South Africa’s HAVAÍC invests in Kenyan micro-retail startup Tanda

KENYA – Dukapay Limited, also known as Tanda, a Kenya-based startup focused on financial inclusion and micro-retail, has secured an undisclosed amount of investment from South African venture capital investment firm, HAVAÍC, in a syndicated seed round.

According to Weetracker, the deal was struck at the tail-end of2019and this announcement comes just a week after HAVAÍC lifted the lid on another other funding deal closed within the same period.

Tanda was co-founded in Nairobi by Geoffrey Mulei and Alex Wilson with the aim of providing access to digital financial services and affordable agency banking for the underbanked population in Kenya and the rest of East Africa.

With 3,500 ATMs across Kenya for a population of 50 million, lack of access and expensive alternatives are the norms faced by a large portion of the populace who are incredibly sensitive to price.

Boasting several years of experience in distribution networks, digital financial services, and duka (micro-retailer) networks between them, Geoff and Alex can lay claim to a good grip on what the market requires, and how to scale the business.

Off the back of an angel-funded pilot, Tanda successfully brought much-needed financial services to over 350,000 Kenyan’s through 7,000 micro-retailers.

Mulei said; “We’re excited about the opportunity to help millions of underbanked Africans to gain access to essential financial services from their favorite duka, but know that it’s a long and hard road ahead.

“We are working systematically to increase our distribution while growing our bouquet of services. The investment and support from HAVAIC has come at a good time and is proving very valuable with key relationships”

The Tanda platform allows for a micro-retailer to offer a wide range of digital services such as airtime, prepaid electricity, bill payments, and other services to their customers.

Due to Tanda’s aggregated backend, the cost savings are shared by the micro-retailer and Tanda, thus empowering retailers with additional revenue streams and diversifying their product range at no cost.

HAVAÍC’s Rob Heath said: “Geoff, Alex and the rest of the senior management really understand the market they are attacking. They are not sitting in some ivory tower making broad assumptions. They took me around the streets of Kayole, Nairobi and showed me Tanda in action – working on a variety of smartphones.

“Like HAVAIC’s other investments in the region, Tanda is positively affecting many thousands of peoples’ lives by supporting small businesses, and it has offered an excellent investment opportunity. As an investor and board member, this is the type of business that makes me get up in the morning.”

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