Tanzanian startup NALA has announced its plans to launch in the UK in this year, in a move that will see it serve the East African diaspora in the UK.
The startup, which was initially a mobile money app for Africa that grew to over 250,000 customers in just over a year and became East Africa’s number 1 finance app got funding from US’s VC Accel and Y-Combinator to increase the economic opportunity for Africans worldwide.
“We believe that remittances are one of the best forms of economic development,” the firm announced. “We want to use remittances as a foundation for new layers of banking services for the African diaspora and their loved ones back home.”
NALA said it will launching its beta app gradually from February 2021 for its UK-based customers sending money to Kenya and Uganda and then Tanzania shortly after. The startup has already gained EMD Agent approval from UK financial regulator the FCA and is working to launch its services tailored to the needs of the East African diaspora in the UK.
Nala was inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship programme to explore commercial partnerships with the pan-African banking giant. Nala beat the ten other finalists to emerge as the overall winner of the competition and won cash prizes worth US$10,0000.
Earlier on, Nala was part of the four startups that received $200,000 from Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab), a fintech accelerator funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. DFS Lab invested $200,000 into Cherehani Africa (Kenya), NALA, (U.S.), Nobuntu, (South Africa), a fourth in Stealth mode and unanamed from Kenya.