Pan-African embedded finance Fintech Pezesha has raised a pre-series A investment of $11 Million. The round was a mix of $6 million equity and $5 million debt. The funding round, which was led by Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II (WWBCP II), will see the company significantly scale operations in its core markets and grow into new markets within Sub Sahara Africa.
Pezesha provides a B2B digital lending infrastructure with an emphasis on giving financially disadvantaged SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa access to inexpensive working capital. According to estimates, this industry has a $328 billion financing deficit. Hilda Moraa, a second-time fintech entrepreneur who successfully sold her first fintech company in 2015, created Pezesha in 2017. The money from this investment will be used by Pezesha to strengthen its position in East Africa and extend its network of online lenders across the continent of West Africa.
With its headquarters in Kenya, Pezesha has concentrated on finding solutions to difficult infrastructure issues that leave MSMEs in the “missing middle.” Pezesha, a pioneer in embedded finance in Africa, provides productive loans to tech-enabled platforms like Twiga Foods, Jumia, and Marketforce among dozens of others. By bridging the MSME information gap and mending fractured value chains.
Partners offer credit and other financial services to their merchant network at the time of sale by effortlessly integrating with Pezesha’s APIs. MSMEs who want to buy stock but pay later can obtain real-time loan offers thanks to the credit scoring APIs from Pezesha. To help MSMEs who do not qualify for loans build their credit and assure prudent borrowing as they advance up the Pezesha financial ladder, Pezesha also provides financial literacy classes and debt counseling.
Through the issuance of more than 100,000 loans to MSMEs in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana over the past two years, Pezesha has increased the value of its disbursements by more than 2,000%.
“ We are excited about attracting institutional investors led by the Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II to harness our growth plans and push our mission to the next level. We are equally excited that WWBCP II intentionally invests in women, which allows us to cement inclusivity in our growth plans as a sustainable path toward our vision of building Africa’s MSME lending infrastructure.
Additionally, this round has brought together strategic investors who underpin the fundamentals of financial inclusion in their thesis and we believe these combined experiences will help us accelerate and enable millions of MSMEs across African value chains to access affordable working capital.”
Hilda Moraa, Founder & CEO, Pezesha.
The second gender-lens investment fund launched by US-based nonprofit Women’s World Banking and administered by WWB Asset Management is known as WWBCP II. By making investments in high-performing financial service companies that cater to low-income women and have a dedicated technical assistance facility to support portfolio companies in achieving their strategic goals for gender inclusion, the fund intends to close the gender gap. Verdant Frontiers Fintech Fund, an early stage African Fintech Fund focused on accelerating financial inclusion, cFund and IOG, ventures investing in blockchain infrastructure-layering innovations, Talanton (values-driven private impact investment fund), and Verdant Capital Specialist Funds investing debt in this round are additional strategic investors that have joined the round.
“We’re excited to join Pezesha’s journey,”
“Pezesha is dedicated to solving Africa’s working capital problem through its robust lending infrastructure and this investment will allow them to deepen the range of financial products offered especially to women-owned MSMEs. We look forward to teaming up with Pezesha as it drives financial inclusion in Africa and continues to increase the number of women served in its business ecosystem.”
Christina “CJ” Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management.
In addition, Pezesha is expanding the debt liquidity market by collaborating with smart institutional investors like IOG-Cardano. By overlaying DeFi liquidity channels on top of the scalable digital lending infrastructure, the alliance enables the business to access affordable funding.
“I’m delighted to announce our investment in Pezesha. Facilitating the movement of capital into emerging markets to support economic growth and job creation is a core promise of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Our vision is centered on using technology to make it easier for people across the globe to borrow and lend to each other in a regulated way. This investment in Pezesha is an important milestone, and we’re excited to be a part of their growth story.”
Charles Hoskinson, Co-founder of IOG and Cardano.
“Pezesha is democratizing financial services to the underserved SMEs through its infrastructure that has validated trust, rockstar team and scale. We are allowing distribution models for our partners to grow with little acquisition costs while increasing retention and profitability. We are the trade shift for Africa. Providing the rails for everyone to offer fintech services from supply chains, cooperatives, payments, e-commerce marketplaces etc by leveraging our lending infrastructure to operate and offer working capital to their customers in an effective and affordable way. In a nutshell, Pezesha has demonstrated the trust of all key stakeholders within its digital ecosystem and the capital markets.”
“Embedded finance is the future. The ability to embed financial services to traditional workflows or processes through tech and automation is estimated to be at $248Bn by 2032. The foundation that Pezesha has built so far is anchored for the future with a talented team at the helm of it.”
Hilda Moraa, Founder & CEO, Pezesha.