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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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Eyes on African Fraud Fintechs(TWIF - Africa 05/27)

Eyes on African Fraud Fintechs(TWIF - Africa 05/27)
Funding raised by startups in Africa since 2019

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

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

  • African fintech raised $550K to combat fraud in emerging markets.
  • Microsoft announced a $1 Billion investment in one of East African countries.
  • Mastercard partnered with Nigeria’s largest bank by asset to offer cross-border payments.
  • Five Nigerian digital banks were still unable to onboard new customers.
  • Techstars-backed lending startup set out to disrupt lending that now it owes investors $684K .

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • Orca fraud raised $550K pre-seed to combat fraud in emerging markets.
The most used documents for identity fraud in Africa - souce; Smile ID
  • Egyptian eFinance Investment Group (EFIG), a digital and financial investment firm acquired a 25% stake in Al Ahly Momkn and a 13% stake in EasyCash, both based in Egypt.
Egypt Fintech Ecosystem

💰 Venture Funds

  • Microsoft Announced $1 Billion Investment in Kenya’s Digital Ecosystem.
Microsoft Partners and active projects in Africa.

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Payrails and inDrive partnered to enhance payment services for drivers in MENA.
Mena Fintech landscape 
  • Access Bank partnered with Mastercard to expand opportunities for cross-border payments in Africa.
Learn more about cross-border payments in Africa

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • Court might begin hearing on a wrongful termination suit against NIBSS in November.
Temidayo Adekanye

The hearing on the wrongful termination suit brought against the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), by its former Chief Risk Officer, Temidayo Adekanye, will begin on November 25 at the National Industrial Court in Lagos.

  • Techstars announced that Maëlle Gavet will step down as CEO of Techstars at the end of May 2024 due to health reasons, ending her almost four year leadership of the global accelerator. She will be replaced by David Cohen, co-founder and board chairman of Techstars.
Techstars Africa portfolio startups
  • Alleged tax evasion: Binance executive Gambaryan failed to show up in court.
Tigran Gambaryan 

A Binance executive standing trial for alleged tax evasion at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Tigran Gambaryan failed to appear in court today for his arraignment. Neither his lawyer nor the prosecuting counsel representing the Federal Inland Revenue Service are aware of his whereabouts.

📰 News of the Week

  • Techstars-backed BlackCopper set out to disrupt lending was reported that now it owes investors $684K .
BlackCopper co-founders

BlackCopper, the Techstars-backed Nigerian digital lending startup founded in 2020 to give small and medium businesses collateral-free loans. Co-founded by Olumuyiwa Faulkner (CEO) and Azeez Oluwafemi (CTO) claimed customers falsified crucial information like addresses during the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process, allowing them to drop off the radar once they took loans. Some other customers simply cannot repay.

“It is expensive to chase thousands of individuals to return $3 or $6. It would have been more feasible if we were chasing down a few individuals owing us large amounts of money each.” The startup could not recover over 60,000 loans disbursed to customers.

Of the over $1.4 Million BlackCopper loaned to customers, it is unclear how much was recovered. Nevertheless, extraordinarily high default rates have led to a $821K debt. Of that amount, BlackCopper has only paid back $136K in the last eighteen months.

“It made no sense, the only way to have 100% non-performing loans (NPL) is through poor risk assessment, poor underwriting, or issuing fraudulent loans,” said an investor who also owns a digital lending startup.

👀 Eye Openers

  • “Can we prevent fraud in Africa and become Unicorns?”

This question likely crossed the minds of Zach Bijesse, founder of Archer, and Thalia Pillay, founder of Orca Fraud. So, they decided to launch companies that help others prevent fraud in Africa.

Is there real fraud in Africa? Are African companies being defrauded? In 2022; Union54 halted operations due to an attempted $1.2 billion chargeback fraud. In 2023; hackers stole $6.3 million from Flutterwave accounts, Patricia lost $2 million in a security breach, and Interswitch lost $40 million in a chargeback. In May 2024, just one month after obtaining a court order to recover $24 million lost to unauthorized POS transactions, Flutterwave suffered another security breach, allowing unknown persons to divert $7 million to several bank accounts. This year the Central Bank of Tanzania reported that digital fraud in Tanzania’s commercial banks increased by 84% during the last three months of 2023.

Can fraud prevention create African Fintech unicorns? I will be reading your comments and sharing them in next week’s newsletter.

📑 Read of the week

  • South Africa’s Fintech Boom Is Stirring Fresh Investor Appetite.(Weetrack)
  • Top 10 Fintech Friendly Banks in Tanzania, These banks embrace partnerships & collaborations with fintechs & neobanks.(Substack)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • Fraud losses in Nigeria decreased to $2 Million in Q1 2024 from $3.7 Million in Q4 2023.
  • Five Nigerian neobanks; Moniepoint, OPay, Palmpay, Kuda, and Paga remained unable to onboard new customers one month after a TechCabal report revealed the restriction was connected to a directive from the National Security Adviser (NSA).
  • Techpoint reported about 16-month salary delay claims at Bloc, Nigeria based Baas startup.

🎥 VIDEO INTERVIEWS/DISCUSSIONS

  • Interview with Usiri brothers: Tanzanian youths building a billion-dollar fintech, Ramani to give access on-demand inventory financing to micro-distribution centers (MDCs).

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • East African startups can apply for the develoPPP Ventures fund where selected startups will receive £100K in grant funding. Last cohort had  Tanzania Fintechs like TemboPlus.

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 .