East Africa: Kenyan Fintech Asilimia Raises $2 Million in a Pre-Seed Round, Plans to Extend Loans to MSMSEs and Expand in East Africa

Kenya's economy is powered by informal businesses, which contribute 33.8% to the country's GDP and provide 83.4% of the total employment outside of small-scale agriculture, data from the country's bureau of statistics shows. The contribution of these enterprises is pivotal to the country's economy, yet they remain underserved by traditional banking institutions, making it hard for them to access the financing needed to grow.

On the other hand, the financing gap left by conventional banking institutions has presented an opportunity for innovation, leading to the birth of fintechs like Asilimia. The Kenyan startup has over the last three years been offering a lifeline to traders in Kenya by enabling them to make mobile money transactions that are devoid of transfer charges (through its Leja app).

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