Image credit: Kopo Kopo
A new fintech startup in Kenya has been helping business owners grow with cashless payments.
Kopo Kopo was developed to take advantage of the quickly growing mobile money market in Kenya (started in 2007, Lipa Na M-Pesa was in use monthly by 48% of the population by 2013). The company has been setting up small businesses with the mobile money payment system so that customers can easily scan a code and send a payment from their smartphones.
The company, which was founded in 2011 and received $2.1 million in series B funding 2015, has successfully expanded into Tanzania and Rwanda and grown to include a new service.
Using the data gathered from their transaction histories, Kopo Kopo is able to offer business owners a unique opportunity: instant, approved, small loans. Because Kopo Kopo knows each user company’s income patterns, they are able to offer cash advances that are likely to be affordable without an approval process or any waiting period.
The company goes even further in simplifying small business loans by agreeing with business owners on an acceptable percentage of withholding from every customer transaction, credited directly to the loan.
Needless to say, business owners are pleased and the model is proving highly successful. By 2014 the company already served an estimated 12,500 merchants.
The company has plans to partner with MasterCard to bring MasterPass service to the region, further expanding economic possibilities for small businesses.
Judging by the faith invested by MasterCard and the rapid growth of mobile money usage in the region, one can only expect Kopo Kopo to continue to grow, opening a new world of possibilities for small businesses along the way.
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