Woman-Led Zimbabwe Fintech Firm Raises $13M From London-Based Hedge Fund

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

The founders of Zimbabwean fintech company Payitup have bootstrapped since launching in 2017. Now a $13 million investment from London-based investors has pushed the startup’s valuation to $20 million.

This is largest investment ever raised by a Zimbabwean tech startup, according to DisruptAfrica.

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To give some context, total funding for all Zimbabwean tech startups in 2016 amounted to $1.2 million, Techwiz reported.

The Harare-based company’s Series A funding came from London hedge fund Thawer Fund Management, with the investment representing its first time leading a funding round.

Payitup helps consumers make payments for various services such as television subscriptions, electricity, airtime and other bills through a single web and mobile application.

The funding round hands a 65 percent stake to the London-based investors, leaving the founders with only 35 percent of their company, Techwiz reports.

The startup was founded by female CEO Aretha Gonyora, COO Kenneth Tafadzwa Matikizha and president Ronald Tapfuma Rwodzi, according to Ventureburn.

Gonyora and her two male co-founders have self-funded since establishing the startup and this $13 million funding round represents the company’s first external investment.

A woman-led tech firm

CEO and co-founder Gonyora speaks four languages and has an honors degree in business management and information technology from the Catholic University in Zimbabwe, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Payitup founding team president Ronald Tapfuma Rwodzi, CEO Aretha Gonyora, and COO Kenneth Tafadzwa Matikizha. Photo – Payitup

She has worked as an auditor and senior business analyst at KPMG and EY respectively while running Payitup on the side.

The funding is expected to be used to further develop its mobile and web application while forming strategic partnerships to ensure compliance with regulators, Weetracker reports.

The company also plans to use some of the funding to attract additional customers through the offer of rebates and competitive fees.