Lending startup Pezesha wins Kenyan leg of Seedstars competition

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Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending startup Pezesha has been named winner of the Kenyan leg of the Seedstars World competition, earning a spot in the global final and the chance to pitch for US$500,000 in equity investment.

The global Seedstars World competition will select national winners from all over the world, including around 30 African countries, and bring them together at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland next year, where they will compete for the equity investment and a host of other prizes.

The Kenyan leg of the event took place at Nailab on June 28, with 10 Kenyan seed-stage startups pitching for the chance to represent the country at the global final in front of an all-female jury panel.

The winner was Pezesha, a value chain financial marketplace that financially educates borrowers and taking them through a credit scoring process before they qualify for a loan. Founded by Hilda Moraa, who exited another Kenyan fintech startup, Weza Tele, in 2016, Pezesha has had a good 18 months or so. Last year it secured a round of funding and was selected to join the first cohort of the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa, while it recently made it into the Inclusive Fintech 50 list.

Aside from winning a place at the global final, the startup will also gain access to Seedstars’ Investment Readiness Programme. Employee payments solution WorkPay came second, while micro-retail management platform Tanda was third.

The other startups pitching at the event were diagnostics solution Ilara Health, point of sale financing company Julla, agri-tech startup Lentera, emergency response service Nurse-In-Hand, blockchain-based payments solution Pesabase, blockchain-based farm management solution Shamba Records, and cargo-hailing application Smatbeba.

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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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