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Valar Ventures makes first investment in Africa with neo bank Kuda

Valar Ventures makes first investment in Africa with neo bank Kuda

Nigerian digital banking startup Kuda has raised $25 million in a Serie A funding round backed by Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures.

Launched in 2016 as lending platform Kudimoney, Kuda rebranded in June of 2019 and received a banking licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch a full-service mobile-only bank.

The capital injection from Valar Ventures - which has also backed N26 and TransferWise - is the fund's first foray into Africa. It comes just four months after Kuda raised $10 million in a seed financing round.

Babs Ogundeyi, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Kuda, states: “We could not be more pleased that Valar Ventures has decided to come on board and join us on this mission. Their insights and experience in helping advise some of the world’s most successful challenger banks will without doubt be a critical part of our successes going forward.”

Since launching in September 2019, Kuda has grown to provide consumer and business banking services to over 600,000 customers in Nigeria and processed over $2 billion in transactions during February 2021, up from $5.2 million in February 2020.

Ogundeyi says Kuda will use the funding to drive growth in Nigeria, adding new product features for lending, and expand to other markets in Africa.

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