BitPesa Blog

Product announcements, thoughts, and general ramblings.
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Update on BTC Buy Delays

May 23rd, 2017

Over the past few weeks, we have had system issues that have affected customers buying bitcoins on our platform. We understand that this has created delays and confusion for some of you during this period. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to restore system normalcy permanently. For all pending transactions from yesterday 22 May, you will start to see these clear out over the course of today. ... Continue Reading

BitPesa at the FinTech Insider Series in London

May 17th, 2017

Payments make the world go round by facilitating the exchange of goods or services for value. We use various payment methods to makes purchases or transfer money. Simply put, payments are necessary for economies to thrive and so developments in this industry impact the lives of everyone around the world, and BitPesa gets this. BitPesa recently joined industry leaders in a panel discussion about the developments in the payments sector ... Continue Reading

Improving Access to Financing for African SMEs

Mar 28th, 2017

BitPesa has partnered with Bitbond to improve access to financing for SMEs in Africa. Bitbond, which is based in Berlin, Germany, connects fixed-income investors with small business owners who need loans. To make global cross-border lending possible, the platform uses the bitcoin blockchain for payment processing. By working with BitPesa, borrowers who receive funding on Bitbond can now have their loan paid out directly to a mobile money or bank ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Leilah

Mar 22nd, 2017

We’re back! This March, meet Leilah Ruto, BitPesa's Senior Accounts Associate. Who are you? I am Leilah Chepchirchir Kipruto, but since it is quite a long name, I shorten it to Leilah Ruto to make it easy on the tongue. Where did you go to school? All my years in school were spent in Nairobi. I went to Harambee Primary School whose estate literally shared a fence with Buruburu ... Continue Reading

Africa Incubator trusts BitPesa for easy payments from Japan

Feb 21st, 2017

"With BitPesa, we send payments in just a few hours, and if we have any trouble or questions, the customer support team are quite responsive. We'll keep using BitPesa to send payments between Japan and Africa." - Kentaro Nagai, Managing Director, Africa Incubator Ltd. Who is Africa Incubator Ltd? Africa Incubator Ltd is a Japanese company based in Kenya and Uganda. The company offers mobile-oriented ICT solutions to East African ... Continue Reading

New Year - Next Level

Jan 31st, 2017

We are thrilled to announce that BitPesa closed a $2.5 million Series A round to expand its services in the UK, Europe and further across West and Southern Africa. The round was led by US-based Draper VC with participation from new shareholder Greycroft Partners and existing investors Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital Management, Blockchain Capital, Zephyr Acorn, Future\Perfect Ventures, Colle Capital and BnkToTheFuture. In 2013, we launched our ... Continue Reading

BitPesa Makes Payroll in Uganda a Breeze

Jan 11th, 2017

The team at EatOut Kenya relies on BitPesa to send bulk payouts to their staff in Uganda, reaching both bank and mobile money accounts in the same day. The result? Faster payouts, happier staff and stress-free managers. "The experience was really amazing because we were able to send money to both mobile money and bank accounts, and it was very convenient. I did it all online from my office, and ... Continue Reading

SolarNow Relies on BitPesa for Efficient Cross-Border Payments

Dec 9th, 2016

“The service and response time from the BitPesa team was super fast. I’d get a response in 2-3 hours. The transaction speed is also superior.” - Andreas Rosenau, CFO, SolarNow The SolarNow team began using BitPesa in 2016 to handle overseas transactions, as well as payments across their branches in Africa. See how BitPesa has helped the team reduce transaction time, costs and frustration. What is SolarNow? SolarNow provides ... Continue Reading

Connecting Payments with Africa and China

Oct 28th, 2016

BitPesa now offers businesses and individuals a faster, more cost-effective way to send or receive payments between Africa and China. China-Africa trade increased to more than $170 billion in 2013, according to the World Bank. However, the cost of sending payments from Africa to China remains high, often taking days to settle on the other end. Using BitPesa’s digital platform, businesses can now send instant payments in local currency ... Continue Reading

How Savanna Sunrise Pays Travel Partners like Expedia and Booking.com

Oct 10th, 2016

Savanna Sunrise Group, Africa’s leading online Travel and Hospitality aggregator, uses the BitPesa platform to facilitate payments to major hotel booking channels across the African continent. The company works with over 350 hotels in 14 countries to automate online hotel bookings between international travelers and African hotels. Savanna Sunrise previously struggled with distributing payments to these booking channels. The company has tested every major international payment option for Africa. ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Nena

