Kenya is known for its innovative fintech solutions, and Chumz is no exception. This Kenyan startup has established a goal-based mobile app that enables users to save and invest money from their mobile money accounts, starting with as little as Ksh 50 ($0.05). In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the story behind Chumz, its unique features, and how it’s transforming the world of mobile money savings and investments in Kenya and beyond.
A Brief History of Chumz
Chumz was founded in late 2019 by Kenyan entrepreneur Samuel Njuguna, who also happens to be the mastermind behind the popular mobile money startup, Chura. The Chumz team spent most of 2020 working on their prototype and approached the regulator for a license in late 2020. They were granted a license a year later, and the platform has been gaining traction ever since.
The Chumz Vision
The Chumz team identified an opportunity to cater to the retail investment market, which is typically underserved by most fund managers. These managers primarily focus on institutional investors or high-net-worth individuals, leaving a significant gap in the market for everyday savers and investors.
Additionally, the Chumz team noticed that many potential clients recognized the value of savings and investments but lacked a convenient tool to help them develop this habit. Hence, they developed the Chumz app, an easily accessible online platform that employs behavioral psychology to guide users on when and how to save, based on their lifestyle around money.
How Chumz Works
Chumz is a user-friendly platform that channels funds collected from a user’s mobile money account to a licensed fund manager. The fund manager then offers a return to the fund, and the earned interest is redistributed to individual clients.
Unique Features of Chumz
One of the standout features of Chumz is its ability to encourage users to save based on their behavior. For instance, if a user spends money at a pub, the app suggests investing some of that money instead of spending it all. Similarly, if a user receives mobile money, the app prompts them to save some of the money.
The Startup offers an easy, convenient, and accessible way for users to save and invest, helping them reach their financial goals. Users can start saving with as little as Ksh 50 ($0.05).
Chumz’s Success and Support Programs
Chumz has participated in several support programs, including the GreenHouse Lab accelerator in 2021. Although the startup has only secured angel funding so far, it has amassed over 70,000 registered clients in less than a year since rolling out its app.
Chumz’s user base is diverse, with parents using the app to educate their children about financial literacy and creating goals for them within the app. Interestingly, a majority of the savers and investors on Chumz are women.
Chumz’s Business Model
The Startup generates revenue through agency fees from the fund managers it works with, a fee on withdrawals, and interest components on aggregated funds. The platform is currently operational in Kenya, with plans to expand to the rest of East Africa this year.
Chumz’s vision extends beyond Kenya, as they plan to expand their services to the rest of East Africa in the coming months. This expansion will introduce Chumz to new markets and enable more users to benefit from its innovative savings and investment solutions.
The Impact of Chumz on Financial Literacy
Chumz has made a significant impact on financial literacy in Kenya, especially among young people and women. By offering an accessible platform that guides users on when and how to save, Chumz is helping to bridge the gap in financial education and empowering users to take control of their financial future.
Financial Literacy for Children
Parents are using Chumz to teach their children about financial literacy, instilling the importance of saving and investing from a young age. By providing a platform where children can create and track their savings goals, Chumz is fostering a generation of financially savvy individuals.
Collaboration with Fund Managers
By partnering with licensed fund managers, the Startup is ensuring that its users’ investments are managed professionally and securely. This collaboration demonstrates the potential for fintech startups and traditional financial institutions to work together to offer innovative financial solutions.
Challenges and Opportunities
Like any startup, Chumz faces its share of challenges. Securing funding and navigating regulatory hurdles are just a few of the obstacles the company has encountered. However, Chumz’s rapid growth and the positive impact it’s making on the financial lives of its users prove that there is a significant market for its services.
Overcoming Regulatory Hurdles
The Startup’s journey to obtaining a license from the regulator demonstrates the importance of startups navigating the regulatory landscape to ensure their services are compliant and secure. By working closely with regulators, Chumz has been able to establish itself as a trustworthy and reliable savings and investment platform.
This Startup is revolutionizing the mobile money landscape in Kenya and beyond. Its innovative approach to savings and investments, combined with its user-friendly platform and commitment to financial literacy, make Chumz a game-changer in the world of fintech. As the startup continues to grow and expand, it’ll be interesting to see the impact Chumz has on the financial lives of users across East Africa and beyond.