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The Front Page of Global Fintech

The the largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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$114 Million for a new digital bank and $16 Million lost by a Web3 digital bank(TWIF - Africa 07/08)

$114 Million for a new digital bank and $16 Million lost by a Web3 digital bank(TWIF - Africa 07/08)
African Fintechs have raised $4 Billion in Equity since 2015

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

Here are the highlights of what happened in African Fintech this week;

  • Egypt based Bank invested $114 Million on its newly licensed digital banking subsidiary.
  • African Web3 startup backed by Coinbase lost $16 Million.
  • Kenya and Nigeria-based identity management startups merged to form a group company.
  • South Africa based Agri-Fintech startup raised funding to address the SME funding gap.
  • Latam based - Tiger global backed Fintech expanded in four African countries.
  • A new $64 Million African fund was launched.
  • Crypto startups were mandated to have physical offices in one of Africa’s large Crypto market.

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • Pumpkn, a South African Agri-Fintech startup raised undisclosed funding  from Renew Capital.
Africa SME financing gap
  • Kenyan identity management startup, Peleza merged with YC-backed Prembly to form the Prembly Group.
Digital ID Verification insights
  • Egypt’s Banque Misr invested $114 million on  its newly licensed digital banking subsidiary, OneBank.
Banque Misr is one of the top banks in Fortune 500 Arabia List

💰 Venture Funds

  • Spark+ General Partner announced the second and third closings of Spark+ Africa Fund, with a current AUM of $64 Million.
African startups raised $652.4 million in H1 2024 as the downward funding trend continues

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Latam based - Tiger Global-backed Minka expanded in Africa, setting shop in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ethiopia. The company plans to expand to Mozambique, Zambia, and Malawi in Southern Africa.
Minka has raised $27 Million
  • EXITS MENA, a fintech arrangement platform for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the MENA region announced the establishment of a new strategic joint venture in Saudi Arabia.
  • South Africa granted 63 new crypto licenses, This brings the total approved crypto licenses in South Africa to 138.
South African cryptocurrency owners are likely to be highly educated, 46% of them hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Nigeria-based fintech Accelerex launched its Pay with Fingerprint solution on PoS terminals in Nigeria.
A look at the hardest services to pay for digitally in Nigeria

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) assured that Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan, currently detained at Kuje prison in Abuja, is in good health, countering allegations from his family regarding his deteriorating condition.
Tigran Gambaryan

📰 News of the Week

  • Mara, a crypto startup backed by Coinbase, lost $16 million in 2022 as the leadership team fell apart.
Image Credits - MARA

Founded by Chinyere ‘Chi’ Nnadi, Lucas Llinás Múnera, Kate Kallot, and Dearg OBartuin in 2021, Mara was a hit with investors. In May 2022, it raised $23 million from Alameda Research, the trading arm of FTX, Coinbase Ventures, and 100 other investors at a pre-money valuation of $70 million.

Only in  two years, Mara ran out of cash, with CEO Chineyere Nnadi registering a new entity named Jara in early 2024. Two cofounders who left the company in early 2023 claim that Nnadi only established the new company, Jara to avoid responsibility for Mara’s liabilities.

The company launched Mara Wallet in February 2023 and acquired 4 million verified users who later were also claimed to be fake. At least 75% of the 4 million verified users Mara reported it had were fraudulent accounts,” one former executive said.Mara lost $15.9 million in 2022, according to a copy of an audited financial statement sent to investors. It didn’t report revenue because it hadn’t launched a product in 2022 yet expenses were already astronomical. Mara spent $9.1 million on salaries, bonuses, and allowances. It had 130 employees, said one person with knowledge of Mara’s operations.

“We [paid high salaries] to attract talent [from well-paying companies like Apple and competitors like Yellow Card] but they didn’t always deliver,” Nnadi wrote in an investor report, acknowledging the company’s cash burn during its growth phase. With $5 million left in cash by the end of 2022, Mara began fundraising talks in 2023.Despite speaking to several investors for a possible $2-5 million raise, nothing materialised.

👀 Eye Openers

  • Who are real competitors of African Fintechs?

Nigeria based Fintech Moniepoint released a Nigeria’s informal economy report and one of the data that got my attention is that more businesses obtain credit from family and friends than from traditional banks and loan platforms.

The first time I read a similar insight it was last month on X, before this report was announced.

Mr Asemota insisted that if a merchant has built enough credibility in their chain, they have more chances to get zero-interest credit from their chain, like from big merchants or suppliers. So why should they seek credit with interest?

This just reminds me of a few things that are mentioned to compete with African Fintechs:

- The major competitor for payments companies is cash.

- The major competitor for insurance companies is Jesus and other similar beliefs.

And today we add that:

- The major competitors for lending companies are cooperatives, family, and friends.

📑 Read of the week

  • Businesses prefer saving on fintechs than banks and other things we learned from Moniepoint’s informal economy report.(Techcabal)
Informal economy insights by means of Saving
  • Rethinking fintech distribution in Africa: The role of ‘undiscovered founders’.(Techcabal)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • New SEC framework mandated Nigerian crypto companies to have physical offices in Nigeria, among others.
Nigeria Contributed 90% of Over $600m Traded by African Crypto Startups in 2020
  • Egyptian Fintech Cassbana shuttered operations after losing $2 Million funding. 
African startups that shut down in 2023


  • The State Of African Fintech Trends & Opportunities panel session at Africa Tech Summit London 2024. Insights shared by Executives from Fintechs like Flutterwave, Kuda, Mansa Finance and Kora.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • African Fintechs can apply for Ecobank Fintech Challenge and stand a chance to win an overall cash prize of US$50,000, and the opportunity to partner and scale their solutions with Ecobank.
  • Want to sponsor or share your fintech story and reach over 100,000 fintech enthusiasts each week? reach out to to get started.

Made in Tanzania 🇹🇿 with 💚

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