FUNDING FOR FINTECH IN KENYA – GREAT STRIDES FOR FINTECH COMPANIES IN KENYA
This week has been fantabulous for Fintech Companies and Start-ups in Kenya. The opportunities that Fintech Companies have always been looking for are quickly coming to them! Just a few days ago, Kenya’s Fintech specializing in renewable energy, a sector which has another close to 23 Fintech Companies, was able to secure Kshs. 35 Billion (USD $225) in new debt and equity from Standard Bank and Japan-based Sumitomo Corporation, to finance its growth in wider Africa.
Evidently, many Fintech Companies are asking themselves how to get this kind of funding – and what should the Fintech do to become attractive for such funding?
First is to understand the Global Agenda towards Clean Energy as entrenched in the COP 27 Summit in Cairo in 2022, and the Paris Agreement which provides the policy directive that provides an avenue for Fintech Companies and Agro-forestry focused companies and communities can access funding for mitigation and adaptation projects, as well as capacity building in developing counties, to dela with impacts of climate change.
M-Kopa for instance has been able to impact the lives of many by enabling access to cheap, affordable power solutions and smart phone connectivity thereby contributing to economic empowerment for the underprivileged communities and urban poor in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana, as it keeps expanding. For these initiatives of offering eco-friendly solutions, the Fintech company was able to attract and win funding from Standard Bank, Sumitomo Corp. (Japan), & Lightrock Climate Impact Fund (UK).
CR Advocates being a top-tier full-service legal practice and multi-award winning International Business Law Firm based in Kenya has been at the center of incorporation and advisory for Fintech Companies in Kenya. We are excited to present the next clientele base with Fintech practical solutions and opportunities in our weekly newsletter for the benefit of all investors in this sector.
The Big Question Is,
WHAT DOES A FINTECH COMPANY NEED TO DO TO ACCESS THESE FUNDS?
As state in the introduction, a number of funds both Trust and Venture Capital Funds are out there looking to finance start-ups, microfinance and Fintech companies in Sub-Saharan Africa to spur economic growth through funding sustainable ‘green’ energy solutions and initiatives.
To attract these international funds a startup company in Kenya should focus on the following key steps:
- Develop a strong business plan: Create a comprehensive and compelling business plan that highlights your unique value proposition, market potential, growth strategy, and financial projections.
- Build a solid team: Assemble a capable and experienced team with relevant expertise in your industry.
- Conduct thorough market research: Gather data and insights about your target market, including size, trends, competition, and potential customers.
- Establish a minimum viable product (MVP): Develop a prototype or MVP to showcase your product or service’s functionality and potential.
- Network and seek introductions: Leverage your network and actively seek introductions to potential international funders.
- Research international funding sources: Identify international funders, such as venture capital firms, angel investors, and impact investors, who have a track record of investing in startups in Kenya or similar markets.
- Tailor your pitch: Craft a concise and persuasive pitch deck that clearly communicates your value proposition, market opportunity, competitive advantage, financials, and your funding requirements.
- Leverage local and regional support organizations: Engage with local and regional entrepreneurship support organizations, incubators, accelerators, and government agencies that can provide guidance, mentorship, and access to funding opportunities.
- Be prepared for due diligence: Anticipate that potential funders will conduct thorough due diligence on your company. Ensure that your financial records, legal documents, intellectual property, and operational processes are in order.
- Demonstrate traction and milestones: Show progress by highlighting key milestones, customer traction, revenue growth, partnerships, or any other notable achievements. This tangible evidence of progress will increase your credibility and attract investor interest.
The process of securing funding from these funding and angel investor firms is superiorly competitive, and therefore it is essential to stand out by highlighting your unique strengths and aligning your business with the interests and values of potential international funders.
The Second Key is:
WHAT PARAMETERS ARE CONSIDERED BY SUSTAINABILITY-LINKED FINANCIERS AND FUNDERS?
As discussed before, the focus of many venture capital firms, angel investors, and impact investors is shifting to start-ups that are in the sustainable energy space. By this we mean that if your company or community based organization is focused on, or relates to, or partners with other institutions in ventures that promote clean energy initiatives, and the reduction of carbon or meets the parameters of Environmental Social and Governance (ESG), then your Fintech Company, Community organization, or corporation stands a good chance to bid for and win these funds.
Through experience with other Fintech Companies, Micro-finance Companies and Start-ups in Kenya, CR Advocates LLP has developed a matrix assessment of parameters that are considered by sustainability-linked financiers and funders and a summary is here below discussed in brief.
Key Parameters for consideration include:
- Environmental Impact: The Fintech or startup’s environmental impact is evaluated based on its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and water, minimize waste generation, carbon intensity and promote sustainable resource management.
- Social Responsibility: The funders examine the Fintech or startup’s social responsibility practices focusing on factors such as labor rights, employee well-being, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, and human rights.
- Governance and Ethics: The Fintech or startup’s governance structure, ethical practices, and transparency are assessed including and assessment of the board composition, anti-corruption measures, risk management frameworks, and disclosure practices.
- Sustainability Targets: an assessment of reports on specific sustainability targets aligned with international frameworks such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects and the company’s commitment to long-term sustainability.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): The financing agreement may include predefined KPIs that the startup must achieve to maintain favorable terms. These KPIs can be related to energy efficiency, waste reduction, social impact, diversity, or other sustainability metrics.
- Reporting and Verification: The startup is often required to provide regular sustainability reports that outline its progress towards meeting the defined targets.
- Impact Measurement: The startup may need to demonstrate the positive impact it creates through its products, services, or operations.
- Materiality Assessment: The startup is expected to identify and prioritize the most significant sustainability issues related to its business operations. Conducting a materiality assessment helps determine which ESG factors are most relevant to the company and require focused attention.
CR Advocates LLP plays a strategic role in collaboration with the Fintech Company or the Start-up or community organizations in crafting and developing the funding proposals and compliances with the ESG requirements and SDG goals of the UN which many funders and angel investors are currently looking at before they put in an investment in the Fintech or Corporation.
Are you a Fintech Company, or Start-up operating in Kenya – or are you outside Kenya and would wish to benefit from the ripe economic space that Fintech Companies and Start-ups are benefiting in, CR Advocates is able to help you set-up in the country at reasonable costs and set you on the path to getting the seed capital and opportunities around Funding and Angel Investment in your particular sector.
CR Advocates LLP works closely with the Fintech or Start-up to identify and tailor the funding applications in line with the specific parameters and criteria for sustainability-linked debt financing preferred by each lender and the industry in which the Fintech or Start-up operates. CR Advocates is able to conduct an ESG Impact Assessment for your Fintech or Start-up Company to align it with the global standards and enable your company be in the right positioning for funding.
CR Advocates works closely with the applicants of the Funds and Grants by initiating and guiding the applicants through dialogue with potential lenders or financial institutions to understand their specific sustainability requirements and tailor their sustainability strategies accordingly.
We are excited with the potential for growth that Fintech and Star-up Companies have in Kenya and the ever growing need for funders and angel investors have in Kenya’s emerging sectors. Should your Fintech Company or Start-up or Organization need a more detailed explainer on the processes and the intricacies surrounding the application process and the requirements to pursue a successful application, CR Advocates LLP will be your trusted partner in this endeavor to help you get that cheaper capital injection for your business.
“The information provided in this article is intended for general legal advice and does not constitute legal advice for any specific transaction or case. Since each transaction presents a unique legal context, it is advisable to retain a legal adviser for specific transactions.”
To contact CR Advocates LLP, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +254 100979081 or Book a strategy call HERE or direct message us HERE on WhatsApp at your convenience. Our legal team will be happy to help you.