WINNERS

Chamasoft scoops overall prize in Co-op Bank's innovation contest

In Summary
  • The winning solution – WebSACCO developed by Chamasoft Ltd – will enable smaller Saccos and Chamas to automate all their operations
  • Of the four winning fintech, three are operated by Kenyans while the fourth has some foreign interest.
Vincent Marangu - director, Co-operatives Banking at Co-op Bank hands the Sh 2.75 million prize money dummy cheque to CEO Chamasoft Ltd Martin Njuguna and Business Development manager Lucy Muthoni.
Image: COURTESY

Four local fintech startups emerged top in Co-operative Bank's AkiliKali Innovation Challenge, pocketing Sh5 million cash prize. 

The top four are Chamasoft Ltd, Awamu Kenya Ltd, Herufi Technologies Ltd and Smart Matatu who received Sh2.75 million, Ksh 1million, Sh750,000 and Ksh 500,000 respectively.

The winners were identified following a 5-week co-development program that culminated in an online Demo Day where the shortlisted candidates got an opportunity to showcase their products.

 

The solutions brought forward by the fintech cut across technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).

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.

Saccos that choose to utilize the WebSacco platform will move from manual to paperless systems and have accurate member data that is updated in real-time.

This will have the effect of enabling members of Saccos to access financial and other value-added services anywhere, anytime, instead of traveling to a branch to fill forms and go through a lengthy manual process.

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.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Chamasoft Ltd CEO Martin Njuguna thanked Co-op Bank for leading the way in creating opportunities for Kenyan fintech to develop practical solutions for local organizations.

''This whole experience was great for us, and we thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the challenge,'' Njuguna said. 

Co-op Bank’s director of Co-operatives Banking Vincent Marangu challenged co-operatives in the country to take the opportunity and offer valuable services to both existing and potential new members whose demand for more and better services has grown with the digital revolution.

The contest which commenced in July attracted 500 applicants, with only five shortlisted.