Umba buys majority stake in Kenyan microfinance lender

Umba buys majority stake in Kenyan microfinance lender

Umba, a digital banking outfit operating in Nigeria, has acquired a 66.6% stake in Kenyan microfinance bank Daraja as it seeks to expand across the continent.

Founded by Irishmen Kiernan Kennedy and Barry O’Mahony and headquartered in San Francisco, Umba offers free accounts, interbank transfers, P2P transfers, bill payments and loans.

The firm first began operating in Nigeria but in April raised $15 million from, among others, Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield to expand to Ghana, Kenya and Egypt.

Already operating a non-deposit taking credit business in Kenya, the outfit has now taken a controlling interest in Daraja, which lends to micro and small enterprises.

In a statement, the Central Bank of Kenya welcomed the deal, saying it will strengthen Daraja's business model and help with its digitisation.

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