Shortly before signing the deal with investors for $725 000, the startup raised €2-million in debt from mostly Swedish members of the public on Trine.
In May, it also secured a $1-million grant from USAID after coming out tops in its Malawi Kickstarter Programme. The USAID grant will be paid out as the business meets certain milestones in devices issued.
To be eligible for the full $1-million, the startup must sell 67 000 devices. So far, since July when the grant kicked in, the startup has sold 4000 devices. The devices themselves are provided by a New York based supplier and are manufactured in China.
The devices cost $150 and a customer has 24 months to pay it off in. Repayments are charged at 2.5% to 3% a month, which Heyink points out is less than the 5% to 6% a month charged by micro financiers on the continent. In all the startup now has 12 employees and 60 agents.
Read more: Ventureburn