Focused on ensuring efficiency in the purchase and distribution of goods for Kenyans, Zanifu has secured $1,000,000 in seed funding.
The investment will enable Zanifu to upgrade its platform and extend its stock-financing to reach more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Saviu Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, Sayani Investments and several angel investors from Kenya and Nigeria participated in the round, which brings Zanifu’s total funding received so far to $1,200,000.
Zanifu provides short-term stock-financing of up to $2,000 to MSMEs in Kenya and is set to add 15,000 FMCG retailers within one year.
Founded by Steve Biko and Sebastian Mithika, some of the company’s partners include Unilever, Nestle, Soko, Coca-Cola, P&G and Brookside.
Biko and Mithika founded Zanifu in 2017 and so far, the company affirms to have extended 85,000 working capital loans worth over $13,000,000 to 7,000 businesses in Kenya.
The informal businesses in Kenya are an integral part of the economy contributing 33.8% of the country’s GDP and providing 83.4% of employment outside of small-scale agriculture.
However, access to financing remains the main impediment to growth for these micro and small businesses. And thus, over the last few years, fintech companies like Zanifu have introduced products that are tailored to the financing needs of the MSMEs.
Zanifu works with a number of manufacturers and distributors to extend the credit to these small businesses with retailers already sourcing products from the startup’s partners qualifying for the financing. Zanifu has created platforms for manufactures, distributors and retailers that ensure seamless ordering, payment, tracking and fulfilment.
Retailers borrow through Zanifu’s loan app, where they upload information that includes historical purchase data. The retailers are then assigned a credit limit, after its algorithm scores them, within six hours after signing up. Retailers have up to a month to pay back the loans, which attract an interest rate of 3.5 to 5%.
Zanifu, which has a presence throughout Kenya, is now eyeing Ghana and Uganda. A regional presence will step-up competition for the likes of Uganda’s Numida and Nigeria’s Payhippo, some of the fintechs providing unsecured financing to small businesses.