On March 28, Pan-African B2B remittance platform BitPesa and global peer-to-peer bitcoin lending platform BitBond announced a partnership with the aim to improve access to funding for small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa.
BitPesa provides a digital platform that uses bitcoin and blockchain technology to facilitate cross-border B2B FX payments within, to and from Africa. The use of the blockchain makes for quick transfers at lower costs than traditional remittance platforms. BitPesa is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and has offices in numerous other African cities as well as London and San Francisco. Earlier this year, the startup run by CEO Elizabeth Rossiello managed to secure another round of funding from leading blockchain-focused venture capital firms raising $2.5 million.
Berlin-based startup Bitbond is a peer-to-peer lending platform that utilizes bitcoin and blockchain technology to facilitate a global market for small business peer-to-peer loans and, thereby, makes investing and financing globally accessible. Through the platform, SMEs have access to affordable loans that they would not otherwise get from banks while lenders earn favorable interest rates. Furthermore, since Bitbond only deals in bitcoin, users do not require a bank account to access the platform, which makes it particularly interesting for underbanked and unbanked borrowers as well as lenders looking for high-interest returns.
Speaking on the partnership and its significance, founder, and CEO of BitBond, Radoslav Albrecht said:
“Ten percent of our global user base comes from Sub-Saharan Africa. We are excited to work with BitPesa in this region because there is a huge unmet demand for small business financing. Together with BitPesa, we can significantly improve our service. This means that a small business owner from Kenya can receive loan funding from investors from all over the world via Bitbond and have the funds paid out to his mobile money account in 20 minutes. This is an unprecedented level of innovation and convenience in the entire online lending space.”
The partnership between the two platforms means that businesses that receive funding through BitBond can receive the money directly into their bank or mobile money account. The direct access to funding is made possible by BitPesa which pays in local currency to the business’ account in less than five minutes.
“We are always excited to partner with companies that make doing business in Africa easier and more efficient. Our customers are businesses looking to grow across the continent and beyond. Better access to efficient financing is a tremendous way to boost their growth.” said BitPesa’s Rossiello.
This integration is already working in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.