Kenyan tech startup WorkPay is taking its services to more than ten African countries in an aggressive expansion drive.
The firm has set its sights on South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda in 2022. It plans to establish virtual offices in Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Egypt.
“We plan to be in more than 10 African countries. Among those on the pipeline are Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and all the East African countries,” says WorkPay chief executive Paul Kimani, who noted that the expansion plan is tandem with its vision.
“From day one we knew we wanted to conquer Africa and beyond, not just Kenya.”
WorkPay, which was formerly known as TozzaPlus before it rebranded in 2019, is a cloud-based human resources management and payroll solution for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa.
The firm’s solutions help businesses save money and time by eliminating ghost workers from their payroll and inefficiencies associated with cash payments. Currently, it processes more than 300 payrolls per month from more than 400 SMBs. The firm entered Nigeria last year eyeing its vast population as well as growing tech ecosystem.
The firm in 2020 raised Sh238.7 million ($2.1 million) in seed funding to fuel its growth. The investment was led by Kepple Africa, Soma Capital, Musha Ventures, and P1 Ventures.
“It is assuring to support companies like Flutterwave, Paystack, and Yoco to name a few, in their growth endeavors towards conquering the continent. I am confident that what we are building resonates with the pains of companies of different nature and continuously meets their needs as they grow,” Mr Kimani said in an earlier forum.
“We believe Nigeria will be the key to unlocking immense potential for wide adoption, not only in West Africa but throughout Africa. Our solution cuts across similar sets of challenges we have seen in the Eastern hemisphere of the continent, therefore this is a chance to go big by all means legally-possible.”
Some of the benefits of the platform to SBMs include streamlining HR processes through automation, saving on cost lost via payroll errors and fraud as well as increased employee productivity. Mr Kimani said one of Workpay’s key objective is to help businesses to manage costs and human resource effectively and efficiently by adoption of technology.
“We provide them with tools to manage their HR functions and payroll processing,” he notes.
Kenyan startups have been seeking to extend their footprints on the continent. Twiga Foods, for instance, is set its sights on East and West African Countries.
“We’ve been fairly successful in Kenya. So, we want to consolidate our dominant position, clear out our proof of concept and expand to the neighbouring countries,” said Peter Njonjo, Twiga CEO, who cited language barriers especially in the Francophone African countries as well as diverse legal frameworks and statutory requirements in every country as key hurdles to their expansion ambition.
“We are learning so much in regard to compliance and labour laws and of course, the cultures, currencies and languages are different. Putting all this into perspective takes a lot of effort and resources,” he said.
The agritech startup has raised Sh261.4 million ($2.3 million) from investors such as Pangea Accelerator, Musha Ventures, Y-Combinator, Kepple Africa Ventures, Soma Capital and Pamoja Ventures.
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