Kuva, the decentralized finance (DeFi) startup that allows users to transfer funds in real-time globally, is announcing the launch of its fintech product, Kuva Local. The advanced e-commerce application that rewards users with digital currency and brings global customers to local businesses is launching in Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia and South Africa.
Like all Kuva’s financial services products, Kuva Local can be accessed from any mobile smart device. Currently, the application allows users from anywhere in the world to purchase products from local businesses. With the launch, diaspora consumers will be able to buy from businesses in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, and South Africa and have goods delivered locally in those markets. This will be a much-needed application for diaspora who are tired of the cost and inconvenience of sending money and goods to relatives back home. Users can add electronics, food, clothes, and an array of miscellaneous goods to their digital shopping cart and have it delivered straight to their loved ones’ doorsteps who live in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, and South Africa without expensive rates and delivery fees.
In recent years, the world has witnessed the negative impact that dysfunctional global supply chains have on our environment and communities. Consumers are increasingly aware of the true cost of purchasing from major corporations like Amazon, which manufacture products thousands of miles away from customers, mistreat warehouse and transportation workers, and wreak havoc on the planet. It’s evident that a shift in the global model of consumption and the way in which highly globalized supply chains operate is needed, and even desired. Corporations and consumers need to center their focus on local.
With Kuva Local, a person living in Manhattan can have a fresh birthday cake delivered to a friend in Nairobi, without a massive carbon footprint. At the same time, the blockchain technology, on which the application is built, gives consumers rewards in the form of the native token of the network, the KUVA Coin. Another unique feature of this application is that users can play a role in facilitating the reforestation of trees on the continent. Once purchased, the trees are planted in remote areas in Africa; at present many hundreds of them have been bought via the app by Africans all over the world.
In addition, Kuva Local is sharing an exclusive partnership with Alliance Insurance, allowing application users who spend $100 or more in a calendar month eligible for a free month of Hospital Cashback Cover. This means that if a customer is hospitalized for 48 hours or more, they will in most cases get their money back.
Already available in Zimbabwe, the launch across Southern and Eastern Africa is in line with the company’s core mission of helping people preserve and grow their wealth. By making the products of local suppliers available to anyone in the world, launching the service in new countries benefits local businesses, communities, and the planet. In the near future, the company plans to make deliveries available in more African countries as well as territories outside of the continent.
“We chose to launch our delivery operations to Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, and South Africa because these are markets with a large proportion of young people, living outside the country of their birth, whose everyday habits are incredibly reliant on mobile devices,” said CEO and Co-Founder of Kuva, James Saruchera. “All these countries have substantial diasporic populations and can benefit from the global-access-meets-local delivery model of Kuva Local.”
“Kuva Local is designed to help fund the running of our sophisticated blockchain infrastructure, enabling other types of transactions on the Kuva network such as peer-to-peer transactions to be very low cost or even free — a stark contrast from popular networks,” said CTO and Co-Founder of Kuva, Andreiko Kerdemelidis. “Ultimately, we want to make cryptocurrency and blockchain-powered products accessible to everyone who owns a phone. Launching Kuva Local in new territories takes us one step closer to making our goal a reality.”
Kuva Local will make low-cost, trans-continental deliveries available in Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, and South Africa. The Kuva Local app is available to the public and can be downloaded from both Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play.
Kuva is a blockchain protocol that aims to remedy the loss of buying power globally. It began out of a growing need in Sub-Saharan Africa, where soft currencies mean loss of buying power for citizens. Founded in 2017, by James Saruchera and Andreiko (Drako) Kerdemelidis, who both boast a wealth of experience within high-tech and finance spaces, Kuva is an economic and monetary operating system built to provide financial access and freedom to everyone. The Kuva Network connects users and service providers with peer-to-peer payments, lets users send and receive funds with one another in multiple on-chain currencies (KUVA Coin, USDk, and BTC) using just a phone number, and also provides incentives for infrastructure providers to provision the network itself.