Kenya-based CardPlanet becomes the second African startup to be accelerated by 500 Startups


Founded by Rodgers Mhandi and Sam Masinde, CardPlanet has become the second African startup to be accepted at 500 Startups and the first Kenyan startup to make it to Silicon Valley accelerator. Ghanaian Dropifi was the first African startup which made it to 500 Startups in 2013.

The Founder of 500 Startups, Dave McClure told YourStory, “We’ve a startup coming from Kenya into the next cohort. We’ve had a startup from Ghana before. Africa is still a big territory for us. That is probably one region in the world we haven’t done much investments. Hopefully in 2015 and 2016, we’ll start to invest more.”

CardPlanet is mobile money based cashless payment system aimed at business and NGOs. The startup has three products. Instaid, allows people to send medical aid instantly. PesaCard is NFC based smart card that enables convenient mobile money delivery. CampoCard is university ID that can make payments.

CardPlanet Solutions was founded in 2011. Later in 2012, the startup was accepted into Kenyan accelerator Nailab’s first batch (season 1). The startup has also been funded and accelerated at 88mph and Savannah Fund.

Savannah Fund’s Malaika Judd wrote, “CardPlanet was accepted to 500 Startups’ Accelerator, and while the hurdles to participation in the Accelerator were many – we at Savannah Fund are happy to announce CardPlanet is finally on the ground in SF and officially part of the current 500 Startups Accelerator Class!

Card Plant’s solutions

Pesacard: It means ‘money-card’ and is an electronic wallet linked to mobile money. The product is targeted to school going youth who receive regular cash transfers (pocket money) from parents or guardians. Students can spend the amount at POS terminals located around their school.

CampoCard: Is the identification and access card for students, faculty and staff at universities and colleges. It also serves as a prepaid, stored-value account and cashless way to pay for purchases on and off campus. Money can be deposited into the Card in a number of easy ways, including the agents in the campuses, banks or by mobile money, example M-PESA and Airtel Money.

Fuel and loyalty card: It is a unique rewards program that lets you earn points and get discounts for the things you do daily like refueling, traveling, shopping, eating out, watching movies, and flying etc... Customers will accumulate shower credits and points for purchasing fuel and other products that are redeemable for in-store merchandise and restaurants.

Last week, Mbwana Alliy, the founder of Savannah Fund and CardPlanet CEO Rodgers Mhandi went to co-teach a class at Stanford University about the new African entrepreneurial opportunities.