyan fintech company has raised $1 million in seed funding. The round saw the participation of Launch Africa Ventures, Sayani Investments, Sabiu Ventures which invested in the company’s 2020 pre-seed round, and a host of angel investors from Kenya and Nigeria. In total, the amount of funding the fintech startup has received is $1.2 million.
Zanifu, with the new fund, will upgrade its platform. The fintech also plans to increase the number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that it offers stock-financing to.
The fintech company offers stock-financing of up to $2,000 on a short-term basis to Kenyan MSMEs. The goal is to add another 15,000 fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers in the space of twelve months.
Zanifu, founded in 2017 by Steve Biko and Sebastian Mithika, has extended 85,000 working capital loans valued at more than $13 million to t,000 Kenyan businesses. Sebastian Mithika is of the opinion that Zanifu is helping, in its own little way, to bridge the MSME financing gap (valued at $20 billion by the World Bank) experienced by about 5 million small businesses out of which a handful of them are informal businesses.
Zanifu’s Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Steve Biko, mentioned “We serve FMCG retailers, especially the ones that are too small to access traditional bank finance for their businesses. The only option these MSMEs have has been digital consumer loans, which are not always suitable for them. We are filling a critical gap in providing stock financing, which enables small businesses to grow their turnovers by more than 40. The FMCG segment has the highest working capital needs within MSMEs, and the velocity of the goods they sell allows us to safely underwrite unsecured business credit to them”.
Through a number of partnerships with manufacturers and distributors, Zanifu extends credit to businesses that qualify for its financing. Zanifu’s platform ensures seamless ordering, payment, tracking and fulfilment for manufacturers, distributors and retailers and can be described as a one-in-all solution. Retailers can access loans via Zanifu’s loan app after they upload relevant data. After receiving their loans, they have a month to pay back and interest rates are between 3.5 to 5 percent.
The startup is looking at venturing into Uganda and Ghana already. Zanifu will use its new fund to scale its operations and analyze the prospects of expansion.