Zanifu, a Kenya-based fintech company that provides financial access to SMEs in Africa, has secured $11.3 million in debt and equity funding.
The Series A round was led by Beyond Capital Venture and Variant Investments and featured the participation of other venture funds including Founders Factory Africa, Google Black Founders Fund, and AAIC Investment.
According to a report by TechCrunch, Zanifu will seek to capitalize on the financial muscle secured by the funding to expand its operations and reach in Kenya
Zanifu Expansion Plans Shelved
Steve Biko, the startup’s CEO and Co-founder confirmed that the company will shelve initial plans to extend its wings to neighboring Uganda and other African markets and instead focus on supporting other players in the supply chain who also encounter financing challenges.
“We will go to other markets once we get to profitability,” Biko told Techcrunch.
Founded in 2017, the company is driven by the mission of bridging the existing gap in MSME financing particularly during acquiring stock and thus helping to reduce poverty in Africa.
Through its platform, Zanifu helps retailers in Kenya to procure inventory from their suppliers and pay later.
The retailers are allowed to carry goods without paying and only do so after they have sold their supplies without any collateral requirement or credit history.
This way, MSMEs can bypass the formalities required to access funding from major financial institutions which demand formal structure and financial records among others.
Testimonials from beneficiaries seen by Emerging Brands show that small entrepreneurs have managed to sustain their businesses with the support of Zanifu which ensures that they are always stocked and do not lose out on sales.
“I have never been able to access financing from a bank because I don’t have collateral. Today, I can comfortably grow my business without worrying about cash flow,” Cyrus Ochieng, one of the bebeneficiariesampled by Zanifu noted.
The new funding now rakes the total amount of funds raised by the company to $12 million after having raised $1 million in seed stage funding in January 2022.