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Zazu, a Lusaka-based fintech company announced that it had raised USD 1.4Mn in funding. The source of funding remains unknown.
The platform is also planning to launch its second crowdfunding campaign to get more investors on board. Its first one took place in 2017 on Seedrs where it raised USD 218 K in exchange for 6.32 percent equity.
The said funding will be used to advance its product development and expand its current team as it hopes to reach more customers in different areas in Zambia.
Zazu was founded in 2015 by Perseus Mlambo, the CEO, who was later joined by the current COO Alessandra Martini as co-founder in 2016. Though registered in the UK, it has offices in Lusaka and was even licensed by the Bank of Zambia in 2018 as a payments system business.
According to World Bank, sixty six percent of Africans in Sub-Saharan Africa are unbanked and women are less likely to have access to financial services than men. What’s more, traditional brick and mortar financial institutions are rigid and inflexible, leading to more people being financially excluded.
Aiming to make financial services simple and accessible, Zazu is building a digital-only money account for its users. Though still in beta mode, the platform offers money management and financial literacy services.
So far, it has launched two key products reaching a client base of retailers, individuals and NGOs. One is a chatbot launched earlier this year that offers financial literacy to Zambians and the other is a beta version of its mobile wallet launched a few months ago. The chatbot has gone to serve over 1.1 million users since its launch. The mobile wallet facilitates free money transfers, purchase of goods using QR codes and payment of utility bills.
In November this year, the startup will launch Zazu branded prepaid cards, which it will help users use the Zazu app to track and control their spending.
Interestingly, Zazu started out as an agri-tech startup in Zimbabwe but later moved to South Africa due to unpredictability of the Zimbabwean currency. It later pivoted into digital banking in 2017.
Featured image courtesy: LinkedIn
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