Zambia: Lupiya Secures $8.25 Million in Series A Funding to Fuel Financial Inclusion in Zambia

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Lupiya, a pioneering Zambian neobank, has successfully secured $8.25 million in a Series A seed funding round. The fundraising effort was led by Alitheia IDF Fund, a Private Equity Fund known for investing with a gender lens, and saw substantial participation from INOKS Capital SA and the German Investment Bank KfW DEG.

Founded in 2016, Lupiya has emerged as a prominent player in Zambia’s fintech landscape, boasting an impressive list of supporters, including Mastercard, Google, The World Bank, and the UN International Trade Center. Lupiya’s primary mission is to narrow the financial inclusion gap by providing user-friendly, technology-driven financial solutions to unbanked and underbanked populations in Zambia. The significance of Lupiya’s efforts was underscored by US Vice President Kamala Harris during her visit to Zambia when she stated, “Providing capital to women helps them increase the economic status of their families and their communities.”

Evelyn Chilomo Kaingu, Co-founder and CEO of Lupiya, expressed her excitement about the funding: “This Series A investment marks a significant milestone in our journey to continue serving our customers and the opportunity to further provide holistic financial solutions. The team at Lupiya has worked hard and is excited for the new phase of our growth. With the support of Alitheia IDF, INOKS Capital, Mastercard, and Kfw DEG, we are better poised to scale our operations and deepen our footprint not just in Zambia but also in the broader Southern and East African region.”

The funding will be utilized to enhance Lupiya’s technological infrastructure, expand its range of financial products, and extend its operations to reach more customers.

Polo Leteka, founder of South African-based financial service firm IDF Capital and a co-Managing Partner of Alitheia IDF Fund, commented on their decision to lead the funding round, stating, “We have always been on the lookout for startups that are on the verge of making a significant impact in Africa’s financial sector. Lupiya’s vision and commitment to financial and gender inclusion deeply resonate with our own objectives. We believe that with this funding, they will be better equipped to make financial services accessible to many more Zambians.”

Sarah Dusek, a partner at Enygma Ventures – one of Lupiya’s early backers – expressed her confidence in the company’s growth. She said, “It’s remarkable to witness Lupiya’s growth, especially given our initial investment of $1 million during the peak of the pandemic. We have always believed in the resilience and potential of this team. Their vision to transform financial inclusion in Zambia, even amidst global challenges, aligns perfectly with Enygma’s mission.”

Vincent Malekani, Mastercard Country Director for Zambia and Malawi, highlighted the importance of the collaboration with Lupiya, saying, “Our collaboration with Lupiya reflects Mastercard’s commitment to fostering digital inclusion across Africa. Lupiya’s focus on providing reliable financial services to the underserved resonates deeply with us. By integrating Mastercard’s payment infrastructure into the Lupiya platform, we are enhancing transaction efficiency for users and building a more inclusive financial ecosystem in Zambia.”

The involvement of renowned financial institutions like INOKS Capital SA and KfW DEG underscores the trust and confidence the global investor community places in Lupiya’s potential to revolutionize the financial landscape in Zambia.

Lupiya’s successful funding round is a testament to the dynamic and evolving digital economy in Africa as fintech solutions continue to reshape the continent’s financial ecosystem.

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