Beyond Capital Ventures (BCV), an esteemed venture capital firm focusing on emerging markets, has made a strategic investment in Zanifu. Zanifu is an innovative financial services platform that champions small retailers across Africa.
The exact investment amount remains undisclosed, but it’s clear that BCV sees great potential in Zanifu. This venture is a reflection of BCV’s enduring commitment to generating robust financial returns while also effecting positive social change in East Africa.
Delving into Zanifu’s operations, the platform addresses an urgent need within the African financial landscape. A staggering 51% of MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) in Africa grapple with the challenges of obtaining financing.
These difficulties often stem from constraints such as insufficient collateral, the enterprise’s size, or the lack of a formal credit history. Through Zanifu, these MSMEs gain a viable solution – a platform that facilitates the procurement of inventory from suppliers combined with a buy-now-pay-later feature. This initiative taps into a whopping $45bn MSME financing market spanning countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Zanifu’s establishment in 2017 was spearheaded by its CEO, Steve Biko, and CTO, Sebastian Kilimo. Their combined expertise – Biko’s deep-seated understanding of the fintech sector and Kilimo’s rich product knowledge – serves as a formidable backbone for Zanifu.
Beyond Capital Ventures General Partner Eva Yazhari lauded the new collaboration, saying, “We view this investment in Zanifu as a seamless addition to our fintech portfolio. By addressing the critical financing gap in Kenya and beyond, Zanifu is fostering economic growth and financial inclusion in the region.
“Steve and Sebastian’s dedication to lending working capital to microenterprises aligns with BCV’s commitment to drive robust financial returns and to imbed a lasting impact into our portfolio returns.”
A myriad of favourable factors influenced BCV’s decision to invest in Zanifu. These include the $330bn market’s vastness, the unique B2B2C acquisition model Zanifu employs, and its proven competitive edge in the lending sector. Furthermore, Zanifu’s proactive risk strategies have led to an impressive 1.48% default rate, a figure that significantly undercuts the industry average for non-performing MSME loans.
In summation, BCV and Zanifu are set on a mission – to revolutionise opportunities for small retailers and catalyse economic progression in Africa. Their partnership is poised to leave an indelible mark on the financial inclusion narrative within the continent.
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