Aug 29th, 2016

As August draws to a close, we introduce Nena Nwachukwu, BitPesa's Customer Service and Communications Associate! Who are you? I’m Nena, short for Nnenna. Too many Ns in one name, so I removed them. (smiles) Where did you go to school? I schooled very close to home in Lagos. When I was younger, I attended Pelade Nursery/Primary School. Secondary school was a bit farther. I went to a ... Continue Reading

The New BitPesa Website is Live!

Aug 4th, 2016

We’re thrilled to announce the new customer-inspired BitPesa platform! We have redesigned our website to make global FX payments easier, safer, and more efficient. Two years ago, we launched our payment platform in Kenya, with a mission to connect African payment infrastructure with the rest of the world. Since then, we’ve expanded to Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria and have grown our roots across all of Sub-Saharan Africa. At ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Kunle

Jul 25th, 2016

In today's Meet the Team feature, we introduce Kunle Olamuyiwa, BitPesa's Regional Head of Sales & Marketing - West Africa. Who are you? My name is Hassan Olakunle Olamuyiwa, born about 40 years ago in Lagos to lucky parents who both hailed from Ondo State in Nigeria. I am a gentle and humble person, with a passion for excellence, and love for IT, innovation, music and photography. Where did you ... Continue Reading

How Tunga Pays Developers in Uganda

Jul 11th, 2016

Tunga has created an online marketplace connecting African coders with global businesses. Together, the company works with a vetted community of developers who have exhibited proven skills, and a network of international businesses offering technical projects. Some of these coders gained these programming skills from Bits Academy, an educational institute that trains disadvantaged youths to become web developers. It’s a win-win situation; the coder earns an income, and the ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Wendy

Apr 21st, 2016

This April, meet Wendy Kwayesa, BitPesa’s Administrative and Human Resources Assistant! Who are you? My name is Wendy Kwayesa. I love my second name. It’s very unique. You can’t tell where I come from by my second name. It was my great grandmother’s name. Where did you go to school? I attended Visa Oshwal Primary in Nairobi. The school was a mix of culture. I believe ... Continue Reading

How 3T Impex Trades With China

Apr 15th, 2016

3T Impex Consulting is redefining how international trade payments are executed. With an aggregate experience of over 50 years, the company works with trading partners around the globe and leads successful training courses across the UK, Europe, and Nigeria. Founder Bamidele Ayemibo left the banking sector seven years ago to launch 3T Impex. His firm has since helped over 1,500 businesses on international trade training, strategies and execution. Growing ... Continue Reading

Keheala Saves Money with BitPesa

Apr 7th, 2016

Keheala delivers disease management tools and behavior-modifying messages across a digital platform to improve health outcomes for patients. The multinational digital health company aims to end the scourge of drug non-compliance – responsible for millions of deaths and billions of wasted dollars – by connecting patients with the community support and motivation that they need to get well. Keheala also provide healthcare agencies with remote-monitoring and analytics to combat epidemics in resource ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Jeff

Mar 23rd, 2016

On this month’s Meet the Team feature, we introduce Geoffrey Mogonchi, BitPesa’s Analytics Associate. Who are you? My name Geoffrey Mogonchi. I prefer when people call me Jeff. Initially I always felt people confuse me for Jeffrey, then I sought out the meanings and realized both names mean the same thing anyway. Where did you go to school? We moved a lot when I was a kid, thus ... Continue Reading

How Premise Makes Payments to Africa in Minutes

Mar 22nd, 2016

Premise is a San Francisco-based data and analytics company, that works to increase economic and social transparency in regions where data can be hard to track. The company tracks macroeconomic trends in real-time by collecting millions of observations on everything from food prices and resource scarcity, to electricity and healthcare access. Organizations such as the World Bank and United Nations use Premise’s data and analysis to drive decision-making. Currently, ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Teresia

Jan 15th, 2016

Happy New Year! In today's Meet the Team post, we introduce Teresia Kairu, BitPesa’s Finance Manager. Who are you? My name is Teresia Kairu. I wish my name had an ‘h’ at the end i.e. “Teresiah” but that’s a story for another day. I am a Christian, an accountant by profession even though I’d like to think that what I do is not who I am. ... Continue Reading

