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$44 M + $70M = African Fintechs are raising, VCs are deploying (TWIF - Africa 04/15)

$44 M + $70M = African Fintechs are raising, VCs are deploying (TWIF - Africa 04/15)
African Bitcoin Ecosystem Q2 2024

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

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

  • Five Fintech deals worth over $44 Million were announced.
  • 2 Funds worth over $70 Million were announced.
  • World’s largest Crypto exchange sought release of its detained executive in Nigeria.
  • African country issued its first Crypto license to 60 companies.
  • Exploiters Of a Bank Glitch Could not Repay After Spending Spree.

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • Pula, a startup providing Nigerian farmers insurance against banditry raised $20 Million series B.
African insurance market is worth $68 billion in terms of Gross Written Premium
  • Kappa raised a $5 Million seed round to help African businesses pay global suppliers and get paid by customers.
Africa’s largets imports
  • South Africa’s Procera, debt recovery solution provider,  raised $18.8 million in Funding from Vantage Capital.
  • Ghana based local digital bank Affinity raised an undisclosed round from Renew Capital to expand across Africa.
African digital banks
  • Tanzania based Banking as a Service startup Tembo Plus and online ticketing platform Safiri received a €100K grant each from develoPPP Ventures.
Tanzania Fintech Startups

💰 Venture Funds

  • Southern Africa is now the top investment region in Africa, according to a private capital report.
Image credit: AVCA
  • Huawei Cloud launched a two-year initiative that will see the company allocate $10 million for middle and early-stage startups in Nigeria, hoping to create its ecosystem of innovators. 

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Panache Ventures, a Canadian pre-seed venture fund partnered with Kora, an African-focused fintech, to assist tech founders in Africa in obtaining venture capital funding.
  • South Africa issued the first crypto license to Luno and 59 other companies.
Crypto awareness in South Africa is rising rapidly

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • Escape, remand, and now a demand: Binance sought release of detained exec in Nigeria.
Tigran Gambaryan

Following a Monday court hearing in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, Tigran Gambaryan, the head of Binance's criminal investigations team, was remanded at the Kuje Correctional Facility. Despite pleading not guilty to money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he has faced detention since his arrest on February 26.

"We are deeply disappointed that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, continues to be detained. He has been dedicated to public service and fighting crime for most of his life. These charges against him are meritless," a Binance spokesperson told Bendada.com via email.

📰 News of the Week

  • Pan-African VC Verod-Kepple closed its first fund at $60 Million. 
Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures team

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV) announced plans to back up to 21 growth-stage companies across the continent after closing its first fund at $60 million. The firm invests between $1 million and $3 million, with the ability to follow on, having already deployed $17.5 million, and investing an average of $1.5 million in 12 companies from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Ivory Coast and South Africa. Its Portfolio include Fintechs like Moove which recently raised $100 Million at $750 Million valuation. 

“Over the last few years, we have seen a growth in pre-seed and seed funds, and we felt there are not enough funds at the growth stage of investing to get these companies to the next level in terms of scale, exits or even being around as sustainable profitable businesses,” VKAV partner Ory Okolloh told TechCrunch.

“Our focus is Series A and B but we have the ability to go earlier to pre-Series A if we think it is a good opportunity. We think there’s still a need for more growth-stage capital with locally based investors,” she said.

👀 Eye Openers

Do you know what African Fintech founders dislike about mobile money companies? 

17 years of M-pesa

Mobile money companies have done a lot to provide banking services to  Africans who didn’t have access to banks before. Mobile money has made a big impact in several areas like;

  • Payments: 51 million customers use M-PESA to make over $314 billion in transactions every year.
  • Remittances: M-Pesa handles 60% of formal money transfers in Kenya and 20% in Tanzania.
  • Savings: In 2022, people deposited about $5.7 billion into M-Shwari, a savings product by M-Pesa.
  • Loans: M-Pesa provides about $400 million in loans to over 100,000 agents in Tanzania per year.

On other side;

Consumers would complain about how expensive Mobile Money services are but if you ask most founders on what they don’t like from Mobile Money led by Telecoms they will tell you about ACCESS.

How can African Fintech founders get the access they need from mobile money companies? Share your thoughts in the comments

📑 Read of the week

  • Why Banks Love Mobile Money partnerships. (Substack)
  • African Payment Systems Trend Forecast 2024. (Techcabal)
  • PayPal on eBay strategy worked very well, Would it work in Africa today? (Substack)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) began trading in the country’s new gold-backed currency, after the country’s central bank demonetised the Zimbabwean dollar in a raft of monetary policy measures announced on April 5th.
  • Guaranty Trust Holding Company, the parent company of GTBank, Nigeria’s 5th biggest bank by assets, said it will seek shareholder approval to raise $750 million in additional capital weeks after the Central Bank raised minimum capital requirements tenfold for the country’s biggest banks.
  • The Bank of Uganda (BoU) increased its interest rates for the second straight month from 10% to 10.25%—the highest point in nearly seven years—as the East African country seeks to curb inflation and arrest the depreciation of the shilling.
  • Exploiters Of Ethiopian Bank Glitch Couldn’t Repay After Spending Spree

🎥 VIDEO INTERVIEWS/DISCUSSIONS

  • Interview with Mark Straub, the visionary co-founder and CEO of Smile ID (formerly Smile Identity). In this exclusive episode, Mark shares candid insights into the rollercoaster ride of building a business tailored for the African market. Brace yourself for a masterclass in resilience, sacrifice, and the relentless pursuit of innovation.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • PalmPay is hiring for a Finance Manager - Kenya.
  • Flex Finance is hiring for partnership lead.
  • Flutterwave is hiring for Associate, Enterprise Risk Management.

Made in Tanzania 🇹🇿 with 💚

👍🏽👎🏽  Did you enjoy this edition of This Week In Fintech Africa? Please share your feedback with me on Twitter or LinkedIn .