Mukuru adds muscle with Zoona Malawi acquisition
Established international money operator and remittance firm Mukuru has acquired Zoona Malawi’s operational assets along with the technology systems that support its Malawian operations.
Africa-based financial services provider Zoona released a statement saying it has worked with Mukuru for four years as a trusted partner.
Andy Jury, CEO, Mukuru, said: “Mukuru empowers Africa’s financially under-served migrant workers to be included in the formal financial ecosystem and to move money in a convenient, safe and affordable way. This acquisition will bring the benefits of our extensive products and cutting-edge technology to the citizens of Malawi – giving them better options and safe mechanisms to send money to loved ones and ultimately uplift their communities.”
The companies have not disclosed the value of the acquisition, but said it will extend Mukuru’s African footprint deep into the urban centres and rurally across Malawi – “thus eliminating the time and money that people have to spend travelling long distances to local towns to claim remittances.”
Zoona Malawi’s agents will operate as Mukuru agents benefiting from a wider product range to offer customers backed by Mukuru’s established brand name. In addition, agents will benefit from being part of the SADC regional network, increasing their regional exposure and potentially boosting earnings over time.
The acquisition has not had a major impact on operations, according to the companies.
“The only impacts are the employees being employed by different entities, but practically everything else remaining the same. Mukuru has taken the Zoona teams onboard and welcomed them into the business with open arms. Mukuru needs them to deliver on an operational mandate that is unchanging, and is excited about harnessing growth opportunities that should be to the benefit of customers and the business going forward,” the companies have stated.
Paul Maasdorp, Managing Director at Emerging Capital Partners, key Mukuru investors, noted: “We are pleased to continue to support Mukuru’s rapid expansion and extensive reach through organic growth and acquisitions across the continent. Mukuru is an exciting, large Fintech player that is leveraging its impressive technology platform and logistics capabilities to rapidly formalise informal channels and provide an affordable, safe alternative to risky informal remittance channels.”
According to Mukuru, innovative money transfer providers that leverage technology and global partnerships are rapidly accelerating financial inclusion across the continent by providing convenient, secure and accessible alternatives to informal, unregulated players that operate illegally.
All too often, migrants who turn to informal remittance ‘providers’ fall prey to loan sharks and fraudsters, losing many months of income because of a lack of services in their area.
“Mukuru is a strong and stabilising presence in the markets and regions in which we operate, providing inflows vital to immigrants and central banks alike. We work closely with regulators and central banks in this highly regulated industry to lead in compliance and provide innovative products that are affordable and accessible to our customers and disempowered migrant workers,” adds Jury.
“Looking ahead, we plan to build up the agent network and provide new and exciting accessible financial products in Malawi. By becoming an integral part of one of the largest fastest growing Fintechs in the region, former Zoona agents will have access to money movements in the broader region with the backing of world-class technology and infrastructure.”