Clayton Hayward – Fast Tracking your Digital Transformation Journey

Ukheshe’s Bold Approach to Growth: Acquisitions, Partnerships, Compliance, and Cooperation with Regulators
 

In this conversation “Fast-Tracking your Digital Transformation Journey” with Clayton Hayward, CEO of Ukheshe we delve deeper into their approach to acquisitions, partnerships, and cooperation with regulators to achieve growth in the FinTech sector.

How risks can pay off!

Starting with a risky decision to acquire another FinTech, Clayton and his co-founders took on the challenge of building credibility for their startup. They managed to pay off a sizable loan within nine months, and the business has grown from strength to strength since then. They now employ 150 people, operate on four continents, and have recently made a $40 million acquisition of a large payments business across Africa.

Ukheshe’s strategy involves leveraging acquired assets to scale their products and buying customer relationships. With more realistic valuations due to the downturn in FinTech funding, they can potentially execute more transactions, consolidating their position in the market over the next two to three years.

Taking on acquisitions is a challenging process that puts pressure on the team and management. Still, Clayton believes Ukheshe is well-positioned for growth due to its strong team and commitment to innovation. He emphasizes the importance of financial services, explaining that it all boils down to delivering value to consumers, merchants, and small businesses.

Partnerships are key

Ukheshe’s partnership with Diamond Trust Bank in Kenya exemplifies their innovative approach, as they’ve created a FinTech enablement ecosystem that combines the strengths of both the bank and Ukheshe. This partnership allows for easier access to services such as card issuance, wallets, payments, and KYC in a regulated environment, with a trusted bank operating on the backend.

This partnership model is set to be replicated in other regions, such as West Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Clayton emphasizes the importance of compliance and partnering with banks, as they are essential for consumer and business protection. Ukheshe brings expertise in issuing, acquiring, and wallet services, along with a strong team that can guide and support FinTechs.

Ukheshe is also setting up an incubator in Kenya to help educate FinTechs on compliance, technical integrations, and support with Central Bank of Kenya submissions. This approach is centred around taking the pain out of FinTech and enabling these startups to execute their projects more effectively.

Don’t ignore the regulators

Clayton shares that their experience with South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has been quite positive, as SARB noticed their financial inclusion efforts and worked with them to get licensed.

Interestingly, Clayton shares that regulators are more willing to work with FinTechs than against them. He advises entrepreneurs not to fear regulators but to cooperate with them, as they can help startups navigate the complex world of compliance and achieve success. This cooperation-based approach has been successful for Ukheshe, and they plan to continue partnering with regulators in other markets as well.

Ukheshe’s bold approach to growth, acquisitions, partnerships, and cooperation with regulators in the FinTech space showcases its commitment to innovation and delivering value to its customers. Their proactive strategy has allowed them to thrive in a competitive market, setting an example for other startups in the FinTech industry.

 

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