Kenya’s PesaKit wants to be a super-platform for mobile money agents across Africa

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Kenyan startup PesaKit is aiming to become a super-platform for African mobile money agents, enabling them to become a reliable last mile distribution channel for digital and financial services.

Launched in beta in November 2018, PesaKit in announced the public launch of its app-based platform for mobile money agents, available on Android, in August.

Self-described as “the bank branch of the future,” the PesaKit app enables mobile money agents to better serve their customers and manage their finances via existing mobile money products as well as new ones.

The app also keeps track of the agents transactions and provides them with insights into their business flows and trends so that they can better manage their liquidity. The app has already empowered 2,500 agents to make smart decisions on their day-to-day operations, resulting in a 20 per cent increase in profits and productivity.

“We have 14 telco and digital products partners on the platform whose services are available for agents to distribute. Within a month of launching our new app we onboarded more than 1,000 agents, and they are actively transacting on the PesaKit platform,” Andrew Mutua, the startup’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa.

The startup, which is participating in the Catalyst Fund global inclusive fintech accelerator, was founded to address the supply-side challenges of mobile money and the agency banking model in Africa. Mutua said it wants to empower mobile money agents to serve more customers.

“We focus our efforts in improving the financial health of mobile money agents as well as bolstering their resilience. This in turn improves access for our end customers. The long-term goal of PesaKit is to ensure the financial stability of the underserved populations across the continent through financial and digital inclusion,” he said.

The app does this by easing an agent’s daily liquidity and operations pressures by offering float loans and business insights, as well as consolidating the distribution model by providing last-mile distribution of financial services on behalf of banks, cooperatives, microfinance institutions, mobile network operators, and remittance and insurance companies.

“Globally, agents are the backbone of the mobile money industry. Yet they face inherent liquidity and financial management challenges,” Mutua said.

“Agents already serve as a distribution channel for mobile money services, but we believe that – if equipped with tools and know how – they could become a channel for many other services, thereby extending access as well as expanding and diversifying revenue streams.”

After strong initial uptake in Kenya, PesaKit is already opening its doors in Tanzania, where it will launch later this year. The bootstrapped startup, which thus far has only taken in prize and grant money, is in the process of raising a seed round to support this expansion effort.

“We have just set up in Tanzania and are preparing for our launch. Our future plans involve an expansion through the COMESA region,” said Mutua.

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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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