Our mission:
Build payments for the next Billion

Increasing economic opportunity for underserved markets


‍Last year, Africans lost ~$8bn in fees. By the end of 2023, just six African countries supported real-time payments. On average, 7-8% were lost to transaction fees every time money was sent home. Africa is still by far the most expensive continent to send money to. So, in 2021, we decided to build a better option.

At NALA we decided to prioritise two goals: reducing the cost and increasing reliability for sending money back to Africa.

We partner with governments to acquire licences, which in turn, these enable us to build innovative products and services, unlocking faster, safer, and more affordable cross-border payments.

While Africa's payment issues are stark, they are part of a global problem. Our experience as builders in cross-border and locally in Africa gives us a unique edge - we’re excited to address similar challenges across other emerging markets.

Backed and advised by
Notable angels include, co-founders of Robinhood, Deel, Monzo, as well as early employees of Revolut, Wise and other leading fintech companies.

A global team
one shared mission 💙

The NALA team spans 18 countries, with hubs in key locations such as London, Nairobi and Dakar.

Among us are some of the brightest minds who once contributed to tech giants like Mpesa, Monzo, Revolut, World Remit, and Wise. 

At NALA we foster a unique blend of local market expertise and global experience, as well as the drive to build for real impact.

Learn more about working at NALA
The NALA Team photoThe NALA Team photo

Our leadership team

NALA was founded by Benjamin Fernandes, our CEO, who holds an MBA from Stanford University and had formerly worked on the creation of mobile money services for TV subscriptions in East Africa.

Steering NALA with him are two exceptional leaders.

Nicolas Esteves our CTO, grew up in West Africa and brings 12 years of fintech experience including time spent building Osper and Monzo. Today Nicolas leads our engineering, data and fraud teams.

Nicolai Eddy, our COO, joined from Morningstar's quantitative index portfolios team. Nicolai, is based in our Nairobi office and leads our Rafiki business as well as treasury, finance, operations, and country teams.

Tackling payment infrastructure - meet Rafiki

Rafiki is a single API for global businesses to make payments into Africa. This infrastructure is the backbone of our consumer fintech app and our B2B payments platform. With Rafiki, we’re not just solving our own reliability issues; we’re also empowering global businesses to trade more effectively with Africa. Learn more.

Learn more