Zambian fintech Zazu announces it’s raised $1.4m

Date:

Lusaka-based fintech Zazu announced yesterday in a blog post that it had raised $1.4-million in funding.

The startup, which is registered in the UK but has an office in Zambia, offers users a digital money account. It was founded in 2015 by Perseus Mlambo (pictured above). COO Alessandra Martini joined as co-founder in 2016.

In the same blog post Zazu also revealed that it plans to launch a second crowdfunding campaign in coming weeks to raise further capital.

Zazu was founded in 2015 by Perseus Mlambo

Its not clear when the startup closed the investment deal or from whom it raised the funding. Ventureburn both yesterday and today sought comment on these details from Zazu by email and phone but had not received a response at the time of publication.

According to business intelligence platform Crunchbase, Zazu raised a total of £465 360 in two equity crowdfunding rounds in 2017. One of these involved French angel investor Marc Ménasé.

Prior to that, the fintech startup raised raised £140 993 in 2016 in seed funding from UK equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs and the Key Fund.

In 2015 Zazu raised £30 000 from Seedrs, Manchester-based accelerator Dotforge and the Ignite Accelerator.

Tech publication Disrupt Africa reported in an article yesterday that the startup was initially an agritech company that connected farmers with extra produce to new markets before it pivoted into fintech in 2017.

Over 1.1-million users

The startup said in the post that its chatbot — which it launched at the beginning of the year and which teaches anyone in Zambia for free, how financial services work — has notched up over 1.1 million users.

Zazu said it launched the beta version of its mobile wallet a few months ago, to get feedback from its early adopters.

The wallet can be used to make free money transfers, purchase goods using a QR code or to pay for bills like airtime, TV subscriptions or electricity.

For each transaction, the startup automatically categorises the spending to allow users to better track their finances.

The startup said its current client base includes retailers, non-government organisation (NGOs) and individuals — who are all using Zazu to simplify how they make and collect payments, as well as manage their money.

Zazu said that the biggest feedback it has obtained so far was that unless it could on-board every merchant in Zambia and give them a QR code, it was hard for people to spend their money and benefit from the startup’s spending analysis.

“Listening to the feedback, we quickly started integrating our app to one of the card schemes in order to issue a Zazu branded prepaid card,” it added

To address this, the startup aims to in November launch a prepaid card that can be used around the world, at any store, ATM, or e-commerce platform that accepts Visa or Mastercard.

Featured image: Zazu founder Perseus Mlambo (LinkedIn)

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