Pezesha raises $11m from Women’s World Banking and Cardano-linked IOG

Rick Steves

The new startup offers a B2B digital lending infrastructure focused on providing affordable working capital to financially excluded SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Pezesha, a Pan-African embedded finance fintech, has raised $11 Million in a a pre-series A investment round led by Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II (WWBCP II), with participation of IOG, co-founded by Charles Hoskinson, who is also co-founder of Cardano.

The round was a mix of $6 million equity and $5 million debt and will fuel the firm’s scaling efforts in its core markets and growth into new markets within Sub Sahara Africa.

Headquartered in Kenya, Pezesha was founded in 2017 by Hilda Moraa, a fintech entrepreneur who successfully exited her first business in 2015.

Embedded tech for credit in Sub-Saharan Africa

The new startup offers a B2B digital lending infrastructure focused on providing affordable working capital to financially excluded SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Pezesha currently supports dozens of tech-enabled platforms, including Twiga Foods, Jumia and Marketforce. Proceeds will be used to grow its presence in East Africa and expand its digital lending infrastructure to the West African market. According to the firm, the sector is estimated to face a $328 Billion financing gap.

Through Pezesha’s credit scoring API, SME can offer credit among other financial services to their merchant network at the point of sale. MSMEs receive real time loan offers to purchase stock and pay later. Pezesha also offers financial literacy courses and debt counseling to MSMEs who do not qualify for loans in order to improve their credit scoring.

In the last 2 years, Pezesha has been responsible for more than 100,000 loans to MSMEs in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana. The fintech is able to extend loans of up to $10,000 at single-digit interest rates, and a repayment period of one year.

The firm has plans to create a $100 million financing opportunity each year for businesses by tapping local and international banking institutions, high-net-worth individuals and decentralized finance.

Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Input Output Global (IOG) and Cardano, stated: “Facilitating the movement of capital into emerging markets to support economic growth and job creation is a core promise of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Our vision is centered on using technology to make it easier for people across the globe to borrow and lend to each other in a regulated way. This investment in Pezesha is an important milestone, and we’re excited to be a part of their growth story.”

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