KENYA – Kenyan fintech startup Asilimia, which helps small businesses more easily access various payments mechanisms through a digital ecosystem, has raised US$350,000 in funding as it looks to expand across the country.

Founded in 2017 by Tekwane Mwendwa and Frenchman Maxime Servettaz, Asilimia aims to empower small businesses through an affordable, easy-to-use and tailored digital payments platform, reports Disrupt Africa

Its Android app gives business owners direct access to a payment infrastructure specifically tailored to their needs via mobile phones. it eliminates tedious registration processes and allowing owners to easily send money at scale.

Through the app, customers can also invest savings on transaction fees into insurance or business loans, gain insights into their finances, and minimise payment fraud. 

Asilimia has just graduated from the third edition of the Cape Town-based, corporate-backed Startup bootcamp AfriTech accelerator, and while in South Africa took part in the SA Innovation Summit in September. 

There it won the Africa Cup, run by business development firm the Unicorn Group, securing an investment offer in the process. This has now been formalised as a US$350,000 investment, part of a US$500,000 round the startup is raising.

The investment will be used to help Asilimia expand from Nairobi to other Kenyan cities, as well as acquire its first 50,000 users and process one million transactions.

The fintech startup is working on a potential pilot with UAP Insurance Uganda and will likely expand to the country in January when it closes the round.

Other than Uganda, Nigeria was the more likely market which it would also consider expanding to next.

“Currently we enable M-Pesa to M-Pesa transfers but are working on integrating with other mobile money providers as well as banks. 

“Ultimately, we hope to make mobile money transfers entirely free,” said Tekwane Mwendwa, Asilimia’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

“Despite the tremendously widespread M-Pesa personal accounts across Kenya, Safaricom’s business solutions have to date managed to reach a very small number of customers. 

“We believe that closing this gap does not only represent a tremendous business opportunity, but also has the potential to help unbanked and underbanked MSMEs grow and eventually trickle this wealth down to the very bottom of the pyramid