Kwara, a Kenya-based fintech company that digitizes credit unions (saccos), has reportedly doubled its customer base in 2022 and anticipates massive growth in the coming years after obtaining a $3 million seed financing and securing a curated digital solutions distribution deal with Kuscco (Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives), the national umbrella organization representing saccos.
Kwara claims that as a result of its agreement with Kuscco, it now has access to a network of over 4,000 saccos for its banking-as-a-service product. Kwara also intends to buy Kuscco's subsidiary IRNET, a software provider for saccos, as part of the exclusivity agareement for an unknown amount.
According to Kwara, the Kuscco agreement comes just in time for its strategy to focus more on Kenya.
Existing investors Globivest, DOB Equity, and Kobalt Music founder Willard Ahdritz actively participated in the seed funding round.
Besides, new supporters such as Base Capital, One Day Yes, and fintech executives including Revolut’s CFO Mikko Salovaara also invested in the round. The firm has now raised $7 million in initial capital in total owing to the latest funding. Several investors, such as SoftBank Vision Fund Emerge, Breega, New General Market Partners, as well as Finca Ventures also participated in the initial round.
Kwara's technology streamlines credit unions' back-office operations by assisting them in moving away from time-consuming paper-based operations and physical offices, giving them new opportunities to sign up new users and develop innovative products.
The firm also provides members of partner credit unions a range of additional services including instant loans as well as third-party services such as insurance through its next-generation neobank app. The company claimed that since its launch the previous year, the number of users of the neobank app, which also enables users to check their finances and make direct deposits into their sacco accounts, has increased 35-fold.
The fintech intends to develop more capabilities to appeal to saccos, as well as other services for neobank app customers.