NALA, a Tanzanian Remittance Startup, Secures $40 Million for B2B Payments Platform

NALA, a startup from Tanzania, has raised $40 million in a significant Series A funding round. This round is one of the largest in Africa, according to TechCrunch. Founder and CEO Benjamin Fernandes announced that the investment will primarily support the development of Rafiki, NALA’s new B2B payment platform. This follows a $10 million seed funding round in 2022.

San Francisco-based Acrew Capital led this Series A round, with participation from DST Global, Norrsken22, and HOF Capital. Existing investors like Amplo, NYCA Partners, and fintech founders such as Chime’s Ryan King and Robinhood’s Vlad Tenev also contributed.

NALA’s consumer app currently allows customers in the EU, UK, and US to send money to 249 banks and 26 mobile money services across 11 African countries, including Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda. For example, in Kenya, NALA partners with M-PESA, enabling direct bill payments into local mobile wallets from abroad.

Fernandes explained that adding more payment options was driven by user demand for better control over their finances. Launched in March 2024, Rafiki aims to serve global businesses making payments to and from Africa.

The new funding will help NALA expand beyond remittances, building a stronger payment ecosystem. “We’re reinvesting this money to enhance our infrastructure, ensuring reliable, low-cost payments for all. With the launch of our own payment rails and the expansion of our B2B platform Rafiki, we’re not just talking about change, we’re building it,” said Fernandes.

Founded in 2017 to provide local money transfers in Tanzania, NALA shifted in 2021 to facilitate foreign remittances. The startup is already profitable, with its consumer business generating over 90% of its revenue and on track to surpass 500,000 customers.

Rafiki is also growing, with early users like UK-based fintech TransferGo using it for African payouts. In March 2023, NALA received a licence from the Bank of Tanzania to offer payment systems, enabling direct integration with banks and mobile money providers like M-PESA.

Hi, I’m Damife Isaac

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