Nigeria’s digital financial services company Carbon has launched in Kenya. Kenyans will now be able to access instant loans, from Sh500 to Sh50,000, using their National ID number and a selfie, as well as the phone number associated with their mobile wallet.
They will also have access to payment services to pay utility bills and buy airtime directly from the Carbon app.
Carbon joins a growing mobile credit segment dominated by banks offering similar services and apps such as Tala and Branch but Carbon is banking on features such as cashback and loan top-up to penetrated the crowded market.
Carbon is also aiming to drive more purposeful and responsible lending in the Kenyan market and is fully integrated with various Kenyan partners, including Transunion CRB, payment platforms and MPesa.
Kenya’s progressive regulatory environment and high levels of financial inclusion makes it one of the leading lights of African fintech. More than 60 percent of Kenyans own a smartphone and more than one in four (27 percent) has taken a digital loan.
The Central Bank of Kenya has also valued Kenya’s mobile payment sector at $36billion with the sector expected to reach a $125billion valuation by 2025.
Carbon will also provide services for SMEs and is also working towards providing free credit reports to Kenyan customers to promote financial education in the market. Carbon also aims to create a Kenya hub to support operations across Africa as it continues to expand, tapping into Kenya’s vibrant fintech ecosystem and talent pool.
Since launching in 2016, Carbon has amassed 1.8 million users, initially providing consumers with access to credit, simple payments solutions, high-yield investment opportunities and easy-to-use tools for personal financial management.
The company disbursed more than $35.6 million in loans and in 2018 alone achieved revenues of $10.4 million. Carbon also secured a $5 million debt facility from Lendable, a New York and Nairobi-based technology-enabled funding provider, in March 2019.
According to Chijioke Dozie, CEO and co-founder of Carbon, “this expansion presents an opportunity to bring some learnings from other African successful fintech markets to Kenya. It also enables us to explore what has made the Kenyan financial services industry so successful and how this success can be replicated in other markets.”
“Our vision is to be a Pan-African digital bank for Africans and Africans in the diaspora. Taking our services to Kenya represents the first step in realising that vision and truly delivering financial services that Africans at home and abroad need to thrive and excel”.
The Carbon app can be downloaded from the Google Playstore. An IOS app will also be available shortly.