Why Grey Sites its East African Hub in Kenya
Grey, a Nigerian fintech startup has sited its East African hub in Kenya in its quest to expand operations in the region. The YC-backed startup has now joined Flutterwave, its fellow compatriot who recently chose Kenya as its East African regional headquarter. This is rather a strategic move by these Nigerian Fintech startups to penetrate the East African market through Kenya.
Idorenyin Obong and Femi Aghedo, co-founded Grey in 2021 to help Nigerians easily exchange to local currency and access the foreign currencies in their accounts. The startup offers an international money transfer service that enables its users to seamlessly send and receive international payments without restrictions. Its products include foreign bank accounts, instant currency exchange, and international money transfers.
This comes at the hills of the startup securing a $2 million funding round in August 2022, and is actively expanding. It has now chosen Kenya as its East African hub, having already launched operations in both Kenya and in Tanzania with over 300,000 users.
Why Grey Choose Kenya for its East African Hub
Giving reasons for the choice of Kenya, Obong said opening offices in Kenya would help the firm navigate its planned operations in other countries in the East African Community (EAC).
“Kenya’s diaspora remittance is very vibrant as remittance inflows to Kenya have increased tenfold in the last 15 years, reaching an all-time record of $3.7 million. This phenomenal growth points to the importance of remittances as a source of foreign exchange to the country, equivalent to more than three per cent of Kenya’s GDP,” Obong explained.
He further said, “More Kenyans are working remotely for companies abroad where payment tend to be tedious and expensive. Our solution allows African freelancers to have foreign accounts and seamlessly receive money worldwide and be globally competitive.”
The startup, last year partnered with Cellulant as its payments processor, powering its payouts to thousands of Grey’s customers. Grey also partnered with Moringa School to increase awareness and empower digital nomads on financial literacy in collaboration with Safaricom, Antler and Nairobi Garage.
In addition, the startup has privately launched Grey Business, a borderless business banking platform for startups that allows them to receive instant international payments and currency conversions. Companies can also open accounts in the United States online with no minimum balance, monthly fees, or hidden fees.