Kenyan fintech startup Asilimia, which is building the digital infrastructure to connect African MSMEs to the formal financial economy, has secured US$2 million to grow its team, deliver new services, and expand into new markets in East Africa.
Founded in 2017, Asilimia is working to bridge the US$500 billion financing gap for growing enterprises, which are unable to get loans and other financial support due to a lack of proper financial records. It solves this puzzle by using the digital data that the MSMEs already have, which is verifiable, to solve the dual problems of accounting and financial inclusion.
The startup has just raised US$1 million in pre-seed funding from a wide range of investors, including two-time unicorn founder Fredrik Jung Abbou (co-founder of Kry and Lendo), Norrsken Impact Accelerator and other prominent founders from across Europe. It also raised US$1 million in a debt round that included Bpifrance and GreenTec Capital Partners.
The pre-seed funding will support team growth and expansion, while the debt capital will enable Asilimia to extend credit to MSMEs, providing much-needed financing to help them scale their businesses.
“Africa’s informal businesses are the backbone of its economy and we want to unlock their GDP to drive further growth and development across the continent. Our focus over the last few years has been to build a solution that works and this new funding will enable us to take it into new markets and impact the lives and livelihoods of more business owners,” said Tekwane Mwendwa, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Asilimia.
“MSMEs play a vital role across Africa and making it easier for them to succeed is great for the continent as a whole. Tekwane and the team have built a solution that works and we are delighted to be supporting them as they drive prosperity in a key sector for the African economy,” said Funda Sezgi, co-founder and managing director at Norrsken Impact Accelerator.