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Issue 88
May 03 - May 09, 2021

Hi there,

I hope you've had a good week so far.

Paystack recently announced their expansion to South Africa and we're pretty excited about it. Did you miss the announcement? Read all about it here.

Enjoy the rest of your week and stay safe.

Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo
Product Specialist
KenyaBranch International acquires Kenya’s Century Microfinance Bank. Digital lending company, Branch has acquired 84.89% of the Microfinance bank, according to regulatory filings released by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK). The acquisition will enable Branch to be more compliant with the requirements to run a lending business in Kenya.

The Central Bank of Kenya recently proposed an amendment to the Kenyan National Assembly to add a clause to the Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. This update will mandate every person intending to undertake the business of a digital money lender to first obtain a license from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). The bill also requires CBK to publish a list of all licensed digital money lenders in the Kenya Gazette. This move by Branch is strategic because by acquiring Century Microfinance Bank, they will not need to acquire a new license to operate in Kenya. 
TwitterThe evolution of Tala. Following the announcement of the partnership between Visa and Tala to offer credit using cryptocurrency, Michael Kimani (@pesa_africa) chronicles the cycle of fintech development in East Africa in this Twitter thread.

It is interesting to learn about the evolution of Tala and Branch, two key players in the East African micro-lending space. Both companies have been affected by regulatory changes and the pandemic but have taken different paths to business continuity. While Tala seems to be bracing a new crypto frontier, Branch has doubled down, acquiring a majority stake in Century bank. It will be interesting to see the long-lasting effects of these different strategies in the future.
BotswanaInsurtech Startup, AlphaDirect, secures funding for expansion. The Botswana-based startup has secured pre-series A funding led by Launch Africa Ventures, to help it expand into Zambia and South Africa. They had 4 seed rounds between 2015 and 2019 and have raised a total of $2.5 million. They are also planning to close a $5 million Series A by June 2021. Afrikan Heroes
UgandaUgandan fintech startup, Ensibuuko raises $1million in funding. The Microfinance platform built specifically for SACCOs (Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation), has landed $1million from FCA Investments. This funding will help Ensibuuko improve their digital loan and microinsurance product targeted at rural customers. It will also help them scale rapidly across Uganda and expand to other markets. Disrupt Africa
KenyaKenyan Insurtech startup, Lami, raises $1.8 million seed funding to accelerate growth. The round was led by Accion Venture Lab with participation from AAIC, Consonance, P1 Ventures, Acuity Ventures, The Continent Venture Partners, and Future Africa. The investment will be used to expand the company’s presence in Africa and improve their product. Lami is a digital insurance platform that enables partner businesses – including banks, tech companies, and other entities – to offer digital insurance products to their users via its API. Disrupt Africa
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