Kenya’s Kopo Kopo raises $2.1m to push merchant micro-loan product

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Kenyan startup Kopo Kopo, which launched in February 2012 and enables merchants to accept payments through a variety of electronic methods, has raised a US$2.1 million internal funding round in order to further push its merchant micro-loan product.

Co-founders Ben Lyon and Dylan Higgins are departing the company, however, with Kopo Kopo doubling down in Nairobi and relying less on staff in the United States (US).

Having earlier this year launched bulk payments service “Payments Hub”, which enables organisations to schedule large numbers of payments in minutes. Kopo Kopo is now pushing on its merchant cash advance product GROW, which has performed well thus far.

Lyon told Disrupt Africa he was looking forward to a new challenge, but was confident Kopo Kopo would continue to be successful.

We’ve been through the highest highs and lowest lows, and I’ve enjoyed it all. Today, Kopo Kopo has a known and profitable business model, so it’s all about execution. That said, I feel comfortable moving on to the next adventure knowing that our team has everything they need to succeed,” he said.

“Kopo Kopo’s brightest days are ahead of it. Business is growing quickly both within and beyond Kenya.”

He said the company would be rolling out more new services in the coming months.

“Finance is the killer app, and Kopo Kopo is in pole position to start filling the “SME finance gap”. We’ve built underwriting models that accurately assess merchant risk based on inflows/outflows and we’re focused on leveraging those models,” Lyon said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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