Announcing our Funding Round
Yesterday, we completed a funding round, to build a digital bank for Africa’s future.
Across Africa, there are 350 Million people who do not use banks. Some are afraid to walk into a bank because they don’t know what banks do and some don’t use banks because branches are too far from them. More importantly, most who use banks, agree that banking in Africa is expensive.
Since discovering this, we have been obsessed with one question: how can we get more people banking and actually enjoy it? We think that Africa is on the precipice of huge digital revolution. Not only is Africa home to one of the youngest population in the world, but upward social mobility has been a rising trend every year and technology is being adopted at every level.
350 Million unbanked people across Africa.
Banks need to market better, because they are seen as products for the rich and crucially, mobile wallets are seen as products for the poor. The end result, is 350 Million people who are unbanked. Their savings, are likely to be in cash at home or in assets. If they borrow money, it’s likely to be from friends & family. That is no way to live.
And then there are the Millenials. These are people who have leapfrogged entire technologies, they have never used landlines and have never used a fax. But the current banking experience expects them to spend an hour queuing in branch and then after that, fill in some paper forms only to wait 3 weeks to get a bank account. Once they get the account, they are told to log in online to see their balances, only to be presented with a list of information that can’t be actioned. The current banking experience is counter intuitive to the human experience, because it does not help individuals in the slightest.
In order to capitalise on the continent’s upward social mobility and if people are going to self-finance out of poverty, financial services need to be more accessible and transparent. We need to educate people on what a bank is, what words like interest rate, savings or loans actually mean. At the same time, we need to simplify how ordinary people can open and maintain a bank account. We need to present financial information in a way that makes it easy to understand what is going on with my finances. And more importantly, we need to use advanced algorithms to simplify lending & borrowing.
At Zazu, we are a building a bank for Africa’s future. Imagine opening a bank account in 2 minutes from a phone. If you want to make a deposit, visit your nearest corner shop, instead of going to a branch. If you want to pay for the water bill or any other expenses, imagine doing it from your phone. As soon as money goes in or out of your account, imagine being instantly told of your accurate and up to date balance. Imagine an account smart enough to automatically categorise your expenses. Imagine freezing and unfreezing your card via the app if you misplace it.
With this funding round we’ll be able to move further towards our vision. Because when people are banked, it allows them to flourish. They can save for the future, plan for a better tomorrow and have a healthy relationship with their money. This is why we are building a bank for Africa’s future. And we are especially pleased to welcome every single one of our investors on board.