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DPI, Fireball Capital back Ukheshe’s African expansion ambitions

By , ITWeb
Africa , 08 Dec 2022
Clayton Hayward, Ukheshe founder and CEO.
Clayton Hayward, Ukheshe founder and CEO.

UK-headquartered Ukheshe International, a division of digital-first, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) enabler Ukheshe Group, has secured investment that will be used to support its international expansion.

According to Ukeshe, the investment will be led by ADP III, a fund advised by Development Partners International (DPI), a premier, Africa-focused investment firm with US$3-billion in assets under management and co-investment, alongside funds advised by South African venture capital firm Fireball Capital.

Ukheshe was established in 2018 to drive financial inclusion across Africa and beyond, by creating new ways for businesses to develop and grow their financial services offerings.

It has operations in Mauritius, Kenya, and UAE.

The company says Africa’s payments and Fintech ecosystems are growing rapidly, but remain under-developed, with many communities still lacking access to critical financial products and services.

Ukheshe adds that as innovation continues to disrupt established players and drive growth in emerging markets, there are opportunities for software innovators to pioneer solutions to critical problems, provide value for customers, and support communities in markets where technology has the power to make the biggest impact.

Clayton Hayward, Ukheshe Founder and CEO says: “Ukheshe’s mission is to transform the lives of individuals by facilitating access to critical financial products and services that support the growth and prosperity of communities globally. We have made great progress in recent years, growing our footprint, and expanding our reach across Africa.”

“As we continue to grow, we look forward to partnering with DPI, who as a leading Africa-focused investor, brings international market knowledge and experience in investing and creating value across the continent. Combined with the deep local market understanding of Fireball Capital, that has a track record of seizing opportunities in the Fintech space, we are excited about Ukheshe’s future.”

In addition to capital, DPI will look to support Ukheshe to further institutionalise the business, achieve its ambitious organic and inorganic growth plans, create quality employment opportunities, and support the financial inclusion of emerging markets.

James Griffiths, Managing Director at DPI comments: “Ukheshe is at the forefront of innovation in payments and Fintech, expanding financial inclusion and increasing access to affordable digital banking and payments services to customers across Africa. The business has scaled rapidly since 2018, building a strong runway for future growth as it looks to seize opportunities internationally and deploy its portfolio of solutions into diverse markets. We are excited to bring our experience in the sector and extensive market knowledge to the table, working closely with Clayton and his dynamic management team to help them realise their ambitions.”

Paula Mokwena, CEO at Fireball says: “Ukheshe is not only an innovative, high-growth company with a great management team, but it is also playing a critical role in broadening affordable access to financial services to the underserved, underbanked and unbanked populations in Africa. Our planned investment in Ukheshe is in line with our investment mandate of giving South African institutional investors access to the best technology-enabled businesses that are solving real-world problems, particularly in the financial services, education, and healthcare sectors. We look forward to partnering with the Ukheshe management team and DPI in the next growth phase of the business.”

Royal Park Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Ukheshe and its shareholders throughout the transaction.

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