BitPesa v. Safaricom

Dec 14th, 2015

As a start-up grows up, it begins to get noticed by established companies. This is a great milestone in any start-up’s life. Should the established companies partner with the start-up? Should they copy it? Should they close their eyes and wait to see if the start-up withers? Or, should they try and squash it? For a start-up, East Africa is not for the faint of heart; it is for ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Fred

Dec 10th, 2015

Happy December everyone! In today's Meet the Team post, we are happy to introduce Fred Fedynyshyn, our Chief Legal and Compliance Officer. Who are you? I am Fred, BitPesa’s Chief Legal and Compliance Officer. Where did you go to school? I went to Bowdoin College, a small liberal arts college in Maine in the U.S.A., as an undergraduate. I then got my law degree at Harvard Law ... Continue Reading

Una Welcome Nigeria! Karibu Uganda!

Nov 9th, 2015

We’ve been hard at work in the past few months and we’re excited to announce that you can now use BitPesa to make payments to Nigeria and Uganda from anywhere in the world. BitPesa for Business Need to pay salaries? Invoices? Importers? BitPesa has now gone beyond allowing customers to make small mobile payments to loved ones to providing better features for business customers who want to send ... Continue Reading

Meet the Team: Shiku

Oct 30th, 2015

Team BitPesa is made up of fast and fearless members who are passionate about cutting-edge tech and frontier markets. Meet the Team will be a monthly post where you get to know our team members a little better. We start with Shiku Ngigi, Customer Service and Social Media Manager. Who are you? People call me Shiku. Shiku Ngigi. Caroline is a name people from my other life know. Shiku is ... Continue Reading

BitPesa at the East African Trade Conference

Oct 29th, 2015

On October 16th, BitPesa arrived in Dallas, Texas for the 7th annual East Africa Chamber of Commerce Trade Conference. The event connects East African professionals in the United States and East Africa. During the two-day event, BitPesa spoke with businesses representing transportation & logistics, financial services, healthcare, and energy. We flexed our muscles by offering the lowest cost option at the conference to move money to East Africa, and the ... Continue Reading

Trade With BitPesa

Sep 8th, 2015

We’re excited to announce that you can now buy and sell Bitcoin 24/7, all on one page! At BitPesa, we listen to what our customers say and improve your experience with this in mind. In the last few months, we have transitioned from manual trading to an automatic Buy Bitcoin system and now to BitPesa Trade. This is what you will be able to do once you log ... Continue Reading

BitPesa in DC!

Aug 31st, 2015

BitPesa arrived in Washington, DC this past month to hold a networking event with DAWN (Diaspora African Womens Network). The event took place on the evening of July 7th in the collaborative and inspiring workspace of Impact Hub DC. Guests arrived spirited and ready to mingle; the foreground was set with plenty of wine and Mediterranean mezze to go around. As the evening progressed, members of DAWN, friends and supporters ... Continue Reading

BitPesa on the Move: Malindi to #GES2015Kenya

Aug 17th, 2015

Team BitPesa has been busy this summer - so busy we had to blog about it! So in case you were wondering what we’ve been up to, all in the spirit of building a service that's truly revolutionary, here you go: 2015 Retreat We have grown into quite a team in the past year. In mid-July, thirteen members of the BitPesa family travelled to Che Shale in Malindi (northern ... Continue Reading

BitPesa in Texas!

Jul 8th, 2015

On 12th June 2015, we traveled to Houston, Texas for the annual Kenya USA Diaspora SACCO Investment Expo. It was the perfect event to meet with Kenyans from every corner of the United States and talk about BitPesa. During the two day event, we built friendships with SACCO members and showed how BitPesa is much more than a financial service. BitPesa is a vibrant company, with a team that works ... Continue Reading

#TradeWithBitPesa: What You Missed

Jul 2nd, 2015

On Saturday, 20th June, BitPesa held the Trade With BitPesa event at Jumuia Place in Nairobi. Traders from Kenya and beyond came in for the action, representing Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe as well. Bitcoin novices made up half the audience. John Karanja, BitPesa’s Head of East African Sales was on the ground as MC and got things rolling. As everyone arrived, we played The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin ... Continue Reading

Event: Trade With BitPesa

Jun 15th, 2015

Do you trade forex or equity? Interested in Bitcoin? Come join BitPesa to learn more about trading Bitcoin at the Trade With BitPesa event in Nairobi, Kenya on 20th June, 2015. An all-day line-up of the top Bitcoin traders in East Africa, including the team behind BitPesa. Come hear how they do it. Get in the know by following @BitPesa or liking our Facebook page. The Master of Ceremony will ... Continue Reading

New country. New features.

