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Ukheshe accelerates expansion after funding

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 07 Dec 2022
Clayton Hayward, Ukheshe founder and CEO.
Clayton Hayward, Ukheshe founder and CEO.

Ukheshe International, the UK-headquartered division of banking-as-a-service enabler Ukheshe Group, is accelerating its international expansion plans after the recent conclusion of two investment deals.

According to a statement, the company will now serve customers across eight countries, including the UK, UAE, India, Mauritius, SA and Kenya.

This follows an investment deal led by Development Partners International-owned investment firm African Development Partners III, and co-investment by local venture capital firm Fireball Capital.

The undisclosed deal amount, which is subject to customary closing conditions, reinforces Ukheshe’s strategy and will support the fintech’s long-term growth as the business continues to accelerate its acquisitive expansion plans, says Ukheshe.

While the payments and fintech ecosystem in Africa is growing rapidly, the sector remains under-developed, with many communities still lacking access to critical financial products and services and depending on cash-only transactions.

Through its proprietary Eclipse application programming interface platform and embedded finance solutions, Ukheshe say it wants be at the forefront of the global fintech evolution and reach more customers across the globe.

“Ukheshe’s mission is to transform the lives of individuals by facilitating access to critical financial products and services that support the growth and prosperity of communities globally,” says Clayton Hayward, Ukheshe founder and CEO.

“We have made great progress in recent years, growing our footprint, and expanding our reach across Africa. As we continue to grow, we look forward to partnering with DPI, which as a leading Africa-focused investor brings international market knowledge and experience in investing and creating value across the continent.

“Combined with the deep local market understanding of Fireball Capital, that has a track record of seizing opportunities in the fintech space, we are excited about Ukheshe’s future.”

Founded by four entrepreneurs in 2018, Ukheshe provides the platform and technology that supports 16 banks and fintech firms, three telcos, 3 000 billers, 200 000 merchants, as well as 18 million digital wallets and four million apps combined, which process millions of transactions every month.

Since inception, Ukheshe has scaled rapidly, and today serves customers across different sectors, including banks, fintechs, mobile network operators, and small and medium businesses.

The planned investment from DPI and Fireball Capital will enable Ukheshe to continue progressing its international ambitions, by expanding its footprint and entering complementary markets that are facing the same complex challenges that exist in Ukheshe’s core markets.

In addition to capital, DPI will look to support Ukheshe to further institutionalise the business, achieve its ambitious organic and inorganic growth plans, create employment opportunities, and support the financial inclusion of emerging markets.

James Griffiths, MD of DPI, comments: “Ukheshe is at the forefront of innovation in payments and fintech, expanding financial inclusion and increasing access to affordable digital banking and payments services to customers across Africa.

“The business has scaled rapidly since 2018, building a strong runway for future growth as it looks to seize opportunities internationally and deploy its portfolio of solutions into diverse markets.

“We are excited to bring our experience in the sector and extensive market knowledge to the table, working closely with Clayton and his dynamic management team to help them realise their ambitions.”