Kenyan microfinance venture 4G Capital has announced a partnership with Canada’s blockchain securities exchange Finhaven, to roll out Africa’s first blockchain fundraising platform for SME finance.
4G Capital provides financial literacy and business training to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya, along with working capital to enable businesses to grow sustainably.
With 4G Capital forecast to lend US$40 million over the next 12 months, the partnership will allow investors to participate in 4G Capital’s tokenised bond issuance using cryptocurrencies, and will provide US$ debt financing as the company seeks to increase its footprint across Africa.
4G Capital and Finhaven intend to initiate fundraising with the first tranche of tokenised debt securities within the next quarter, with a view to securing 4G Capital’s first phase of expansion across East Africa, starting with Uganda at the end of this month.
“With additional financing we aim to increase our customer base by ten-fold and as we impact over a million people by the end of 2019. Recently we received our licence for Uganda. We have mobilised quickly and will be operational by the end of March. There are another three licences pending and within five years we aim to have expanded into seven countries across Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of 4G Capital.
Hennessy-Barrett highlights the partnership marks the first collaboration between a blockchain investment platform, and a fintech operation addressing the poverty cycle in Africa.
“We’re delighted to join forces with 4G Capital to facilitate additional funding for entrepreneurs and positive social impact in East Africa. As a security token issuance platform powered by blockchain technology, we’re able to provide 4G Capital with greater efficiency in their capital fund raising, making it easier for them to scale their mission. We’re proud to help shape blockchain’s transformative effect on the capital markets and provide an innovative method to increase capital inflow to frontier and emerging economies,” says Finhaven CEO, Dohyung Kim.