Kenyan startup Paykind to launch e-voucher system

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Kenya’s Paykind, which allows users to distribute digital vouchers via SMS, is to launch in Nairobi at an event at the Nailab tonight, offering a platform it says can be utilised by organisations and individuals in sectors as diverse as remittances, aid, and healthcare.

Originally founded in 2012 by Rodgers Muhadi and Sam Masinde as Cardplanet Solutions, which launched a student smart card that allowed for the payment of school fees, Paykind evolved into the more multifunctional platform it is today after becoming the first Kenyan startup to be accepted onto the 500 Startups accelerator programme, where it raised US$100,000 funding.

Previously a part of the Nailab incubator and the Savannah Fund accelerator, which also provided it with US$25,000 in funding, Paykind is an online e-voucher platform that makes it possible for organisations to distribute targeted benefits earmarked for specific goods and services through mobile.

“Individuals can also use a platform to send their beneficiaries e-vouchers that can be used to get specific goods and services as opposed to sending them money,” chief executive officer (CEO) Muhadi told Disrupt Africa.

The vouchers can be redeemed by the receiver at certified vendors, with Paykind providing tracking and analytics in real-time to monitor voucher redemption, product choices, frequently visited stores and the identity of the user.

Muhadi said donors and aid organisations across Africa work hard to guarantee funds are allocated for specific services or resources, though the direct impact of these donations is often diluted by high overhead costs, distribution hurdles, information inefficiencies, and corruption. Paykind can ensure donors know 100 per cent of the money made it to the intended beneficiaries.

“Donors can send out thousands of vouchers to beneficiaries living in remote villages within minutes, saving time and money that is traditionally spent on hand delivering supplies, paper vouchers or cash. Paykind provides tracking, valuable statistics and analytics in real-time back to the donor,” he said.

The startup – which makes money from transaction and subscription charges – is looking to raise another US$250,000 to help with its growth plan, with Muhadi saying the fact the company is incorporated in Delaware would make it possible for us it to scale internationally.

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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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