Pan-African embedded finance Fintech, Pezesha, has raised a pre-series A investment of $11 Million. The round was a mix of $6 million equity and $5 million debt. The funding round, which was led by Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II (WWBCP II), will see the company significantly scale operations in its core markets and grow into new markets within Sub Sahara Africa.
Pezesha offers a B2B digital lending infrastructure focused on providing affordable working capital to financially excluded SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. This sector is estimated to face a $328 Billion financing gap. Pezesha was founded in 2017 by Hilda Moraa, a 2nd time Fintech entrepreneur who successfully exited her first Fintech business in 2015. Pezesha will use the proceeds of this investment to grow its presence in East Africa and expand its digital lending infrastructure to the West African market.
In the last 2 years Pezesha has grown the value of its disbursements over 2,000% through disbursement of more than 100,000 loans to MSMEs in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana.
Moraa commented about the investment: “ We are excited about attracting institutional investors led by the Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II to harness our growth plans and push our mission to the next level. We are equally excited that WWBCP II intentionally invests in women, which allows us to cement inclusivity in our growth plans as a sustainable path towards our vision of building Africa’s MSME lending infrastructure.
Additionally, this round has brought together strategic investors who underpin the fundamentals of financial inclusion in their thesis and we believe these combined experiences will help us accelerate and enable millions of MSMEs across African value chains to access affordable working capital.”
“We’re excited to join Pezesha’s journey,” said Christina “CJ” Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management. “Pezesha is dedicated to solving Africa’s working capital problem through its robust lending infrastructure and this investment will allow them to deepen the range of financial products offering especially to women owned MSMEs. We look forward to teaming up with Pezesha as it drives financial inclusion in Africa and continues to increase the number of women served in its business ecosystem.”
WWBCP II is the second gender-lens investment fund established by US-based non-profit organization Women’s World Banking and managed by WWB Asset Management. The fund aims to close the gender gap by investing in high-performing financial service providers that serve low-income women with a dedicated technical assistance facility to help portfolio companies achieve strategic objectives toward gender inclusion. Other strategic investors who joined the round include Verdant Frontiers Fintech Fund (an early stage African Fintech Fund focused on accelerating financial inclusion), cFund and IOG, ventures investing in innovations layering blockchain infrastructure, Talanton (values-driven private impact investment fund) and Verdant Capital Specialist Funds investing debt in this round.