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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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Central Banks Revoked Licenses of Fintech and Bank (TWIF - Africa 04/01)

Central Banks Revoked Licenses of Fintech and Bank (TWIF - Africa 04/01)
Fintech funding announced in Africa by region since 2018.

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

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

  • 8 Fintech partnerships were announced.
  • Central Banks Revoked Licenses of Fintech and Bank.
  • Africa focused Fund raised $4.3 Million.
  • Detained executive of World’s largest Crypto exchange escaped from custody in Nigeria.
  • Investment Firm Cut Stake in African B2B commerce Startup, Valuation Dropped from $501 Million to $260 Million .
  • Global Platforms Opened Doors to Mobile Money Integration.
  • The Fintech arm of Nigeria’s largest bank by assets became profitable.

💸Fundraise and Exits

No Fintech deals announced this week.

💰 Venture Funds

  • VNV Global, a Swedish investment firm, cut Wasoko’s valuation to $260 Million .The startup was valued at $501 million in 2022.
Top six disclosed funding rounds by African startups in Q1 2022.
  • Africa-focused Janngo Capital Startup Fund (JCSF) received $4.3 million in equity investments from Tunisia's fund of funds, "ANAVA," to invest in francophone African startups and female-founded businesses.

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Aella Rebranded to Aella Microfinance Bank, Pledged Enhanced Financial Solutions for Nigerians.
  • Absa Bank Kenya and Visa partnered to ease payments for travel agents and businesses.
International visitor arrivals in Kenya from 2010 to 2022
  • Zeeh Africa, a Nigerian-based open banking company launched its loan recovery solution built on Global Standing Instruction (GSI) technology.
Excesses of Online loan sharks in Nigeria
  • Access Holdings, a Nigerian financial company partnered with Coronation Group and Mpesa Africa to facilitate remittances in East and West Africa.
Top Remittance Countries in East and West Africa 
  • The African Confederation of Co-operative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) and Visa collaborated to launch Financial Inclusion in Kenya and Tanzania (FIKT), a project to improve financial access in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Leatherback partnered with YES BANK to improve remittances and payouts in India.
Remittances make up a large share of GDP in many countries. 
  • UK-based fintech PayAngel expanded to the Kenyan market with secure diaspora remittance solutions.
Kenyan International Remittance Market
  • Airtel Money partnered with PremierCredit For Instant Mobile Loans.

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • MTN Group appointed Mike Silber as regulatory executive.
Mike Silber

Silber comes from Liquid Intelligent Technologies, where he spent five years as the big boss of regulatory affairs. While there, he helped to build Africa's largest cross-border fiber network and the continent's largest networked data center.

📰 News of the Week

  • Detained Binance executive escaped from custody in Nigeria.
Nadeem Anjarwalla

Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the two Binance executives detained in Nigeria for alleged tax evasion and other offenses, escaped from lawful custody. Sources said Mr Anjarwalla, 38, escaped on Friday, 22 March, from the Abuja guest house where he and his colleague were detained after guards on duty led him to a nearby mosque for prayers in the spirit of the ongoing Ramadan fast.

The Briton, who also has Kenyan citizenship, is believed to have flown out of Abuja using a Middle East airliner.

It remains unclear how Mr Anjarwalla got on an international flight despite his British passport, with which he entered Nigeria, remaining in the custody of the Nigerian authorities. Authorities are also said to be working to unravel his intended destination in a bid to get him back into custody.

👀 Eye Openers;

  • No card No problem, mobile money for global payments.
STATE OF THE MOBILE MONEY INDUSTRY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA 2023

A few years ago, mobile money companies like M-Pesa and Tigo Pesa made significant efforts to increase the accessibility and ease of virtual cards by allowing people to create them via USSD or mobile money apps. This made progress, but it has still been very challenging to convince most Africans to use cards. For context, less than 3% of Africans own cards.

M-Pesa Global Virtual Visa Card

Recently, I realized that Meta has integrated with M-Pesa Tanzania, allowing Tanzanians to pay for Facebook ads directly using M-Pesa. This move is anticipated to increase accessibility and enable more people than before to make payments on global platforms using mobile money, the platforms they are already familiar with and have adapted to for a long time. I spoke to someone at M-Pesa who confirmed that this is just the beginning, as they are looking forward to expanding the integration to all products owned by Meta and other global platforms.

I believe we are going to see more global platforms integrate directly with mobile money in a way that people don’t need cards to pay on those platforms. 

📑 Read of the week

  • Why he stopped Internet scams. (Techpoint)
  • Oui Capital’s thinking behind investing in Africa. (Techcabal)
  • Blocks for Building and Expanding Fintechs in Tanzania. (Medium)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • Hydrogen, the fintech arm of Access Corporation, holding company of Nigeria’s biggest bank by assets, declared profits of ~ $122K million at the end of 2023.  On otherside, Access Bank aimed to raise $1.8bn ahead of Nigerian banks’ recapitalisation.
Largest Banks In Nigeria By Total Assets
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria withdrew Cellulant’s mobile money license as the company focuses on payment solutions. “The regulator did not revoke the license as a result of infractions or any breach. The CBN succeeded in gazetting this request in December 2023, occasioned by the time it took them to conclude the process of revoking the mobile money license as requested by Cellulant,” Cellulant said in the email.
Cellulant Funding Rounds
  • Equity Group, a Kenyan bank with assets worth about $10 billion across East Africa reported a 6.5% decline in net profits from $341.9 million to $320.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, due to rising loan defaults.
Kenya Loan Uptake
  • The Bank of Uganda (BoU), Uganda’s apex bank reclassified Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) from a Tier I commercial bank to a Tier II credit institution following anticipated failure to meet the new capital buffer requirements.
  • The Bank of Tanzania said it will begin selling US dollars to commercial banks to tackle shortages that have plagued the country since 2022, according to a statement by the bank.
  • Commercial Bank of Ethiopia recovered $10 million from its $14 million system glitch loss.Initially, the bank was said to have lost up to $40 million. However, the CBE head, Abe Sano, reportedly disputed that, saying the amount taken was smaller and would be accurately determined. According to the BBC, the bank lost $14 million.

🎥 VIDEO INTERVIEWS/DISCUSSIONS

  • Interview with Deepankar Rustagi, who is a co-founder and CEO of Omniretail, a unified consumer goods distribution platform that improves the inefficiencies of traditional trade through a technology-driven FMCG platform. During Nigeria's cash crunch in Q1 2023, Omniretail launched an embedded finance platform, OmniPay, which achieved over $100 millions worth of transactions in its first few months of launching.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • FairMoney is hiring for a Fraud Analyst.
  • Mastercard is hiring for Specialist, Product Management - Cross Border Services.
  • Wave is hiring for FP&A Analyst.

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 .