East Africa’s Kopo Kopo, a mobile money integration and merchant services platform has raised $2.6 million in Series A financing led by Javelin Venture Partners with participation of Accion Venture Lab and Vinod Khosla’s Impact Fund, an existing investor.
The funding round will see it hire top talent, expand its platform offering and accelerate global growth beyond East Africa with the goal of incorporating millions of merchants across the economic frontier into the formal financial system.
With operations in Rwanda and Tanzania and strong partnerships with firms such as Safaricom, Kopo Kopo has helped thousands of merchants receive mobile money easily. The firm has some 10,000 merchants, about 1,500 sign up each month.
According to Dylan Higgins, Kopo Kopo’s co-founder and CEO, “Merchants in emerging markets — like merchants anywhere — need tools and services to grow their business. Kopo Kopo, in partnership with rapidly growing mobile money systems like M-PESA, helps merchants succeed by moving their businesses onto a digital platform and empowering them with state-of-the-art software tools like remote monitoring, bank integrations, customer messaging, and even Android applications.”
Noah Doyle, a partner at Javelin Venture Partners believes in the power of the Kopo Kopo platform as create a vital link in the mobile money ecosystem by allowing consumers to pay at the merchants of their choice, unlocking billions in potential demand.
He said, “Mobile money has emerged as one of the fastest growing consumer products ever, with adoption rates reaching as high as 70% in only five years in Kenya. Javelin is thrilled to support Kopo Kopo’s mission to enable flexible mobile payments for merchants across emerging markets.”
Doyle will join Kopo Kopo’s board of directors.
Launched in 2010 in Nairobi, Kopo Kopo has been in the forefront of a cashless economy in Kenya having helped thousands of retailers, property owners, restaurant owners and merchants to accept mobile money payments. Vinod Khosla believes Kopo Kopo can do this out of Africa.
“Digital payment acceptance is a fundamental on-ramp to financial inclusion in the global economy and financial safety in the local context,” said Vinod Khosla. “Kopo Kopo is at the forefront of making this happen for merchants in Africa, and soon, around the world.”