According to a report from Techmoran, Kopo Kopo, a Kenyan mobile money aggregator and micro-lender will be increasing its focus on the African market and will be launching its Grow Cash Advance product in Uganda, Ghana and Zimbabwe.
This comes after Kopo Kopo raised $2.1 million in equity financing which is set to be used to help Kopo Kopo expand the Grow service. Kopo Kopo was founded in 2010 as a mobile payments aggregator service that enabled small businesses to accept mobile money payments and gave merchants a facility to monitor their transactions.
It has worked with Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator and the company behind M-PESA, to introduce Lipa Na M-PESA. This is a mobile money payment service that allows for the use of M-PESA for online and point of sale payments.
Kopo Kopo’s new focus, cash advance and microlending for companies that handle credit card, debit card and mobile money payments will be the first of its kind in the Zimbabwean market.
The facility is meant to offer any sort of business that uses credit payment facilities a working capital extension. This loan is unsecured, and credit is based on ratings determined by cash flow data. Kopo Kopo makes its profit by charging a fixed fee, and deductions are made every time a credit payment is made.
With the way in which microlending and credit services have taken root in Zimbabwe because of challenges in predictable cash flow patterns, any sort of service that eases the unsecured lending chain looks like it will have a place in the local market.
No information has been shared on what sort of strategies will be used by Kopo Kopo for the respective markets being pursued, other than the fact that the team will be replicating the model that has been used successfully in Kenya.
This could mean a potential partnership with a mobile operator, and it definitely calls for an engagement with a local financial institution.
image credit – Techcabal