Steve Biko, Sebastian Mithika and Brookside were the founders of the company.
Zanifu was founded by Mithika and Biko in 2017. The company has so far extended 85,000 working capital loans in excess of $13,000,000 to over 7,000 Kenyan businesses.
Informal businesses in Kenya make up 33.8% of Kenya’s GDP, and provide 83.4% of all employment other than small-scale agriculture.
Access to financing is still a major obstacle to small and micro businesses’ growth. Over the years, fintech companies such as Zanifu introduced products that cater to the financing needs for MSMEs.
Zanifu partners with many manufacturers and distributors to extend credit to small businesses that already source products from startup’s partners. Zanifu created platforms that allow manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to order, track, and fulfill their orders.
Zanifu’s loan application allows retailers to borrow money. They upload historical purchase data. After the algorithm scores them, retailers receive a credit limit within six hours of signing up. The interest rate for the loans is 3.5 to 5.5%. Retailers have a month to repay them.
Zanifu, a company that has a presence in Kenya, is now looking at Ghana and Uganda. The regional presence will increase competition for Nigeria’s Payhippo and Uganda’s Numida, which are some of the fintechs that provide unsecured financing to small-businesses.