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The company

Sevi is a promising FinTech startup operating in the Buy now, Pay later space. Sevi offers an innovative app designed to empower small entrepreneurs in Kenya and Uganda. The app enables small shops and kiosks to purchase stock on credit from their suppliers and pay later, once they have sold their inventory. This provides much-needed access to appropriate and affordable credit, allowing these businesses to grow and thrive.

The entrepreneurs

Sevi was founded by two Dutch gentlemen called Walter aan de Wiel and Bartel Verkruijsen. It is their strong belief that providing affordable finance to entrepreneurs is a crucial condition for further growth of micro and small companies, contributing to economic growth and a dignified life for entrepreneurs, their employees and families. They are of the opinion that merchant finance based on real orders and delivery is the best way to loan to low-income clients because it limits default risks. They hold the belief using new digital technologies can unleash the full potential of this model.

Walter is a strategist and doer. He has e co-founded 10 social enterprises in Ghana, India and the Netherlands. He has also supported many other startups through the business accelerator Truvalu.startups, which he started. One of the companies founded at Enviu is People’s Pension Trust, a micro-pension company for the informal sector in Ghana, which recently won the ‘Best Pension Company of the Year’ award.

Bartel has 15 years of experience in the field of entrepreneurship, IT and telecom. He is a full stack developer & Tech lead. His quality lies in the design, development and validation of proof of concepts. Bartel masters a unique combination of visionary thinking and a hands-on performance capacity. He is thus able to design architecture as well as write code. Bartel knows how to build teams and companies, he has started and sold several previous tech companies.

“Sevi is delighted to collaborate with Truvalu. Having an investor who not only recognizes the significance but also appreciates the immense value of working within and enhancing value chains has proven to be an invaluable asset for us. We eagerly anticipate the continued growth of our company, fueled by the support of Truvalu in optimizing and strengthening value chains.” – Entrepreneur Walter aan de Wiel


People: Sevi operates a lean staff, currently employing 27 people in Kenya, typical of a technology driven company. Its broader impact is to its customers and the people they serve. Sevi achieves greater impact indirectly as it improves the likelihood of survival and growth of SMEs leading to lower unemployment within Kenya. Directly, most shop owners are entrepreneurs and Sevi currently serves 60% female entrepreneurs (SDG 5) and their business ambitions.

Profit: Sevi is a promoter of financial inclusion by providing access to affordable finance to MSMEs which contributes to economic growth (SDG 8 and 9.3). Further, digitalization of order management services provide insight, prevent fraud and overleveraging, improve credit scoring, increase efficiency, decrease cost, risk and transport movements.

The uniqueness of the story

Sevi’s story highlights the ability of technology solutions to lower costs, particularly financing costs for small shop owners. The innovation is impressive as the solution offered by Sevi is deployable at all levels in a value chain including the last miles where units are smaller and typically would incur higher management costs to offer credit services. Ordering and credit is now one seamless digitized process for many businesses in Kenya. Sevi is characterized by its innovative approach, high-end technology, and the potential it holds to revolutionize the financial landscape for small entrepreneurs in Kenya and beyond. The company plans to attract additional debt funding from other funds in the near future, with the goal of further expanding its on-lending capacity and reach.

Future plans

Sevi is poised for accelerated growth. WIth the secured investments, Sevi will enhance its credit scoring algorithm and machine learning, strengthen Sevi’s operations in Kenya, and enhance its on-lending capabilities. Sevi aims to contribute to SDG 9.3 in the area of financial inclusion, with a strong focus on female entrepreneurs.

Sevi aims at continuing to stretch its solutions by scaling up its existing sellers and launching partnerships with local financial institutions. It further targets by 2025 to have reached international scale and expand to other countries within Africa.

“We are thrilled to be able to support such a high-quality fintech startup. In our experience of building value chains based on a fair distribution of profit, power, and value, we haven’t seen a solution that brings transactions, credit, and orders together in such a seamless way as Sevi does.” – Jaap-Jan Verboom, Truvalu


The challenges Sevi is faced with are related to:

  • Large investment requirements to grow IT capacity to meet demand growth, expand the management team in Kenya and grow the sales capacity and supplier and verifier teams nationwide.
  • Increase the buyer-per-seller ratio
  • Expansion to new regions (coastal, Mt. Kenya and Rift Valley) by means of seller onboarding, market activations and popup shops
  • Limited financial literacy among its clients
  • Onboard bank to its credit portal function to link unbanked to the formal finance sector
  • Expansion of available credit facility and setting up a first-loss facility


The solution provided by Truvalu: 

  • Truvalu participated with equity in a fundraising round where Sevi raised € 1.2 million
  • Truvalu advised on the governance structure of Sevi and the setup of the Sevi Fund
  • Truvalu has introduced Sevi to several potential co-investor
  • Truvalu submitted a joint proposal for grant funding
  • Truvalu has created a dashboard for Sevi to easily enter their financials and evaluate their financial performance in every quarter