Africa Business Communities
[Tanzania] Fintech, NALA, raises $10m in seed funding

[Tanzania] Fintech, NALA, raises $10m in seed funding

NALA, a Tanzanian cross-border payments company that recently pivoted from local to international money transfers, has announced that it has raised $10 million in a new fundraising round.

The seed round is coming almost three years after NALA secured a seven-figure pre-seed round led by Accel in 2019. In that time, NALA built a mobile money service in East Africa and scaled it to more than 250,000 users. But in 2021, NALA started testing international money transfers after some users expressed interest in moving money from the U.K. to East African countries (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), thus ushering the Tanzanian fintech into the remittance business.

The business opportunity for remittance is lucrative despite digital lenders vying for less than 20% of the international money market dominated by traditional offline players.

With Africa being the most expensive region to send money to, with 10.6% in average transaction fees, digital senders like NALA pitch themselves to customers as platforms with the best rates and lowest prices.

Other players in the space facilitating transfer from the U.K. to select African countries include unicorn Chipper Cash, Lemonade Finance, Zazuu and Sendwave. Their collective bet is that their market will grow over time and eat into traditional incumbents’ share. Whether that’ll happen remains to be seen.

That said, NALA has achieved considerable growth since testing out the product last yearThe platform allows payments from the U.K. to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ghana. And in the past six months, more than 8,000 customers have moved over eight figures in transaction volume to Africa, the company said.

“Our core customer base is the diaspora right now who live in the U.K. This is the customer we’re currently serving today as we speak,” founder and CEO Benjamin Fernandes told TechCrunch in an interview“We also got our license approvals to go live in the U.S. and the E.U., which will be going live in a month and a half in at least one other E.U. country, probably France.”

The chief executive also said NALA, currently present in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and South Africa, plans to be live in 12 African countries by the end of the year, including Nigeria.


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