Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


SA's Ukheshe secures funding, eyes international expansion

Article Image
South African-founded fintech enabler Ukheshe has raised an undisclosed amount from Development Partners International (DPI) and Fireball Capital to fund its growth plans across Africa and beyond.

Developed in 2018 as a digital platform to improve financial inclusion within South Africa, with the focus on small, micro and medium enterprises, the company has grown its footprint to include Mauritius, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The digital-first, banking-as-a-service (BaaS) enabler said the funding means that it can accelerate its international expansion, serving customers across eight countries including the UK, UAE, India, Mauritius, South Africa and Kenya. These deals will support its long-term growth as it continues to accelerate its acquisitive expansion plans.

"Ukheshe is well positioned to expand its footprint, entering complementary markets which are facing the same complex challenges that exist in its core markets," the company said in a statement.

The recent investment is for Ukheshe International, the UK-headquartered division of the Ukheshe Group, but the investment deals are still subject to closing conditions, it said.

Expansion plans

Ukheshe is developing new ways for businesses to deliver so-called "embedded finance" (the placing of a financial product in a non-financial customer experience) and aims to close the financial inclusion gap.

The company serves customers across different sectors, including banks, fintech, mobile network operators, and small and medium businesses. The company provides technologies that allow its clients to offer their own fintech services.

According to Ukheshe, the payments and fintech ecosystems in Africa are growing rapidly, though the sector remains underdeveloped, with many communities still lacking access to critical financial products and services.

"As innovation continues to disrupt established players and drive growth in emerging markets, there are opportunities for software innovators like Ukheshe to pioneer solutions to critical problems, provide value for customers and support communities in markets where technology has the power to make the biggest impact," the statement continued.

Through its proprietary BaaS Eclipse API platform and innovative embedded finance solutions, the company believes it is at the forefront of the fintech evolution.

"Ukheshe's mission is to transform the lives of individuals by facilitating access to critical financial products and services that support the growth and prosperity of communities globally. We have made great progress in recent years, growing our footprint, and expanding our reach across Africa," said CEO and founder Clayton Hayward.

Exciting partnerships

Hayward added that Ukheshe is looking forward to partnering with DPI, an Africa-focused investor that brings international market experience in investing across the continent.

"Combined with the deep local market understanding of Fireball Capital, which has a track record of seizing opportunities in the fintech space, we are excited about Ukheshe's future. As we look for new ways to build on our success, we will work together to accelerate our international strategy and reach more customers across the region," he explained.

Want to know more about mobile financial services in Africa? Check out our dedicated Fintech content channel here on Connecting Africa.

"Our planned investment in Ukheshe is in line with our investment mandate of giving South African institutional investors access to the best technology-enabled businesses that are solving real-world problems, particularly in the financial services, education, and healthcare sectors," added Fireball CEO Paula Mokwena.

Related posts:

*Top image is of Ukheshe founders (from left) Jason Penton, Mike Smits, Clayton Hayward and Paul Carter-Brown. (Source: Ukheshe).

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Paymentology looks to strengthen its African roots

Global issuer-processor Paymentology's CEO Jeff Parker spoke to Connecting Africa about the company's African roots and aspirations to work with more banks, fintechs and enterprises both on the continent and globally.


Women & technology: impacts of the digital gender divide

Connecting Africa correspondent Chiti Mbizule investigates the state of Africa's digital gender gap and the impact this divide is having on access, education and entrepreneurship opportunities for local women.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in February 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included 5G launches in Senegal and 5G trials in Egypt as well as Kenya's first 5G MVNO. Airtel also launched a new wholesale connectivity business while MTN and Huawei are planning a joint Innovation Technology Lab in South Africa – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: January 2024

By Omdia Analysts

Highlights in January 2024 in the Middle East and Africa included a $200 million fintech deal between MTN and Mastercard as well as 5G network trials by Telecom Egypt – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002