Kenyan fintech startup Kwara raises $3m seed extension
Kenyan fintech startup Kwara has raised a $3 million seed extension. The new investment was led by existing backers DOB Equity, Globivest and the founder of Kobalt Music. New investors, mainly African VCs, participated as well. They include One Day Yes and Base Capital as well as fintech executives including Mikko Salovaara, CFO of Revolut.
The startup which digitizes credit unions (SACCOS), has also acquired IRNET, a software company which is a subsidiary of the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (KUSCCO) for an undisclosed amount. With this acquisition, Kwara will now offer its Banking-as-a-service solution and neobanking experience to Kuscco’s 4000+ credit unions to consolidate credit union banking as the preferred retail banking method in Kenya.
Cynthia Wandia, CEO, Kwara: “We have spent the last three years uplifting the credit union sector in Kenya, becoming the leading core banking provider in Kenya. Our clients grow up to 4 times faster than other credit unions and serve members up to 100 times more efficiently. This acquisition enables us to place a digital banking experience in the hands of every credit union in Kenya, together with the most established credit union partner in Kenya.”
George Ototo, Group Managing Director, Kuscco: “This development marks a game changer in the management of credit unions going forward. The acquisition of IRNET and the KUSCCO-Kwara partnership will deliver to our 4,000+ member credit unions tested and proven, secure and efficient digital services as well as a modern neobanking experience.”
The entire IRNET team will join forces with Kwara to ensure a seamless transition and to embed the entire Kuscco regional network of 16 branch oﬃces and several hundred marketers and marketing expertise into Kwara.
Kwara’s mission is to bring financial health to all, and strongly believes that credit unions or savings cooperatives are the fastest way to get there. Their vision is to make a credit union account the primary account for 30 million people by 2025, and by 2032 to make credit union banking the standard for 1 billion people in 15 emerging markets.