Kenya’s Pezesha raises $11m pre-Series A to grow embedded finance platform

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Kenya-based embedded finance fintech startup Pezesha has raised a pre-Series A investment of US$11 million to help it significantly scale operations in its core markets and grow into new ones within Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Founded in 2017 by Hilda Moraa, Pezesha offers a B2B digital lending infrastructure focused on providing affordable working capital to financially-excluded SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Partners integrate seamlessly with Pezesha’s APIs and offer credit and other financial services to their merchant network at the point of sale. Its credit-scoring APIs act as the engine of a simple but robust process where MSMEs receive real-time loan offers to purchase stock and pay later. 

In the last two years, Pezesha has grown the value of its disbursements over 2,000 per cent, and disbursed more than 100,000 loans to MSMEs in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana. The US$11 million funding round will be used to grow its presence in East Africa and expand to the West African market. 

The round was a mix of US$6 million equity and US$5 million debt, and was led by Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II, a gender-lens investment fund established by US-based non-profit organisation Women’s World Banking and managed by WWB Asset Management. Other strategic investors included Verdant Frontiers Fintech Fund, cFund, IOG, Talanton, and Verdant Capital Specialist.

Pezesha is also opening up the debt liquidity market by working with strategic institutional investors such as IOG-Cardano. Through this partnership, the company can access affordable capital by layering DeFi liquidity channels on top of the scalable digital lending infrastructure.

“We are excited about attracting institutional investors led by the Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II to harness our growth plans and push our mission to the next level. We are equally excited that WWBCP II intentionally invests in women, which allows us to cement inclusivity in our growth plans as a sustainable path towards our vision of building Africa’s MSME lending infrastructure,” Moraa said.

“We’re excited to join Pezesha’s journey,” said Christina Juhasz, chief investment officer at  Women’s World Banking Asset Management. “Pezesha is dedicated to solving Africa’s working capital problem through its robust lending infrastructure and this investment will allow them to deepen the range of financial products offering especially to women owned MSMEs. We look forward to teaming up with Pezesha as it drives financial inclusion in Africa and continues to increase the number of women served in its business ecosystem.”

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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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