May 18th, 2015

We've been working round the clock making BitPesa even better. Our awesome customers talk to us and shared that they use BitPesa for all of their digital financial needs. Bringing home salaries they earn from global clients, paying for goods they import and export, and sending out mobile payments to all of the people and business partners in their lives. To grow alongside our customers we moved South across the ... Continue Reading

Starting our 2nd Year!

Feb 9th, 2015

In November 2014, BitPesa celebrated its first birthday. We’ve seen huge growth of our Bitcoin to Kenyan Shilling (KES) remittance product, and we’ve started sales of Bitcoin in Kenya and Ghana. We now have a team of 9 full-time employees, and recently closed a follow-on round of $1.1M. CGAP’s blog post about us on the World Bank’s website also made it to the 2014 Top ... Continue Reading

How do I buy Bitcoin from BitPesa?

Feb 5th, 2015

As of December 2014, you can now buy Bitcoin from BitPesa, and it’s fast and easy. First things first. What is Bitcoin? You may have heard about it. Bitcoin is the most convenient way to make payments from anywhere in the world without exorbitant fees in the way. You can find out more here. If you are in Kenya, Nigeria or Uganda, you can buy Bitcoin from BitPesa 24/ ... Continue Reading

Welcome to BitPesa!

Sep 25th, 2014

Pay your bills. Pay your friends. Pay for travel. Pay for business. Who needs BitPesa? Anyone who makes payments to Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda or Tanzania from a foreign account! Do you get paid abroad, but live in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda or Tanzania? Does your business take payments from tourists or expats? Do you have friends or family living in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda or Tanzania? Do you send donations to a ... Continue Reading

What do I need to know about Bitcoin to use BitPesa?

Sep 23rd, 2014

What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a new technology used by people and businesses. It is not owned by any one company, but the technology is available for many companies to use. It is free and open-source, just like the internet. How do I get started using Bitcoin? To be able to use Bitcoin, you need an account, called a Bitcoin wallet. It is similar to opening an account to use ... Continue Reading

How to use BitPesa to accept payments for your business

Sep 22nd, 2014

Do you get paid by customers using foreign accounts? If your business relies on tourists or expatriates with foreign bank accounts sending you payments, BitPesa can help lower your costs and get your money in your account faster! Major travel companies like Expedia.com accept Bitcoin and have reduced their costs and increased their business doing so! Even EBay is about to start accepting Bitcoin. Get ahead of the curve ... Continue Reading

An in-depth review on BitPesa by Lets Talk Bitcoin!

Jul 27th, 2014

Lets Talk Bitcoin! Last week I reported on two Bitcoin startups in Africa that are working to cash in on the remittance business: Kenya-based BitPesa and Ghana-based Kitiwa. These startups are working to leverage Bitcoin’s low transaction fees to reduce the cost of sending money across international borders... This article was featured on Lets Talk Bitcoin ! [Read More] ... Continue Reading

Telegraph UK Feature: How Bitcoin can transform the developing world!

Jul 3rd, 2014

Bitcoin, the decentralised crypto-currency, is slowly shaking off the lingering whiff of criminality. Its association with (especially) online drugs markets like the Silk Road and radical anarchists is only half the story, and probably the least interesting half, of what Bitcoin can do. Many people within the Bitcoin community are motivated by bolder ideas than scoring drugs off the net. Some of them think the currency can transform the prospects ... Continue Reading

CoinTelegraph Coverage: Beta Testing Over, Kenyan Exchange BitPesa Launches.

Jul 2nd, 2014

BitPesa, the Kenyan remittance service that enables users abroad to send money home through Bitcoin, ended its beta testing phase to celebrate its official launch last week. This article was originally posted on the Coin Telegraph Blog [Read More] ... Continue Reading