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.

FinTech

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

Story

African tech startup funding hits $3.3B in 2022

Investment in Africa's tech startup ecosystem passed $3 billion for the first time in 2022, with Nigeria taking the biggest piece of pie and fintech dominating other sectors, according to a report from Disrupt Africa.

Story

Connecting Africa Podcast: S2 Ep. 4 – Agri-fintech, from kibbutz to Kenya

The Connecting Africa Podcast team speak to Israeli-Kenyan startup Avenews' co-founder and CEO, Shalom Ben-Or, about his fintech super-app that has been built specifically for Africa's agriculture industry.

More Innovation hub

Flash poll

All polls

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up