Kenyan retail-tech startup Tanda raised a seed round of funding from South African VC firm HAVAÍC at the end of last year to expand its operations.
Founded in 2018, Tanda allows shop owners to access inventory on credit, and also become access points for essential services such as airtime, utility payments, banking and insurance services for their customers.
The platform aggregates all major financial services providers, allowing agents to vend various digital products, while it also delivers essential goods to shops. Tanda also extends unsecured credit to its agents. Tanda successfully brought much needed financial services to over 350,000 Kenyans through 7,000 micro-retailers in its pilot stage.
It has now secured investment from HAVAÍC, an investment and advisory firm that specialises in early-stage, high-growth technology businesses, ahead of a syndicated seed round of investment to help it grow further.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to help millions of underbanked Africans to gain access to essential financial services from their favorite duka, but know that it’s a long and hard road ahead. We are working systematically to increase our distribution while growing our bouquet of services. The investment and support from HAVAÍC has come at a good time and is proving very valuable with key relationships,” said Tanda chief executive officer (CEO Geoffrey Mulei.
HAVAÍC partner Rob Heath said the senior management at Tanda really understood the market they are attacking, and were “not sitting in some ivory tower making broad assumptions”.
“They took me around the streets of Kayole, Nairobi and showed me Tanda in action – working on a variety of smartphones. Like HAVAÍC’s other investments in the region, Tanda is positively affecting many thousands of peoples’ lives by supporting small businesses, and it has offered an excellent investment opportunity. As an investor and board member, this is the type of business that makes me get up in the morning,” he said.