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Tanzania’s NALA secures $40m to revolutionize African fintech landscape

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NALA, the Tanzania-born remittance startup, has successfully closed a $40 million Series A funding round. Led by Acrew Capital, with participation from heavyweight investors including DST Global and Norrsken22, this oversubscribed round marks one of the largest Series A investments in African fintech history.

NALA, founded by former Tanzanian TV host Benjamin Fernandes, has evolved from its humble beginnings as a local money transfer service to a global player in cross-border payments. The company’s innovative approach has already captured nearly 500,000 customers worldwide, facilitating transactions across 11 African countries.

The fresh capital injection will fuel NALA’s ambitious expansion plans. Fernandes announced two key initiatives: extending the company’s consumer business beyond Africa to serve the global migrant diaspora, and developing Rafiki, a groundbreaking payment infrastructure for the continent.

Rafiki, NALA’s newly launched B2B platform, aims to revolutionize African payment systems by improving reliability, reducing costs, and streamlining transactions. This move positions NALA to compete with global fintech giants in emerging markets.

The startup’s impressive growth trajectory includes a tenfold increase in revenue over the past year and achieving profitability – a rare feat in the startup world. NALA’s team has also expanded from just seven to nearly 100 members, reflecting its rapid scaling.

Read also: Nigerian Content Creators can now monetize their posts on Facebook and Instagram

Despite facing numerous challenges, including running out of money four times, Fernandes remains optimistic about NALA’s future. “Our ambitions are bold — we aim to 100x this business,” he stated, emphasizing that this funding round is just the beginning of their long-term vision.

As NALA sets its sights on transforming payments for the “next billion” users, this significant investment underscores the growing confidence in African-led fintech solutions and their potential to reshape the global financial landscape.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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