Remittances platform Pesabase launches in Kenya

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Kenyan startup KeshoLabs has launched payments and remittances application Pesabase as it works towards its goal of becoming a major blockchain-based fintech platform for Africa.

The aim of KeshoLabs is to build solutions that will enable the next wave of adoption for digital currencies and tokenised ledger-based solutions, with the end goal of financially connecting the continent.

Essentially a startup studio, it is working on four projects, with Pesabase the first of these to launch. The application allows users to send money to existing mobile wallets and pay for goods and services.

“Our first-year goal on launch is to connect South Sudan to the rest of East Africa as well as provide the ability of South Sudanese to remit between themselves akin to the way Venmo does it. There are currently 1.7 Million South Sudanese in Uganda, 300,000 in Kenya and more than 500,000 scattered across the western world, from America, Australia to Canada,” chief executive officer (CEO) Nhial Majok told Disrupt Africa.

The startup, which was founded at the end of last year after raising funding from Aion Network founder Matt Spoke, is planning to roll out a further three products, including crypto exchange Bithela and an e-gaming platform.

“While the blockchain space is currently worth over US$200 billion worldwide, Africa is not well represented in terms of development mindshare. Our desire is to provide outsourcing skillsets akin to how Andela does it, but to the blockchain ecosystem, as well as to build experience for Africans in blockchain and DLT,” Majok said.

“In the long run, we expect to work with African governments, NGOs and financial institutions in testing products aimed at leveraging blockchain. Our belief is that the next M-Pesa for Africa is going to come from the blockchain space. Things like digitised land title deeds and tokenisation of assets will move onto blockchain solutions.”

Now Pesabase is launched, the plan is to market aggressively to get more business. 

“The market for our products is East African at launch, however for development services we are looking at the whole blockchain space,” Majok 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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