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Umba

Digital Bank Umba Acquires Majority Stake in Daraja Microfinance Bank

Umba, a Nigerian digital bank, has acquired a majority stake in Daraja, a Kenyan microfinance bank, for an undisclosed amount. According to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Umba now owns a 66.6% stake in Daraja.

The fintech, which was founded by Tiernan Kennedy and Barry O’Mahony, offers a wide range of financial products including free accounts, interbank transfers, peer-to-peer transfers, bill payments, and loans at a monthly interest of 10%.

“The investment by UMBA will strengthen Daraja MFB’s business model. In particular, it will support the digitization of Daraja MFB as it moves to provide ‘anytime anywhere’ services to its customers. This is aligned to CBK’s vision of a microfinance banking sector that works for and with Kenya,” the CBK said in a statement.

The CBK said Daraja, licensed in 2015 and whose main customers are small and medium enterprises, has a market share of below 1% of the microfinance banking sector in Kenya.

The fintech, which was founded by Tiernan Kennedy and Barry O’Mahony, offers a wide range of financial products including free accounts, interbank transfers, peer-to-peer transfers, bill payments, and loans at a monthly interest of 10%.

“The investment by UMBA will strengthen Daraja MFB’s business model. In particular, it will support the digitization of Daraja MFB as it moves to provide ‘anytime anywhere’ services to its customers. This is aligned to CBK’s vision of a microfinance banking sector that works for and with Kenya,” the CBK said in a statement.

Daraja will give Umba a stronger presence in the country’s competitive financial sector, and an opportunity to offer more targeted services, while also giving the micro-finance a lifeline — in an industry that has been strongly disrupted by digital lenders.