Akiba Digital, a local South African fintech has completed a $1.1 million (R15 million) pre-seed raise in a round co-led by Expert Dojo (International Early-Stage Startup Accelerator) and Oui Capital (early-stage VC firm) and drew participation from Soma Capital, Basecamp fund, Future Africa, Hustle Fund, LoftyInc, a former PayPal executive, and other angel investors.
Akiba was founded in 2017 by Tebogo Mokwena, began operating in March 2018, and has already made great strides. The $1.1M raise is one of the largest pre-seed raises across South Africa – an indication of investor confidence in Akiba which has enjoyed a 5X year-on-year growth in revenues – racing towards 20,000 SMEs on its platform. Other co-founders are Tebogo Mokwena, Kamogelo Kekana, and Andile Maseko.
In a press release to Tech in Africa, Akiba shared that it looks to connect 20,000 SMEs to different lenders across the country. The funds will also help in assessing other scalable African markets in 2 to 3 years with a longer-term vision of offering their alternative scoring solution in South America.
On Mandela Day (Sunday, July 18), Akiba zero-rated financing to 67 SMEs adversely affected by the recent riots and looting across South Africa. According to CEO and CTO Tebogo Mokwena, Akiba will be “zero-rating the loans provided by lenders on behalf of the SMEs.”
As a woman-led fintech, Akiba provides a solution that helps small businesses across South Africa unlock financing from lending partners. Akiba helps lenders with credit insights and real-time lending decisioning through alternative datasets that provide inclusive scoring of people and small businesses unable to be scored by the traditional credit bureau.
As part of our #MandelaDay2021 initiative, Akiba Digital will be zero rating financing for 67 SMEs in South Africa who were recently affected by looting and riots
— Akiba Digital (@akibadigital) July 16, 2021
Note: Changes made to original article added co-founders