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Fintech Operators Crave Margins in Food Business (TWIF - Africa 03/18)

Fintech Operators Crave Margins in Food Business (TWIF - Africa 03/18)
AFRICAMapped: Breaking Down the $3 Trillion African Economy by Country

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

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

  • Two Fintech deals worth $4 Million were announced.
  • A new $98 Million Fund was launched to back African talented entrepreneurs.
  • Post $1.2 Billion chargeback fraud last year, the African Fintech set to launch a new product next week.
  • Africa’s remittance and payments Unicorn laid off 20 people and is now almost profitable.
  • Fintech operators left payments for the food business.
  • Largest Bank in Africa paused plans for a fintech subsidiary months after green light.
  • Nigeria’s Payment Unicorn planned to combine payments and telecoms services after securing a $1 Million license.
  • Nigeria asked the biggest World’s Crypto exchange to provide the information about the top 100 users as the exchange executives remain detained.

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • Youverify, a Nigerian-based platform that provides banks and startups with identity verification and anti-money laundering (AML) solutions raised $2.5 Million in pre-Series A investment.
5 most exploited ID types for fraud attempts in Nigeria.
  • ORA Technologies, a Moroccan startup secured $1.5 Million seed round for e-wallet launch.With over 300,000 downloads, the app provides several services on one platform, including buying and selling goods, engaging in chat conversations, connecting socially with friends and family, and food delivery.
Wallets are expected to experience the fastest growth in Africa

💰 Venture Funds

  • XSML Capital, a leading provider of growth capital to SMEs in Central and Eastern Africa, launched its fourth fund, African Rivers Fund IV (ARF IV), with a first close of US$98.7 million.
Funding raised by start-ups in Africa in 2022 | Regional split

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Tanda secured E-Money issuer license from the Central Bank of Kenya. Setting the stage for its TandaPay, a truly interoperable Mobile Wallet.
  • South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) approved operating licenses for 59 cryptocurrency firms as of March 12, 2024. According to the regulator, 355 applications for crypto licenses were received, 59 of which were approved, while 262 are still being vetted.
Crypto awareness in South Africa is rising rapidly
  • The Central Bank Of Nigeria partnered with Gluwa to help drive eNaira adoption.The partnership will primarily focus on using blockchain technology to improve eNaira functionality, drive financial inclusion, and create space for financial innovation. 
  • Eyowo said its Microfinance Bank license has been reinstated by The Central Bank Of Nigeria with an ‘approval in principle’. In May 2023, The Central Bank Of Nigeria revoked Microfinance Bank licenses of 47 companies including Eyowo, a digital bank providing banking services to users.
Nigerian licensed digital banks 
  • London based Unlimit launched in Tanzania after securing a payment license from The Central Bank Of Tanzania(BOT). Unlimit is looking to provide business payments, merchant services and outbound payments, among other things, to the Tanzanian market.
Tanzania Fintech Ecosystem
  • Stanbic stopped plans for a fintech subsidiary months after green light.
Top 10 Banks in the continent 
  • Union54 set to launch its social-commerce app next week. The company halted operations over an attempted $1.2 billion chargeback fraud last year.
  • Fintech giant Interswitch eyed the telecoms market with a $1 million Mobile Virtual Network Operators(MNVO) license. The company want to combine payments and telecoms services to B2B customers and consumers.
The five tiers under which MVNOs can operate
  • Numa, a pioneering fintech startup dedicated to empowering freelancers and microbusinesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) announced a new partnership with Visa, a global leader in digital payments.

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • Flutterwave appointed a former Central Bank Of Nigeria director as board chairman as part of its effort to uphold higher regulatory, compliance, and governance standards.The fintech has also appointed Tosin Faniro-Dada, a partner at Breega, an early-stage VC fund in Europe and Africa, as an independent non-executive director.At the same time, Flutterwave’s COO left the fintech giant to pursue other missions.
New appointed Flutterwave leaders
  • Access Corporation, the parent company of Nigeria’s biggest bank by assets, appointed Aigboje Imoukhuede, a pioneering CEO of the bank, as the Non-Executive Chairman. Imoukhuede returns to the bank he retired a decade ago; exactly one month after the death of Herbert Wigwe, his friend, business partner, and former Group Chief Executive Officer of the bank. He will replace Abubakar Jimoh, the erstwhile board chairman.
Aigboje Imoukhuede

📰 News of the Week

  • Chipper Cash cut US and UK-based roles after suspending US operations and is now almost profitable.
Chipper Cash Co-founders

One week after suspending its services in America, Chipper Cash, the African fintech unicorn laid off nearly two dozen employees in the UK and US. The company is transferring the related job functions to employees based in Africa. This move marks Chipper Cash's seventh round of layoffs since mid-2022, resulting in over 200 job cuts.
Chipper Cash, once worth over $2 billion , raised  $300 million from investors like Deciens Capital, Ribbit Group, FTX, and Silver Valley Bank between 2019 and 2021. 

According to its co-founder and CEO, The company is now almost profitable; With these changes, we’re now almost profitable and expect to be cash flow positive before the second half of this year”, Ham Serunjogi insisted.

👀 Eye Openers; Fintech to Food

  • In 2021 Ex-Paystack Principal Engineer launched Chowdeck , on demand food delivery for Africa, the company was backed by Y-Combinator in 2022. In 2022, among the two Ex-Moneypoint operators, launched ChowCentral, a Nigerian startup building restaurant chains for Africans who want high-quality meals, and was accepted into Y-combinator’s Summer class of 2023. In February 2024 Ex-Flutterwave VP launched Mira, a new way to eat and pay at restaurants. In March  2024, Four Ex-Paystack senior managers left the payment company to launch GoLemon, a startup that delivers groceries and household items.
Nigerians spend more than 50% of their income on Food | source; NBS .

What is attracting African Fintech operators now to the Food Business? I had to ask this question on X/Twitter and 205 people had different answers and opinions on that. Fortunately, we gained valuable insights from one of the aforementioned founders, who provided a detailed explanation of why he and other ex-Fintech operators are drawn to venture into the food industry.

But most of this is happening not long after Francis Dufay, Jumia’s CEO, blamed challenging unit economics and increasing competition for the decision to shut down Jumia Food.

📑 Read of the week

  • No one likes debt shaming, but experts are skeptical about ethical debt collection. (Techcabal)
  • Visa and Mastercard are pouring money into Africa. (Rest of World)
  • Why African startups don’t always need to expand across the continent, (Rest of World)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • Wasoko exited Zanzibar, paused Uganda and Zambia operations in profitability push.It opened its Zanzibar office in 2022 as part of the Silicon Zanzibar initiative, a government-backed program to attract tech talents.The company also said its Uganda and Zambia operations are “undergoing a temporary pause as opposed to a permanent closure.”
  • Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, wanted to patch its relationship with Nigerian authorities following recent regulatory tensions. Nigeria demanded Binance to provide the information about the top 100 Binance users as the exchange executives remain detained.
Nigeria is the most interested African Country in Crypto
  • Lipa Later, Autochek, Get Greenlight; 400+ Digital Lenders Stuck In Kenya Crackdown.
  • Telco-Backed Platforms Lead E-Wallet Market in Africa and the Middle East.


  • Interview with Yele Bademosi, Co-founder and CEO of Nestcoin. From venture capital to profitability, Yele shared expert advice on scaling a tech startup for success. Tune in for a compelling discussion on the future of African entrepreneurship.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • Prospa is hiring for Research and Outreach Associate
  • M-Kopa is hiring for Sales Executive Nairobi and Nakuru.
  • PalmPay is hiring for HR Enabler, Business Operation.

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 .