The Co-operative Bank has awarded sh 5million to the top four fintech in the just concluded Akili Kali Innovation Challenge. Of the four winning fintech, three are operated by Kenyans while the fourth has some foreign interest.
The top four are Chamasoft Limited, Awamu Kenya Limited, Herufi Technologies Limited and Smart Matatu who received sh. 2.75 million, sh 1million, sh.750, 000 and sh. 500,000 respectively.
The winning solution WebSACCO developed by Chamasoft Ltd will enable smaller SACCOs and Chamas to automate all their operations through cloud accounting, without having to invest the huge amounts of capital that they would otherwise have required to acquire such ICT systems.
The CEO of Chamasoft Ltd Martin Njuguna said that this project will create opportunities for Kenyan finteches to develop practical solutions for local organizations.
“I wish to thank Co-op Bank for leading the way in creating opportunities for Kenyan fintechs to develop practical solutions for local organizations. This whole experience was great for us, and we thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the challenge,” says Matin Njuguna.
He added that all the participating fintechs should remain engaged with the bank, to help improve the Akili Kali Challenge and to provide mentoring to future participants.
The aim of the Akili Kali Innovation Challenge, which was supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is to enable Co-op Bank to identify and collaborate with passionate innovators in building the next generation of financial solutions that are beneficial to the Co-operative Movement and its membership of over 15 million Kenyans.
The five fintechs who participated in the Akili Kali Innovation challenge had been shortlisted from a list of over 500 applicants who responded to a broad call in July 2020.
The 5-week co-development program was based on a co-creation model that involved Saccos and Bank officials to ensure the solutions are user-centred and have a business model that the fintechs can commercialize.
Co-op Bank has a long history of driving the digital transformation agenda for the Co-operative Movement, as can be seen in bank’s launch of other technology-based products in the last 10 years including Instant issuance of Visa (Saccolink) cards which enable Sacco members to access their funds from any Co-op Bank ATM or agent countrywide, Pesalink transfers through API integration, a Mobile Banking platform, and remote scanning of cheques which gives Saccos access to the banking clearinghouse.