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Nigeria’s Kuda raises $1.6m to become Africa’s biggest free digital bank




Kuda, Nigeria’s digital-only bank has raised $1.6 million to simplify money management, spending and saving.

The $1.6 million pre-seed investment funding was raised from Startupbootcamp, Haresh Aswani of the Tolaram Group, Ragnar Meitern (an early investor in Monese and Bolt) and other angel investors.

“We’ll use this money to launch out of beta later this year, our immediate priorities are continuous product improvement and excellent customer support, so the funds we’ve raised will be used to expand our software development and customer support teams and equip them with the best tools available,” said Babs Ogundeyi, Kuda founder and CEO.

Kuda launched as Kudimoney, in a move to help end frustrations people have with traditional banks. In June, the firm rebranded to Kuda, Nigeria’s first free bank, fully licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Our idea of banking is one that the customer comes first. We wanted to build a bank that people will love, so it was fitting that we ended up with the name Kuda, which means Love in Shona language and money locally in Nigeria,” Babs said.

Kuda is a digital-only bank that runs predominantly on smartphones, therefore needs no physical locations to provide full banking services. For users who have no smartphones, the firm has a USSD version.


Being digital-only means Kuda saves a lot of cash as it’s not renting and maintaining branches, making it possible for it to charge less or even free. The bank does not charge card maintenance fees or account maintenance fees or any other fees from its customers.

Kuda takes the pain out of managing spending and saving giving users clear insights on where their money is going and they can automatically save whenever they spend.

“We have built our core systems from the ground up, based on 21st-century technology, rather than simply building over existing legacy software. This “full stack” approach means we can process enormous amounts of data in real time and send you actionable information and analytics that help you stay on top of finances. All whilst staying secure and reliable,” Babs added.


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