Kenya’s BitPesa raises $5m funding from Japan’s Sompo Holdings

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Kenyan fintech startup BitPesa has secured US$5 million in funding in return for an undisclosed stake in its business from Japanese insurance group Sompo Holdings, which will use it to cut the cost and time associated with international transfers.

BitPesa, which raised two funding rounds last year to take its total secured investment to around the US$10 million mark, launched in Kenya in 2013, and has since expanded into a host of other African countries, including Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, and Uganda.

The startup, which allows users to buy and sell digital currencies while also making international payments, also acquired Spain-based online money transfer platform TransferZero earlier this year in a bid to further accelerate its growth across the world.

Further funding has now arrived from the Japan-based Sompo, which said it will use BitPesa’s remittance business to help its customers make international transfers.

“Using Bitpesa’s technology, developed through various experiments in remittances and settlements, we will extend our presence in the international remittance service market and consider the application of this technology to the insurance field,” the company 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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