Mobile solutions provider, Tangazoletu Ltd, last evening marked 10 years of operations with an ambitious plan that targets 10 million unbanked Kenyans in the informal sector with financial technology solutions.
Speaking during an anniversary dinner held at a Nairobi hotel, Tangazoletu CEO Chris Gathingu said the firm will collaborate with more than 70 partners such as Safaricom, banks, Saccos and Microfinance Institutions to reach the unbanked population in the informal sector in Kenya.
“Our solutions have already reached over five million Kenyans in the last 10 years,” Mr Gathingu said. “In our next phase of growth and partnerships, we target to reach another ten million Kenyans and bring them to financial inclusion. We are also committed to a Pan-African vision to spread our solutions to other African countries.”
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, who was the chief guest, said the mobile operator will work with local technology partners such as Tangazoletu to continuously innovate solutions that transform lives of Kenyans. Today, the M-PESA system processes two loans every second and has ensured that over 26 million customers are rarely more than a kilometre away from an agent.
“M-PESA has been responsible for lifting just under 200,000 people (predominantly women) out of poverty in Kenya,” he said. “We commit to work with local partners such as Tangazoletu to deepen our financial inclusion agenda.”
NIC Bank CEO John Gachora said banks in the region should view financial technology (Fintech) companies in the region as partners and not disruptors or competitors. “There is a tendency by companies in the financial sector to look at Fintech companies such as Tangazoletu as a threat to their businesses. They are not. They should be viewed as innovation partners that will enhance their business models,” he said.
Tangazoletu was founded 10 years ago in a local university when Chris Gathingu, the founder, was still a student. The company has developed, among other solutions, Lipa na M Pesa, Spotcash (used by most Saccos in Kenya), M-TIBU, a groundbreaking solution for managing TB in the country (in partnership with Safaricom, Ministry of Health and USAID).