Accra-based fintech company, BezoMoney, builds and provides digital financial products and services for the unbanked and for young people, and has just secured US$200k from Goodsoil VC to expand their product range.
Africa has 161 million monthly active mobile money accounts. In Ghana, one of the fastest growing mobile money markets in Africa, there are about 14.7 million active accounts, according to a report published by the Bank of Ghana. A company that's hoping to tap into this opportunity is BezoMoney. It was founded in August 2019 from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) program, by Mubarak Sumaila and Diana D. Osei, with a pre-seed funding of US$100k.
BezoMoney moved from only digitizing the transactions of informal savings groups to facilitating upward social mobility for the unbanked. They also included young people to their target market as demand for their products increased amongst the youth.
Its flagship product, BezoSusu, is a digital personal savings and group savings product that allows people, especially in the informal sector, to achieve their savings goals whilst building an online savings history to access other financial products and services. BezoSusu is built on USSD and is integrated with Mobile Money to allow users to transact using their Mobile Money wallets. BezoMoney partners with existing financial institutions and mobile operators to meet regulatory requirements and it is tapping into the $1.2bn mobile money market globally to enable convenience in performing transactions and encourage the use of digital wallets in accessing financial services.
Key developments to date include: (1) beta testing and launching the BezoSusu 2.0 platform (2) launching the BezoSmart Series that features a podcast to provide financial literacy content to the informal sector and to young individuals, (3) establishing partnership relations with financial institutions and mobile money providers and (4) making provisions to meet regulatory requirements.
The seed funding of $200k was raised from Goodsoil VC, a venture capital firm based in London that is focused on accelerating the growth of tech startups in Sub-Saharan Africa and the U.K.
“BezoMoney team is providing the unbanked and young people with easy access to powerful and flexible wealth-generating tools that are typically hard to access. We are excited to partner with them to accelerate their growth and assist them in their scale.” said Orla Enright of Goodsoil VC.
MEST’s Managing Director Ashwin Ravichandran, whom has been instrumental in the startup's early stages, had this to say, “We at MEST are excited that BezoMoney has received this investment that will fuel their journey to success. Their team has remained resilient and we are confident about BezoMoney’s impact on the Ghanaian Economy."
BezoMoney will use the funds to first, acquire the Payment and Financial Technology Service Providers (PFTSP) license in Ghana; second, build and deploy new products including BezoCredit, an interest-free credit product, and BezoInvest, an investment product that will allow users to invest their savings; third, grow its user base exponentially; fourth, expand its team; and fifth, scale across Ghana.
“Our goal from the start has been to help the unbanked to gain upward social mobility. There are a lot of people in the informal sector in Africa and hardly do their lives improve in any way from year to year. Through our research , we realized that this is a result of their limited access to formal financial services which stems from their inability to build verifiable credit histories even though they save and access credit though informal financial schemes. BezoMoney exists to change that. We are committed to growing with our customers and meeting their financial needs with tailored products and services. We started focusing on young people as well because they were reaching out to us everyday through calls and email requesting to use our products, so we expanded our offering to include them,” said Mubarak Sumaila, the CEO.
BezoMoney’s vision is to become a digital bank for the unbanked as well as the younger generation; a digital bank that provides financial products and services that span across the entire financial spectrum, meeting the needs of its users on their journey to financial stability.