Our CEO got Nominated for the 2024 FortyUnder40 Africa Award
Collins Muriuki, at 33, is a testament to innovation and entrepreneurial resilience in Africa. Holding a Bachelor of Computer Science & Information Technology and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualifications from Strathmore University, Muriuki has skillfully blended tech knowledge with financial acumen. His drive and vision have led Terra to remarkable heights, including winning the Business Daily Top 40 Under 40 Award in Kenya in 2023.As the Co-Founder & CEO at Terra, Muriuki has impressively grown a 100% bootstrapped company into a profitable African venture, securing significant contracts with impactful organizations like Food4Education. This partnership has facilitated over 31 million meals for Kenya's impoverished children through a tap-to-pay solution called 'Tap2Eat’, which Terra Pioneered in 2021, a testament to Terra’s commitment to leveraging technology for social good.Under Muriuki’s leadership, Terra is revolutionizing digital financial services across Africa. The company’s Wallet as a Service platform supports around 5 countries, enabling close to $2M in transactions and issuing loans worth approximately $250K. This achievement is particularly noteworthy given the competitive tech startup landscape, where external funding is often seen as crucial for growth.Muriuki’s passion for making a tangible impact is also evident in his work with smallholder farmers in Kenya. He spearheaded the development of a Tea Traceability platform, enhancing security and transparency in the tea supply chain using smart farmer cards that are wallet-ready. This platform ensures that tea can be traced seamlessly from the farm to the consumer, providing farmers with a sense of security and empowerment, whilst opening up opportunities to layer and offer digital financial services to all tea farmers in Kenya, on the same card and wallet infrastructure. Source - FortyUnder40Africa
Muriuki Collins | CEO at Terra - 2023 Winner | Business Daily Top40Under40
Collins sums up his entrepreneurial journey in two words: grit and resilience. Those two qualities have seen him rebuild Terra Software, his financial technology (fintech) firm, from the Covid-19 ruins.For eight years, all the stars had aligned in Collins’ favour. He was on the growth fast lane, riding on Kenya’s increasing technology uptake to grow locally and regionally into Uganda and Rwanda.“Our motivation behind Terra was to create solutions for Africa, and also, with the evolution of technology and based on what we had learnt, we wanted to offer solutions,” the soft-spoken says Collins of the formative stages of the fintech back in 2012 when he was a Computer Science student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology.However, the global health pandemic outbreak in 2020 hit their clients hardest and, in turn, disrupted the growth streak. Collins had to make tough choices.“We supported airlines, hotels and restaurants to process payments and bookings from travellers, but with Covid restrictions, everything stopped. We were forced to cut staff numbers to just four,” he says.That wiped out an estimated 90 per cent of Terra Software’s market and led to the closure of operations in Uganda and Rwanda.Three years later, the firm has bounced back, and Collins is looking to return to Rwanda and Uganda by the end of next year.Among the firm’s top customers is the Kenya Tea Development Agency, with at least 650,000 farmers and Food for Education, a digital mobile platform that uses their Tap2Eat technology to enable public primary school children to access nutritious food. Food for Education has on-boarded an estimated 400,000 parents and more than 500,000 school children. Collins says the firm’s technology has also gained recognition and adoption by Nairobi County under the ‘Dishi na County’ initiative.Terra Software has increased its staff numbers to 23, with 12 being permanent.Collins finds satisfaction in offering solutions that enable farmers to access their payments without delay and school children to access education.He started the company with a Sh20,000 capital and targets to expand across the continent, riding on the technological growth in African countries and the tech-savvy youth.“Terra has to work because I have never had a plan B. We want Terra to be a legacy business that I will leave for my children and who come after them,” he says at the end of our interview. Watch full interview here: https://top40.businessdailyafrica.com/candidates/collins-muriuki/Interview Courtesy - John Mutua
Terra & Zeraki: A Pioneering Partnership in African EdTech and FinTech
