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African and Global B2B Fintech Banks Are Becoming B2C

African and Global B2B Fintech Banks Are Becoming B2C
Future of Fintech in Africa 2023

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

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

  • African based VC closed its $154 Million fund for early stage startups.
  • An African startup once valued at over $100 Million shut down its flagship product and launched a new AI-powered social commerce product.
  • After the $594,943 reported fraud, the Nigerian bank suspended partnerships with 7 Fintechs.
  • Kenyan Bank hit by $2.1 Million debit card fraud, 19 suspects arrested.
  • World’s largest Crypto exchange platform partnered with an African startup to increase Cryptocurrency adoption.
  • One of the largest Mobile Money Companies in Africa added 25 transaction methods in 10 additional countries.
  • Post-CEO exit, African payment giant appointed new leaders with Unicorn background.
  • Nigeria asked Kenya to arrest the executive who escaped detention last month.

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • Mozambique based Roscas raised undisclosed funding from Renew Capital to digitize African traditional savings groups by integrating digital tools and financial products tailored to the informal sector’s needs.
Deposits by Kenyans in Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOs) have crossed the KES 1 trillion ($6.3 billion) mark for the first time.
  • Nigerian OmniRetail raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Goodwell investments to offer digital commerce and financial services to African SMEs.
African B2B Commerce Platforms 

💰 Venture Funds

  • TLcom Capital closed a $154 million fund for early-stage African startups. The firm focuses on traditional sectors like fintech, mobility, agriculture, healthcare, education, and commerce, and has already backed six companies from its new fund, making initial investments ranging from $1 million to $3 million.
Top African VCs
  • British International Investment (BII), the UK's development finance institution announced a $15 million commitment to the InsuResilience Investment Fund Private Equity II, BlueOrchard Finance’s climate insurance private equity fund .

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Mastercard and Onafriq (ex - MFS AFRICA) partnered to increase accessibility to financial services across Africa’s payment ecosystem.
Onafriq(ex - MFS Africa) total funding raised 
  • Tanzania based Ramani partnered with Stanbic Bank to support working capital needs for key value chains that drive domestic trade in Tanzania.
Tanzania SMEs landscape
  • MTN added 25 new transaction methods in 10 additional countries, including the DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, and Malawi.
  • Binance partnered with BankerX to leverage cryptocurrency adoption and enhance financial literacy.
Top 15 African countries most interested in Crypto

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • Nigerian authorities asked Kenya to arrest and extradite Nadeem Anjarwalla, the Binance executive who escaped detention on March 25 after being charged with tax evasion.
Nadeem Anjarwalla
  • Cellulant, the pan-African payments startup valued at $133 million in 2022 named new executives three months after the CEO and four other senior managers left the company.

📰 News of the Week

  • MarketForce, The Y-Combinator backed startup shut down RejaReja, its B2B ecommerce business, switched focus to social commerce.
MarketForce cofounders; Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti

The startup founder shared the company’s new move: Chpter, a social commerce startup that provides an AI-powered conversational platform that automates conversations on WhatsApp and Instagram for business owners.

Based on early traction for RejaReja, the company raised $2 million and was accepted into Y-Combinator in the summer of 2020. More milestones were to follow, including supporting over 1 million merchants and raising $40 million in 2022 at a valuation of $100 million.

“But in our bid to scale quickly, we did not realise that we were treading in new territory or anticipate the “funding winter” that would strike later that year. This taught us a very hard, painful lesson. Venture capital is not for good, or even great, companies. It’s for companies that are so excellent that they produce outsized returns at the right time in the right market. We got this completely wrong, and it hurt us when the committed capital didn’t fully come through” - Tesh, MarkeForce founder and CEO

He insisted, “The B2B distribution business that was RejaReja became unsustainable for a few reasons. Firstly, the retail FMCG market has razor-thin margins, which means that at a unit level, we struggled with profitability. The segment is also highly price elastic, which means the price wars are consistent”.

👀 Eye Openers

  • Should we expect more Fintech B2B Banks to  become B2C?

In  2022, Moniepoint received a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria and began offering business banking services to merchants in Nigeria. In July 2023, Moniepoint launched personal banking services for individuals.

MoniePoint Milestone

“Launching a personal banking product means we can connect businesses and their customers more effectively, backing them with our reliable infrastructure and services. We have always been committed to providing financial happiness, so it was a natural next step when dealing with so many businesses, to also offer our reliable services to their customers and employees” - Ope Adeyemi, SVP for Channels and Sales Tools at  Moniepoint .

Following the same path, US based Business banking startup Mercury, founded in 2017, launched a consumer banking product. Mercury today serves more than 100,000 businesses, many of which are startups, via its B2B practice.

Mercury Milestone

“As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Mercury’s launch, introducing Mercury Personal marks not just our expansion into consumer banking, but a step forward in growing our relationships with the founders and tech leaders we serve,” said Immad Akhund, co-founder and CEO of Mercury

Should we expect more Fintech B2B Banks to launch B2C products? Share your thoughts in the comments

📑 Read of the week

  • Partech, its $300 million fund, backing bold founders, and being intentional about exits.(Techcabal)
  • 10 Fintech principles - Africa. (Substack)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • Tingo Group, an agri-fintech company sued by the SEC in December 2023 for fabricating its financial statements, furloughed nearly all its full-time employees in March 2024.
  • Wema Bank, a Nigerian tier-2 bank that holds $1.6 billion in consumer deposits, reported $594,943 in fraud and forgery losses in 2023, highlighting the scale of fraud in Nigeria’s financial services sector. The Bank also suspended seven fintech partners for fraudulent activities.
  • Kenya’s Equity Bank hit by $2.1 million debit card fraud, 19 suspects arrested.
  • Ecobank repaided its $500M 5-year Eurobond due on April 18, 2024, returning the full amount with interest for a total of $524M.

🎥 VIDEO INTERVIEWS/DISCUSSIONS

  • Q&A Webinar: Lessons learned from applying to YC as an African startup (2024); In this Q&A webinar, Nubi Kay, Paystack Startup Programs Lead, engaged with three startup CEOs who recently went through Y-Combinator. They shared what their application process was like, what you should optimize for, and the pitfalls to avoid.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • Mukuru is hiring for Head of Brand and Product Marketing.
  • Sproutly is hiring for a Sales Executive.
  • Julaya is hiringhiring for Jurist & compliance officer.

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 .