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Ken Njoroge

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{{Infobox person
| name = Ken Njoroge
| image = Ken-Njoroge-cofounder-Cellulant.jpg
| image_size = 250px
| alt =
| caption = Ken Njoroge, co-founded of Cellulant Corporation
| birth_name =
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| birth_place = Kenya
| death_date = <!-- {{Death date and age|YYYY|MM|DD|YYYY|MM|DD}} or {{Death-date and age|Month DD, YYYY|Month DD, YYYY}} (death date then birth date) -->
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| nationality = Kenyan
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| occupation = CEO and Co-Founder of Cellulant
| known_for = Co-Founding [[Cellulant]]
| title = {{Unbulleted list|CEO and Co-Founder of Cellulant}}
| boards = {{Unbulleted list}}
| spouse =
| partner = <!-- (unmarried long-term partner) -->
| children = 3
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<span style="font-size:88%">''Editor: [ Charissa Cassels]''</span>

Ken Njoroge is the CEO and Co-Founder of [[Cellulant]] Corporation, a Nairobi-based digital payments service provider<ref>[ FinTech Company Cellular Raises $47.5 million - Forbes. Retrieved on 22 November, 2019.]</ref>, and self-identifies as a mobile commerce evangelist.

He is a career entrepreneur and previously co-founded and served as the Solution Design Director of 3Mice Interactive Media, a web development firm. The growth of 3Mice Interactive Media led to it being acquired by Africa Online, a Namibian internet service provider.<ref>[ Ken Njoroge - Crunchbase. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.]</ref>Njoroge led the Technology, Strategy and Solution Development teams as the Solution Design Director. He conceptualized a range of digital projects relating to e-commerce, content management and e-business platforms.<ref>[ is Us - Cellulant. Retrieved 4 November, 2019.]</ref>

Njoroge is recognised for his entrepreneurial contributions to Africa and his willingness to encourage other Africans through providing them with training and support, to utilise their entrepreneurial skills to contribute towards Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.<ref>[ Wins Global Award; Integrates into the World Economic Forum - Techmoran. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.]</ref>

== History ==

Njoroge was born in Kenya and attended Nakuru Menengai High School. His higher education began at the University of Nairobi where he was in the School of Pharmacy. He later opted to study Management and Information Systems at Strathmore University, where he pursued Connected Computing and completed his undergraduate studies.<ref>[ that shaped Cellulant into billion-shilling revenue firm - Business Daily. Retrieved 14 November, 2019.]</ref>
Later on, he worked at Interconnect, an internet firm, after which he moved to Formnet. While Njoroge was at Formnet, he and two friends founded 3Mice Interactive Media but later sold it to Africa Online as it was the more financially viable option. This did not deter Njoroge.<ref>[ that shaped Cellulant into billion-shilling revenue firm - Business Daily. Retrieved 14 November, 2019.]</ref>
Njoroge then conceptualised the Lipuka platform, which is what exposed him to the public. Lipuka was launched in 2004 with the purpose of allowing subscribers to download their favourite ringtones while ensuring that royalties are paid to the artists by Cellulant.<ref>[ and Stanbic to enable Artistes Access Loans Facilities from, SKIZA Ringtone Royalties - KassFM. Retrieved 19 November, 2019.]</ref> Cellulant Corporation was founded by Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro in 2004.<ref>[ Akinboro - Endeavor. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.]</ref><ref>[ Akinboro - LinkedIn. Retrieved 22 November, 2019.]</ref> They originally met in 2001 to formulate programmes that would aid Njoroge’s ideas, yet the programmes were unsuccessful. Akinboro utilised funds he obtained from his job at World Bank in order to finance their venture, as Njoroge was unemployed at the time. There were occasions where Cellulant almost shut down, but when M-Pesa, an African mobile money service,<ref>[ - Vodafone. Retrieved 22 November, 2019.]</ref> started operations, Cellulant received opportunities to develop online and mobile banking platforms for several banks. Njoroge soon discovered that the notion of Cellulant paying artists royalties was not conducive as 80 percent of the proceeds went towards mobile operators. This meant that something more conducive needed to be invented that could still aid the public. This is what inspired Njoroge’s idea of people having access to their bank savings in order to make payments, receive money and services. Cellulant therefore aims to tackle financial exclusion by ensuring that people have access to mobile money as an alternative to traditional banking. It connects merchants, banks and mobile operators with their mobile customers through its electronic payments services. Consumers are able to pay their bills and make and receive payments.<ref>[ Njoroge - Endeavor. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.]</ref>

Cellulant Corporation has several platforms it uses to address financial exclusion like its Agrikore platform, its Tingg app as well as its Lipuka platform.

Agrikore was created to ensure that efficient participation in the market is possible for everyone. Its aim is to create sustainable growth through agriculture. It provides a marketplace where goods can be bought and sold and provides secure payment methods.<ref>[ Agrikore - Agrikore. Retrieved 15 November, 2019.]</ref>

Tingg is an all-in-one multifunctional consumer app that was launched on 8 October 2019. Businesses and users who have downloaded the app can make and receive payments and gives them access to financial services. It is available in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana.<ref>[ unveils Africa’s newest payments super app, Tingg - IT News Africa. Retrieved 15 November, 2019.]</ref>
Cellulant now services 34 countries in Africa and has received accolades such as being listed as the Best Payments and Transfer Fintech in Africa by Fintech 100 in 2016.<ref>[ ‘Soonicorns Could Be The Next Billion-Dollar Companies in Africa - WeeTracker. Retrieved 22 November, 2019.]</ref>

Njoroge was born and raised in Kenya, is married and has three children. He prides himself on keeping his personal life out of the public eye and prefers the focus to be on his work.<ref>[ Cellulant’s Ken Njoroge - Moses Kemibaro. Retrieved 14 November, 2019.]</ref>

== Investments ==
Njoroge and Akinboro each own 34 percent of Cellulant Corporation while the rest of the business is owned by equity investors.<ref>[ that shaped Cellulant into billion-shilling revenue firm - Business Daily. Retrieved 14 November, 2019.]</ref>
$47.5 million was raised by the Rise Fund, Endeavor Catalyst and Satya Capital in 2018. This was done in order to expand Cellulant Corporation into two African countries every year as well as to allocate funds to Agrikore.<ref>[ Fintech Firm Cellulant Raises $47.5 Million Scales up Blockchain Division - Blockchain News. Retrieved 19 November, 2019.]</ref>

== Awards and Achievements ==

Between 24-26 June 2017, Njoroge was selected as the Sub-Saharan and Kenyan Global Endeavour Entrepreneur, in Beirut, Lebanon. This was in recognition for his commitment to advancing entrepreneurship in Africa.<ref>[ Selected as First Sub-Saharan African Company in the Endeavor Global Entrepreneurs Network - Cellulant Blog. Retrieved 22 November, 2019.]</ref>

Njoroge was listed among the 100 most influential Africans of 2018, listed for his ‘Mega Fund-Raise’ of $47.5 million, by the New African Magazine in their December 2018 issue.<ref>[ 100 Most Influential Africans of 2018 - NewAfrican. Retrieved 24 November, 2019.]</ref>

The prestigious EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year Award of 2018 was won by Njoroge.

The 2019 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award was given to Njoroge. The award recognised Cellulant’s work in building digital payments and services that enable businesses and consumers in Agriculture, Retail Distribution, Transport, Logistics and E-commerce access to services when necessary.<ref>[ Entrepreneur, Kennedy Njoroge - Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.]</ref>

== References ==
{{Reflist| 3}}