Kenyan fintech startup Zanifu raises $1m seed round to help it scale

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Kenyan fintech startup Zanifu has raised a US$1 million seed funding round to help it scale and further develop its platform, which provides short-term working capital loans to MSMEs in the FMCG supply chain.

Founded in 2017 by Steve Biko and Sebastian Mithika, Zanifu launched operations the next year and has already disbursed over 85,000 loans worth over US$13 million to over 7,000 MSMEs in Kenya. 

The startup has now raised an over-subscribed seed funding round to help it scale further, and advance its product development. Investors included Saviu Ventures, which invested in a pre-seed round in early 2020, as well as Launch Africa Ventures, Sayani Investments, and angel investors from Kenya and Nigeria.

Zanifu now plans expansion into other markets, such as Ghana and Uganda, and aims to enable financial access for more than 15,000 FMCG retailers in the next 12 months. Biko said it would also expand its team and continue to iterate on its platform to enable them to onboard and serve MSMEs faster. 

“We serve FMCG retailers, especially the ones that are too small to access traditional bank finance for their businesses. The only option to these MSMEs have been digital consumer loans, which are not always suitable for them. We are filling a critical gap in providing stock financing, which is enabling small businesses to grow their turnovers by more than 40 per cent,” he said.

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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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