In the landscape of African innovation, two sectors have been making significant waves: education technology (EdTech) and financial technology (FinTech). As Africa's young population surges, there is a growing need for advanced, scalable solutions in both of these domains. Recognizing the transformative potential of this intersection, Terra is proud to announce its strategic partnership with Zeraki, one of Africa's leading EdTech platforms.#### **The Power of Collaboration**For the uninitiated, Zeraki is a dynamic platform that empowers teachers, students, and institutions with comprehensive educational tools, from interactive lesson plans to performance analytics. Their mission has always been clear: make quality education accessible and affordable for every African learner. Terra, on the other hand, brings to the table a robust set of financial tools designed to empower businesses and individuals across the continent.The synergy here is unmistakable. With this collaboration, Terra's FinTech solutions will be integrated into the Zeraki platform, paving the way for seamless transactions. Schools and institutions can now manage their finances better, from paying subscription fees to accessing premium Zeraki features.#### **Benefits for the End-User**Students and parents stand to gain immensely from this partnership:1. **Effortless Payments:** No longer will parents need to visit educational institutions or banks to make payments. With Terra's solutions, they can make secure payments directly through the Zeraki platform.2. **Scholarships and Financial Aid:** Terra's financial infrastructure can be leveraged to facilitate scholarships and aid, ensuring deserving students don't miss out on quality education due to financial constraints.3. **Transparency and Trust:** Every transaction will be recorded, ensuring total transparency for parents and institutions alike.#### **A Step Towards a Unified African Ecosystem**This collaboration is more than just a partnership; it's a statement. It reinforces the belief that when African businesses come together, they can build an ecosystem that rivals any other in the world. The integration of FinTech in EdTech, as showcased by Terra and Zeraki, can serve as a blueprint for future partnerships across different sectors.#### **In Conclusion**The Terra-Zeraki partnership is a beacon of hope and a testament to what's achievable when visionaries from different sectors unite for a common goal. As we move forward, students, educators, and institutions across Africa will soon realize the tangible benefits of this alliance, bringing quality education and financial empowerment closer than ever before.
Streamlining Healthcare in Africa: Terra's Partnership with MedNow
The African healthcare landscape is one that holds immense potential, yet it faces a multitude of challenges. From access to critical care in remote locations to seamless administration of medical services, the room for innovation is vast. Recognizing this gap, Terra embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration with MedNow.The Confluence of Fintech and HealthcareWhen people think of fintech, they often visualize digital wallets, e-commerce, or perhaps peer-to-peer lending. Rarely does healthcare enter the picture. However, MedNow and Terra believe otherwise. Combining the strengths of fintech with the urgencies of healthcare can catalyze transformative change.MedNow: At the Forefront of ChangeMedNow is not just another healthcare provider. They’ve consistently showcased commitment towards revolutionizing medical service delivery in Africa. Their mission? To ensure timely, affordable, and quality healthcare is accessible to everyone, regardless of their geographic or economic status.
KTDA using Terra's Smart Cards to fight fraud.
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is introducing smart cards for farmers in a bid to enhance transparency and combat weight falsification and theft. Collaborating with Terra Softworks Limited, they'll distribute 560,000 smart cards to growers. These cards will be synchronized with growers' mobile phones, streamlining sales and purchase processes.
Cup of Uji & Terra Partnership to automate school feeding.
In the vast landscape of Kenya, countless children begin their academic journeys on an empty stomach. Cup of Uji is a beacon of hope illuminating the path for over 10,000 learners daily. This initiative, founded by the visionary Francis Otieno Amonde in 2011, has aimed to ensure that every child receives the essential nourishment they need to thrive in their educational pursuits.However, as Cup of Uji's mission expanded, new challenges emerged. With the ambitious target of nourishing 100,000 young minds daily on the horizon, the need for a seamless transaction process became paramount. This is where the innovative prowess of Terra WaaS stepped in.
Feeding the Future: How Terra Changed the Game for Food for Education
In a continent blessed with diverse cultures and rich histories, Africa bears the weight of challenges. Among them is access to quality education, which remains an elusive dream for many of its children. But now and then, a spark of innovation lights the way, proving that when technology and passion converge, transformation is inevitable. Such is the story of "Food for Education" and its empowering partnership with Terra. A Hunger for Change: Food for Education isn’t just any non-profit; it's a beacon of hope for countless Kenyan schoolchildren. With a clear mantra, "Feed a child, feed a mind," this organization understands that the future of a nation lies in its educated youth. By providing nutritious meals, they ensure that no child has to choose hunger over textbooks. But like any organization aiming for significant change, challenges were aplenty.Managing meal transactions, dealing with multiple vendors across vast regions, and ensuring every penny reached its intended purpose – these challenges often seemed impossible.