Fintech Startup Kuda Raises $25m to Provide Digital-only Banking Services to Every African

Nigerian fintech startup Kuda has raised $25 million in a Series A round led by Valar Ventures, the firm co-founded and backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, with Target Global, the European venture capital firm that led Kuda’s last funding, participating in the round.

The Series A follows Kuda’s $10million raise in November 2020, a feat cheered for being the largest seed round by an African startup.

The company had said at the time it had 300,000 customers (which was a mix of individuals and sole-proprietor businesses) and was processing an average of $500 million worth of transactions per month.

Fast forward months later, Kuda says it now has 650,000 customers. Ryan Laubscher, who recently joined Kuda as Chief Commercial Officer says that Kuda processed $2.2 billion in transactions in February 2021 alone – a staggering increase from $5.2 million processed in February 2020.

All of this has been achieved just in Nigeria where the company launched as a no-fees, digital-only bank in the second half of 2019 with $1.6million pre-seed funding.

Kuda has two co-founders; Babs Ogundeyi, the CEO, and Musty Mustapha, the Chief Technology Officer.

The company has a microfinance banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria. At the moment, Kuda’s flagship product is a digital-only savings account. Customers can download the app, enter Know Your Customer (KYC) information and have an account within a day.

The new customer can receive deposits into this account, though the maximum balance and deposit amount depends on the level of KYC information provided. Customers request a debit card on the Kuda app and have it delivered to their homes.

Laubscher says Kuda’s Series A round was oversubscribed and a “decent amount of capital” was left on the table.

Their plan is to further accelerate the company’s growth in ways that those investors who couldn’t get in at this round would still be interested in being part of the Kuda story when they raise again.

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