Kenya’s Cardplanet Solutions has raised $100k from 500 Startups to up its products, hire engineers and focus on customer acquisition in a move that will turn around the firm’s fortunes and growth story forever.
Speaking to TechMoran, Rodgers Muhadi, Cardplanet Solutions co-founder and CEO said, “We are improving our product, incorporating in the US and focusing customer acquistion, we will also be hiring when back in Kenya.”
Though incorporating in the US doesn’t neccessarily mean Cardplanet wants to take on the US market, Muhadi says he will answer this question better after 500 startups in February.
The startup which has become the first Kenyan startup to be selected into 500 Startups is not taking anything for granted and not forgetting its humble roots at Nailab soon.
“This is to formally announce our selection to the 500 startups famous program in Silicon Valley. We pride ourselves as having come to the Nailab two year ago with just an idea but left with a business and gone ahead to get more traction and investment,” wrote Muhadi. “The 500 startups is a very prestigious program that comes with $100 investment, mentoship and access to a larger network in Silicon Valley.We cannot emphasize enough on how being part of the Nailab program helped us get where we are now. As we aspire for bigger things to come and growing our company, we thought it will be important just to let everyone now that every single thing that you do at the Nailab can contribute greatly to the success of the startup.”
Last year, Cardplanet Solutions, a smart card payment startup founded in 2012 in Kenya launched PesaCard, an electronic wallet linked to mobile money to help parents sent cash to their children at school from their mobile phones to the cards. The firm said Pesacard targets students who stay in boarding schools to enable parents or guardians preload or send cash from their mobile money accounts like M-PESA to a child’s PesaCard.
The firm had US$4000 round from a seed investor in Kenya but were looking for US$80,000 to US$100,000 to scale to all schools in Kenya. Later, they were accepted into Savannah Fund to continue their journey of replacing cash payments with electronic money through its solutions.
Founded by Dave McClure in April 2010, 500 Startups is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program investing in coumer and small- and medium-sized internet startups in financial services and e-commerce; search, social, and mobile platforms among others. The team experience will see the Kenyan startup propel to heights it wouldn’t hardly achieve on its own.