South African digital fintech enablement provider Ukheshe Technologies is expanding its operations internationally after raising US$2 million in equity and debt funding in November of last year.
Ukheshe’s technology platform helps banks and telecoms provide SMMEs with affordable digital banking and payment services, with client acquisition, onboarding and distribution costs that are a fraction of traditional merchant accounts. The startup aims to make informal banking an accessible and lucrative growth market for its banking partners.
Currently Ukheshe provide the platforms and technology that support 16 banks and fintechs, three telecoms, 3,000 billers, 200,000 merchants, 18 million digital wallets, and four million apps, all of which process millions of transactions every month. It has now set its sights on expansion in the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific.
This expansion comes after the startup secured US$2 million in funding in November 2020, including investments from existing shareholders and some debt capital from Nedbank. This means it has now raised around US$7 million in total to date, while it has also made two acquisitions and secured a key partnership with Mastercard.
Ukheshe will focus on establishing significant long-term partnerships in strategic locations within the Asia Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East, and has filled key senior positions with the announcement of Donovan Drew as president for Asia Pacific; Paul Selibas as president of project engineering, based in Europe; and Chris Pillay as VP of finance, located in Dubai.
The growth beyond African shores comes on the back of successful projects and partnerships in various African countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Botswana, Angola, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, and Ghana.
“We will continue to look for potential acquisitions in these new markets to further support Ukheshe’s growth and strategy as we pursue our goal of reaching unicorn status within the next three years. Ukheshe is excited to be at the forefront of the rapid shift towards innovative digital-first solutions, especially in markets that are ripe for disruption,” said Clayton Hayward, chief executive officer (CEO) of Ukheshe.