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Kenyan digital banking startup Kwara raises $4mn to build a neobank

The company’s mission is to bring modern financial services to millions of people by developing credit unions

Kenyan digital banking startup Kwara has raised $4 million to build a neobank that will help bring modern financial services to millions of people by developing credit unions in emerging markets, according to media reports. The funding round was led by Breega VC along with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund Emerge, New General Market Partners, Finca Ventures, Globivest, and Do Good Invest. Other investors are Launch Africa, Rabacap, Future Africa, Norrsken Impact Accelerator, DOB Equity, Samurai Incubate, and fintech angels.

Founded in 2018 by Cynthia Wandia and David Hwan, Kwara has built a digital banking platform that is primarily designed to help the unbanked and underbanked people to help build wealth in a frictionless way. The company also offers a management platform that helps drive efficacy and automation at the cooperative staff level.

Kwara also connects the savings cooperatives with banks, payment gateways and other third parties by utilising an open API. All these features come in one software-as-a-service package and it lets cooperative clients pay for their usage and get a single end-to-end solution.

Kwara CEO Cynthia Wandia told the media, “We are building a solution for people – an estimated one billion – who do not currently have access to personalised banking services. This is the result of a gap in banking-grade technology and the lack of neobank-like experiences for the end clients. We’ve been thrilled to see the excitement around the Kwara brand among credit unions and their members, which is fast becoming synonymous with a superior user experience and the future of banking. Thanks to our investors, we will now be able to offer an end-client experience that is 100 times better than what they previously had access to.”

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