Tangazoletu, a Kenyan-based provider of mobile solutions, has marked ten years of its existence with an ambitious target to bring ten million unbanked Kenyans into the formal sector through financial technology solutions.
Speaking during an anniversary dinner, Chris Gathingu, the Tangazoletu CEO, said that 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 ten years. In our next phase of growth and partnerships, we target to reach another ten million Kenyans and bring them to financial inclusion with our solutions. We are also committed to a Pan-African vision to spread our solutions to other African countries. We shall deepen and expand our social responsibility programmes to support causes in the region,” said Gathingu.
Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, noted that the telco 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 responsibie for lifting just under 200,000 people (predominantly women) out of poverty in Kenya. We commit to work with local partners such as Tangazoletu to deepen our financial inclusion agenda,” said Collymore.
John Gachora, CEO of NIC Bank said that 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,” said Gachora.
Tangazoletu was founded a decade ago when Chris Gathingu, the founder, was still a student. The company has since developed, among other solutions, Lipa na M Pesa, Spotcash (used by saccos in Kenya), M-TIBU, a solution for managing TB in the country (in partnership with Safaricom, Ministry of Health and USAID).