A Kenya based fintech, Kwara has raised $4 million in a seed round that was led by Breega VC firm. The funds will be used to create an app that allows members of credit unions to access financial services.
The Rising Demand for Financial Services by Credit Union Members
Kwara, a Kenyan fintech that focuses on helping credit unions, has raised $4 million in its latest seed round. The startup plans to use the funds to build a “neobank” app that enables individuals to sign up with their preferred credit unions to access various financial services.
The seed round was led by Breega VC firm, with the participation of Softbank Vision Fund Emerge, Finca Ventures, New General Market Partners, Globivest and Do Good Invest. Other investors include Rabacap, Launch Africa, Norrsken Impact Accelerator, Future Africa, Samurai Incubate, DOB Equity and fintech angels.
Established in 2019, Kwara already avails its proprietary backend-as-a-service (BaaS) software to Kenyan savings and credit cooperatives societies. However, as the Techcrunch report explains, the rise in the fintech’s clientele from just two to over fifty in space of just over two years prompted Kwara to moot building the app.
Explaining Kwara’s plan following the capital raise, co-founder and current CEO, Cynthia Wandia said:
We want to make credit unions as efficient as they can be by giving their members the kind of neobank experiences they wish to have.
The Techcrunch report adds that Kwara expects the app to open up new borderless avenues for the lending institutions to sign up new members. The app is also expected to help credit unions shift away from tedious paper-based systems and the need for elaborate brick-and-mortar branches.
The Beta Test
Already, Kwara’s existing clients have experienced a membership growth of over 19% year on year, about three times the global average. Concurrently, the loan base of credit unions using its technologies went up 46%, about five times the national average.
Meanwhile, David Hwan, a fellow co-founder and COO, revealed that the beta version of the app has been tested for feasibility. The uptake of the app has ranged between 60% and 90% he said.
The fintech, which also operates in South Africa and the Philippines, says it hopes to triple the number of credit unions using its software to 150 by the end of 2022. On the other hand, Kwara is also aiming to increase the number of credit union members it serves from 60,000 to 100,000 by the year’s end.
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