Kenyan agency banking startup Tanda is expanding its operations regionally after securing funding from investment and advisory firm; HAVAÍC with support from Zedcrest Capital, DFS Lab, Victor Asemota. In addition, they have also secured key strategic partnerships with Mastercard and Interswitch which will further accelerate its growth.
Commenting on HAVAÍC’s decision to invest in Tanda, Rob Heath, Partner at HAVAÍC says, “Tanda is solving one part of the very deep and complex problem of financial inclusion that is not only Kenya, but a problem across all emerging and undeveloped markets.”
Heath adds that HAVAÍC believes that the Tanda team have the right mix of skills, technical expertise, geographic market knowledge and real-world experience to understand the challenges facing those left behind in the financial ecosystem.
Tanda’s expansion comes on the back of successfully pioneering and proving the viability of the interoperable agent and merchant model in Kenya, a model that has only been validated in West Africa prior to Tanda. The platform supports over 58 banks & SACCOs, four telecommunications firms, 18 billers, 12,000 merchants & agents and has served over 300,000 unique customers, all of which have processed millions of transactions to date.
In the next 24 months, Tanda has set its sights on growing its Kenyan footprint to 100,000 agents and merchants and an expansion to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Geoffrey Mulei, CEO of Tanda in a press statement said, “Our team will continue to run aggressive agent and customer acquisition drives across the region, while securing more strategic partnerships in new markets to further support Tanda’s growth and strategy as we pursue our goal of digitizing payments across Africa.” Adding that “Tanda is excited to be at the forefront of the rapid shift towards innovative digital-first solutions, especially in markets that are ripe for disruption.”
Heath says Tanda’s founding team have a successful history of building agency networks from the ground up and a background in managing family micro-retail operations.
“This knowledge was shown not in flashy presentations and buzz words, but with real growth on the ground and solid corporate partnerships where other early-stage businesses would normally struggle to get a meeting,” Heath said.
Tanda was developed in 2017 and aims to provide access to digital financial services and affordable agency banking for the underbanked population in Kenya and the rest of East Africa. The startup has a platform that allows micro-retailers to offer a wide range of digital services such as airtime, prepaid electricity, bill payments and other services to their customers, via a mobile phone platform.
Tanda also makes available cash in and cash out services at the micro retailers signed up as Tanda agents.