Cape Town, South Africa, 2nd of June 2022 – In line with our recent brand relaunch, Kuunda is pleased to announce that their seed round closed in December 2021 of $2.25 million led by Accion Venture Lab, Finca Ventures, Launch Africa, Seedstars, Mercy Corps Ventures, Greenhouse Capital, Kepple Africa Ventures, Future Africa, The Magic Fund, and other fintech angel investors. Kuunda is a B2B2C embedded digital financial company that provides liquidity to the informal sector through their liquidity API, proprietary credit scoring algorithms, to generate behavioural and transactional borrowing profiles. Kuunda specialises in real-time, transactional based lending solutions. Kuunda is using this seed round to scale up operations in Tanzania and Pakistan, as well as to launch partnerships in Uganda, Malawi, DRC, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria & Egypt within the next 18 months.
Kuunda was founded in 2018 by a team of experienced entrepreneurs and digital financial service experts. With a combined 45 years working in the industry, the team realised that despite best efforts, the liquidity challenges faced by agents, small businesses, and consumers in emerging economies were rife and ongoing. Through time spent on the ground and in the field across Africa and Asia, the team came to recognise the pivotal role that agents, small businesses, and consumers play within their respective economies. Developing solutions to solve people’s access to liquidity was therefore key to resolving economic hardships and to help build resilience and improve economic productivity. This is what defined Kuunda’s mission to become the leading liquidity solutions provider to financially underserved users in emerging economies.
Kuunda creates dynamic borrower profiles that are built on real-time behavioural data acquired through its proprietary credit scoring algorithms. These profiles are also built via access to their channel partners’ existing infrastructure and networks. These partners provide insights into the transactional patterns of agents, small businesses and consumers, allowing Kuunda’s channel partners to accurately determine those with the most pressing financing need and the highest propensity to repay. Through these lending channels, Kuunda has been able to distribute tailored financial products that don’t contribute to the large-scale indebtedness that often plagues these economies, but rather build resilience into these user networks by giving them the ability to respond to the friction and flow experienced within their individual income patterns.
Kuunda’s algorithms have been successfully adapted to suit a number of different use cases. Our Hapa Cash product, which is a 1 day facility that funds specific transactions, can be used to finance e-float facilities, airtime advances, short-term financing and fuel purchases. In addition, Kuunda has launched Kazi Cash, a medium-term (7 & 14 Day) set of lending products that are focused on business growth that supports agents & mSME’s. This first-of-its-kind instant liquidity solution is geared towards helping businesses grow by financing stock purchases, working capital facilities, and fixed term loans to help build sustainable businesses.
“Since our inception, we have been on a mission to solve the liquidity challenges felt by many the world over. Not only has the lack of access to liquidity been an economic inhibitor, but it has also been a factor that has negatively impacted the growth of individual productivity within an economy. Our end goal is not to give a loan, our liquidity solutions are tools for all people to grow their businesses and enable individuals to feel free and be more resilient. In short, we offer solutions to enable our users to grow and develop. We envision a world where financially underserved populations have fair access to financial solutions that serve their needs,” Andrew Milne, CEO of Kuunda Holdings Limited.
“Agents and micro businesses are often the main way that underserved populations in Africa and Asia access financial services, but they face massive liquidity gaps that make it harder to serve their communities. Kuunda provides solutions for agents and micro merchants that enable them to grow their businesses while also helping their communities grow and thrive. We are thrilled to welcome Kuunda to the Accion Venture Lab portfolio,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion.
In Swahili, Kuunda means to create. We build embedded financing solutions to solve liquidity problems for agents, MSMEs and consumers. Through our short-term financing products and our medium-term growth financing solutions, we are creating positive social impact, and financially sustainable economic productivity for our channel partners, balance sheet providers, distribution networks and their users.
About Accion Venture Lab
Accion Venture Lab is a leading early-stage impact investor in inclusive fintech startups. We believe that affordable, well-designed financial services enable economic growth and prosperity for underserved populations in the world. Accion Venture Lab invests globally in the most innovative models and technologies delivering quality financial services to underserved households and small businesses with the potential to scale. Backed by commercial and impact investors since the launch of its third-party fund in 2019, Accion Venture Lab has invested in more than 55 early-stage startups that operate in 35 countries worldwide.
Accion Venture Lab is a part of Accion, a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. Accion catalyzes financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. For 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 170 partners in 55 countries. For further information, visit accion.org/venturelab.