May 23, 2022

Kenya-based fintech startup Churpi aims to expand across Africa, establishing hubs in Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa for planned growth across the continent with just raised $1 million in seed funding.

The receivables automation startup is looking to change the way companies manage their customers’ loans with its SaaS product, which automates the processes of matching incoming payments and invoices, a time-consuming process that is still largely manual for most local businesses.

The startup is connected to some of the largest banks in the sector, including Citibank, Sidion, Stanbic and NCBA, through its API, which gives companies access to real-time statement and transaction data using a SaaS product. Can be used for pending payments. Invoicing. from an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system – used to track day-to-day business activities such as accounting and supply chain activities.

“We are hiring more people as we plan to go to Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa, their centers” [respective] Area. We are also investing in product development as we plan to expand our offerings,” said gaming-updates, co-founder of Charpy Kennedy Mukuna.

Churpi’s partner banks are present across Africa, which Mukuna says will make it easier for startups to streamline their operations.

Mukuna co-founded Churpi last year with John Keepum, whom he met a year earlier at the Antler East Africa Accelerator event. Both Mukuna and Kiptum have extensive experience in data analytics, banking and risk management and have worked at institutions such as the World Bank and Citibank. He said his experience in banking helped him understand the pain points of clients in the sector. Since then, the founding team has been joined by James Canyangi, who has extensive experience in payment transactions, artificial intelligence and robotics.

“It was really easy for us to uncover a lot of ideas, products, innovations and technologies in the financial sector. We’ve been there, we’ve seen how it works or why it doesn’t work, why it’s slow, why it’s inefficient, and why customers are unhappy. And so what we build is based on real experience,” Kiptum says.

The startup is running a pilot program with some of Kenya’s leading manufacturing and service companies, including Unga Limited and Chandaria Industries.

“On the dashboard, these companies can see who has the money, how efficient they are raising and how liquid they are, and other operational metrics. This will allow CFOs and their accounting teams to take on a more strategic role for the company and keep an eye on defaulters,” Mukuna said.

Embedded financial products for small and medium businesses

Churpi also plans to create a working capital financing product targeted at small and medium businesses, which will be provided to enterprise customers who subscribe to the startup’s SaaS product.

Rather than waiting for the usual period of up to two months for SMEs to receive their money, these companies benefit from immediate payment for delivered goods.

“SMEs have a huge funding gap. They are the suppliers of these large companies and they need capital to deliver raw materials to their other customers. They usually require collateral to obtain bank loans and wait for approval to access capital to continue their business. We guarantee that after the goods are delivered to partner companies, they will not be charged a shipping fee of 0.5%. As soon as their bill is paid, we will be paid,” says Mukuna.

The startup has partnered with several banks to launch the service as part of its strategy to unlock other account resolution services. To start financing small and medium businesses, the Business Development Bank provided Churpi with US$15 million (paid through its banking partners) for on-lending.

A recent seed round was led by Unicorn Growth Capital with Antler East Africa (after a $100,000 pre-seeding), Nairobi-based Business Angel Network and some RallyCap LPs including senior Stripe executives.

Barbara Eee, founder and CEO of Unicorn Growth Capital, said: “Clearly, the B2B payment business is very young and ready to be upgraded and revolutionized around the world. We are happy to cooperate with the Churpi team as pioneers in the market. ,

“Charpy is the only end-to-end platform available that offers reconciliation with receivables automation, billing marketplace, and integrated B2B payments specific to its markets. They are well positioned to become a key partner for businesses and lenders in Africa and can effectively address the critical credit gap faced by SMEs to finance suppliers and working capital.

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