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Kenyan startup Tanda set for regional expansion after funding boost

Kenyan agency banking startup Tanda is expanding its operations regionally after securing funding from early-stage African tech investor Havaic, Zedcrest Capital, DFS Lab, Victor Asemota and three other investors.

Credit: Tanda

Tanda has also secured key strategic partnerships with Mastercard and Interswitch which will further accelerate its growth. The company’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.

Founded in 2018, Tanda enables shops in Kenya to be access points for financial services including banking, insurance, and utility payments. Tanda has enabled banks, telcos and a variety of digital service providers to serve their customers through a nationwide network of commission-based agents, with distribution costs that are a fraction of traditional channels.

The independent agent network operator says it aims to make informal banking an accessible and lucrative growth channel for its agents and service providers.


Expansion to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda


Today, Tanda’s platform and network supports 58 banks and saccos, four telecoms, 18 billers, 12,000 merchants and agents and has served over 300,000 unique customers, all of which have processed millions of transactions to date. Tanda has now set its sights on growing its Kenyan footprint to 100,000 agents and merchants and an expansion to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda within the next 24 months.

Geoffrey Mulei, CEO of Tanda, says, “Our team will continue to run aggressive agent and customer acquisition drives across the region, while securing more strategic partnerships in these new markets to further support Tanda’s growth and strategy as we pursue our goal of digitising payments across Africa. 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.”

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Commenting on Havaic’s decision to invest in Tanda, Rob Heath, partner at Havaic says, “Tanda is solving one part of the very deep and complex problem of financial inclusion that is not only Kenyan, but a problem across all emerging and undeveloped markets. Havaic believes that the wider Tanda team has 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.”

Heath adds that 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.”
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