Kenyan Startup Nuzo Partners with IDEO to Boost Customer Loyalty and Drive Economic Development in Africa with Blockchain

3 min readDec 1, 2022

Nuzo, a web3 startup based in Nairobi, Kenya, is using the Celo blockchain to revolutionize customer retention and reduce the costs of payments for small and micro-retailers in Africa. The company recently partnered with IDEO Last Mile Money, a global collaborative network focused on connecting underserved communities to the digital economy. Through this partnership, Nuzo is further developing its financial service products to offer savings and credit services to Nuzo retailers.

“Nuzo is providing a way for small and micro-retailers to offer their customers rewards and incentives, which helps to improve customer retention by up to 35% and increase sales by up to 200%,” Nichols said. “In addition, by using the Celo blockchain, we are able to reduce the costs of payments for retailers by up to 90% compared to mobile money payment services like M-Pesa, which helps retailers improve their profitability and competitiveness.”

But Nuzo’s technology is not just benefiting retailers. It is also helping to increase financial inclusion in Africa. According to the World Bank, only 33% of adults in Africa have an account at a formal financial institution. This lack of access to financial services makes it difficult for people to save money, access credit, and engage in financial transactions.

By using the Celo blockchain for loyalty points, Nuzo is providing people with an alternative way to access financial services, which could help to increase financial inclusion in Africa. “Our goal is to onboard the next billion in Africa into the financial system using web3 technologies,” Nichols said. “By providing people with an easy and convenient way to access financial services, we believe that we can help to drive economic growth and development on the continent.”

Nuzo’s technology is also benefiting women and unemployed youth in Africa. Many women and young people in the continent face barriers to economic participation, such as lack of access to education, training, and financial services. By providing these groups with new opportunities to earn loyalty points and access financial services, Nuzo is helping to increase their incomes and improve their economic prospects.

“Our technology is particularly beneficial for women and young people who are looking for ways to increase their incomes and improve their financial situation,” Nichols said. “By providing them with new opportunities to earn rewards and access financial services, we are helping to empower these groups and support their economic development.”

Nuzo’s technology is gaining traction in Kenya, with over 2,500 retailers already participating in the program. The company plans to expand its operations to other countries in Africa, and plans to begin fundraising next year.