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How an bold African start-up grew into a worldwide fintech powerhouse –


Based in 2004, the Cape City-based startup, Mukuru has grown to develop into a worldwide fintech powerhouse. Mukuru is a remittances-led monetary service.

The corporate goals to offer a service to migrants which permits them to maneuver and use cash in a handy, secure, and inexpensive technique.

Mukuru is one in every of Africa’s largest remittances-led fintech’s.

Utterly bootstrapped from the beginning, Sandy Rheeder, CIO of Mukuru explains that the corporate seems to be past expertise to supply a premium service to its customers.

‘”In essence, Mukuru has harnessed strong digital platforms in a posh African context to innovate and supply a crucial service to many communities. And whereas expertise will at all times be an necessary enabler, for Mukuru it’s about delivering a service to prospects the place they’re – and discovering one of the best and most strong resolution out there.”

Initially, Mukuru’s app enabled household and mates in the UK to ship gas coupons and groceries to households struggling in Zimbabwe however the text-based expertise it beforehand used had a ‘low barrier to entry’ that means that the service was solely usable from the UK.

Rheeder explains that the startup confronted various challenges however developed a plan to beat these difficulties.

“The story in the early days was not one of smooth sailing. For example, database failures put the business at serious risk and threatened future plans. While others may have given up, Mukuru was completely invested into its vision, and everything was rebuilt within six weeks. From inception, Mukuru has had a resilience and can-do spirit that has become the interconnecting thread in everything the company does. ”

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In 2009, Zimbabwe had changed their present foreign money with the US greenback and the startup noticed the chance to ship cash from the UK and Europe, permitting migrant staff to ship cash simply to their residence nation and family members. In 2010, the fintech startup took flight and established its headquarters workplace in South Africa the place it created a three way partnership with Inter-Africa. From a humble starting to now permitting customers to ship cash to relations or mates in over 20 nations throughout Asia and Africa.

The corporate has reported that it has hosted over 30-million profitable cross-border transactions in simply over a decade and is now one in every of Africa’s largest remittances-led fintech’s.


Utilizing the most recent cell and web-based applied sciences, Mukuru has developed an app that permits customers to simply entry their providers.

Rheeder explains that Mukuru has adopted using expertise to additional the objectives and goals of the startup.

“..It established an agent army that uses an Android app to assist customers where they live. Instead of being inhibited by compliance requirements, it is also an enabler to grow key services. Agents visiting customers can verify their physical address and can also check passports and asylum papers.”


Mukuru has tailored over time to suit the wants of its buyer. As many migrant staff have been unbanked, it launched the Mukuru Card, a simplified cash account that permits them digital entry to monetary providers together with; wage deposits, financial savings, and withdrawals from varied retailers and banks.

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In 2017, Zimbabwe confronted a cash disaster and it resulted in banks being unable to service prospects, Mukuru responded to this and launched the Mukuru Orange Sales space community. The service enabled customers to obtain cash after they want it most.

“It even started getting its own licenses to become a financial services operator in many countries, so it could overcome the issues, from stifling its growth and negatively impacted customer service,” provides Rheeder.

Mukuru’s success may be attributed to its use of revolutionary expertise.

“For example, instead of investing in bulky on-premise servers and hardware, Mukuru had the foresight to harness AWS stacks and the benefits of scalable Cloud computing platforms – enabling the company to be flexible and responsive to its users and markets,” mentioned Rheeder.

With 60 partnerships Mukuru has enabled over 100 manufacturers to offer ‘cash out points’, greater than 800 Orange Cubicles throughout Southern Africa, and established a presence within the Asian market.

Rheeder feedback that the corporate’s success will not be solely attributed to its use of expertise.

“Mukuru’s journey has illustrated that success does not happen overnight, but rather requires grit, resilience and determination to harness the challenges, learn from them, and use them as leverage to provide services that customers want and need. It is not about the technology, but rather about designing robust solutions that address critical pain points – and empower people on their financial journeys.”

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Featured picture: Sandy Rheeder, CIO of Mukuru (Provided) 

Jung Min-seo


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