Kenyan fintech startup, Zanifu, has secured $11.2 million in debt-equity funding in a pre-Series A round to expand its solutions to distributors and scale its operations in Kenya.
The company plans to use the funds to provide additional financial services, such as insurance, and develop tools to, for example, assist businesses with inventory management and bookkeeping.
Founded by Steve Biko (CEO) and Sebastian Mithika in 2017, Zanifu provides inventory financing to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
It targets businesses that encounter difficulties securing credit from formal lenders due to a lack of structure, accounting records, and assets suitable for use as collateral.
Zanifu offers credit to businesses based on the data it collects from them and their suppliers. By paying their suppliers directly, the fintech lowers the risk of the line of credit.
Depending on the company size, distributors may receive up to $10,000 in stock financing, and retailers receive goods worth $200 to $500. While 500 distributors have already received services due to the expansion of their clientele, 13,000 microbusinesses have received credit from it.
The monthly interest rate ranges from 5% to 6%, and a 99.2% repayment rate has been reported thus far due to several factors, including Zanifu's underwriting algorithm.
Customers can check their credit limit and place orders using an Android application. The startup has incorporated several payment options into the app for prompt repayments. Retailers can also use it to pay for inventory acquired from distributors outside their database.