Grameen Foundation Invests in Kenyan Mobile Microfinance Institution
Published on: 22nd May 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
By: Ian Mansfield
Grameen Foundation KfW and CARE's Access Africa Fund announced they have each purchased a 25 percent stake in Musoni Kenya the first microfinance institution to provide financial services to the poor entirely via mobile phones.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, it provides microloans largely to people who are underserved by the formal financial sector. This investment will help Musoni Kenya pave the way for it to receive a license to accept savings deposits from the Central Bank of Kenya.
"Grameen Foundation's decade-long experience using mobile phones to accelerate poverty reduction in Africa has taught us that convenience and safety are critical to making financial services more accessible and useful to the poor. Musoni Kenya represents a 'next generation' of microfinance providers riding the technology revolution to provide better service, and we are pleased to support its efforts to expand these services to more rural communities for significant impact," said Alex Counts, president of Grameen Foundation.
From its inception in 2010, Musoni Kenya has offered its services exclusively via mobile phones, with the goal of serving the poor and underbanked more efficiently and safely. Rather than traveling long distances with bundles of money to weekly meetings, its clients can repay their loans at any time during the week.
Musoni Kenya currently serves 7,300 and plans to increase its client base to 34,000 by 2013. With its new equity partners on board, it will also apply for license to accept savings deposits - another critical financial tool the poor need to improve their lives.
"This investment is a major milestone for Musoni Kenya. We are incredibly excited about working with our new partners and building upon their experience to further develop the Musoni Concept and take microfinance to the next level," said David James, CEO of Musoni Kenya.
Musoni BV, the holding company and initial investor in Musoni Kenya, will remain an equity partner.