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This Week In Fintech - Africa (03/11)

This Week In Fintech - Africa (03/11)
17 years of M-pesa

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

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

  • Two Fintech deals were announced including one acquisition estimated to be worth $100 Million .
  • Two Venture Funds Worth over $50 Million were launched.
  • Africa’s most valuable startup shut down its virtual card product to focus on its enterprise and remittance business segments.
  • Visa backed Nigerian payments Unicorn increased revenue by 23%. 
  • Tanzania’s most profitable bank opened access to its over 1,000 ATMs to share with 17 other local banks.
  • Nigeria’s open bank platform set to launch a Neobank for both consumers and businesses.
  • Nigeria’s Remittance Startup hired Former Unicorn COO to Expand Operations in China.

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • PaySpace, a South African payroll and HR services company was acquired by Deel, a US-based HR and payroll platform for an estimated $100 Million. PaySpace boasts over 14,000 customers in 44 countries across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Customers include multinationals across various industries such as Heineken, Coca-Cola Beverages and Puma Sports SA .
Top 10 HR and Payroll Software in Africa for 2024
  • tookeez, a Moroccan startup harnessing the blockchain to improve the loyalty programmes ecosystem, secured $1.5 Million.
Overview of Morocco Fintech Ecosystem

💰 Venture Funds

  • Ring Capital, a French VC firm announced the launch of an impact investment fund targeting French-speaking West Africa.
Next Wave: Is Francophone Africa taking the stage?
  • South African venture capital company Conducive Capital launched a US$50 million fund to invest in early- and growth- stage startups in South Africa and Africa.
 A look into the South African Startup Ecosystem

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • NMB, Tanzania's Most Profitable Bank, Collaborated with UBX to Share Access to Over 1,000 ATMs with 17 Local Banks.
  • The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) licenced 19 new digital credit providers (DCP), bringing the total number of registered companies to 51.
‘Traumatising’: how rogue digital loan apps in Kenya intimidate borrowers
  • Qore Partnered with QoreID, (A VerifyMe Company) to Enhance Financial Security in Africa.
  • Nigeria’s open bank platform Mono set to launch a Neobank for both consumers and businesses.
Common products from African Neobanks
  • Mastercard partnered with fintech SAVA to empower Africa’s small businesses through financial management technology.The partnership leverages SAVA’s Payment Transaction System to provide companies in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt with innovative expense management tools.
Mastercard SME Confidence Index - Egypt
  • Kenya’s Fintech Ndovu approved by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to set up a money-market fund. The company also disclosed the approval to operate as an investment manager in Rwanda under its subsidiary Waanzilishi Capital Rwanda.

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • LemFi Hired Ex OPay COO, Allen Qu to lead China Expansion.
Allen Qu

Allen is no stranger to growing businesses in frontier markets. He has led the growth of companies to unicorn status; First with Beijing-based Proptech, (NASDAQ:BEKE), later with African Fintech company, OPay, a financial services subsidiary of Opera Software AS (NASDAQ: OPRA ).

LemFI is expanding to China under Allen’s leadership.

China - Africa Trade Hits Record Highs in 2021

📰 News of the Week

  • Visa backed Nigerian payments Unicorn Insterwistch increased revenue by 23%. 
Visa X Interswitch Partnership

Interswitch, a Nigeria-based payments company backed by Visa, increased its revenue 23% in its fiscal year ended March 2023 to $42 million. The company was valued at $1 billion after Visa invested $200 million in 2019. It spoke to bankers about initial public offering plans that year, according to Bloomberg. But that listing never materialized.Interswitch said it has recently restructured its business in East Africa and plans an expansion into the U.S.

The company has also received a telecom license in Nigeria to operate an asset-light mobile virtual network operator in the country, Africa's biggest phone market.

📑 Read of the week

  • How Eyowo’s bid to become a fintech giant hit the rocks. (Techcabal)
  • Patient capital, diverse exits: Verod-Kepple’s vision for the future of African startups. (Techcabal)
  • Digital Transactions - A Comparison Between India’s UPI and Kenya’s Mpesa. (Weetracker)
  • The mathematics of credit.Pricing and unit economics. (Medium)
  • Nigerian businesses increasingly skip traditional banks and turn to Moniepoint. (RestofWorld)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • Flutterwave shut down Barter, a virtual card service it launched in 2017, as it focuses on its enterprise and remittance business segment.In October 2023, the fintech said enterprise services was its biggest revenue driver.
Flutterwave’s product Ecosysyem
  • MTN Nigeria recovered over half of the ~ $13.8 Million it lost when its Mobile Money service suffered a glitch in May 2022.
  • YC-Backed Touch and Pay processed 500,000 daily payments with Cowry cards in Lagos.The fintech is solely responsible for accepting payments on Lagos’ intra-city transport system. The company has 3.8 Million users, raised $4 Million and now wants to raise another $4 Million, its revenue in two months was ~$1.1 Million .
The high cost of transportation depletes their salaries of Nigerian workers
  • Pan African fintech startup, Chipper Cash's US remittance service halted in January, remains unavailable.
  • Brass Temporarily Put Some Employees on Leave to Adapt to Economic Changes. “You can say you want to disrupt banks; if you raise $1-2 million, you must raise $5-10 million in a few years. If it is overdue and you have not, things will get tricky,” said  Brass’s Ceo and Founder, Akindolu. 


  • Interview with Hugo Pacheco, Chief Product and Growth Officer at Papersoft. He discusses the crucial role of Mobile Money Agents in Africa's transition to a cashless economy, highlighting their significance as connectors between communities.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

👀 Eye Openers

  • M-pesa celebrates 17 years of transforming lives through financial inclusion and innovation. Have you ever thought about what would happen if M-pesa would become a Bank? Being a Non-Bank Entity Gives M-Pesa Competitive Advantage, here is why .
M-pesa users Ecosystem

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • Equity Bank Kenya is hiring for Managing Director - Mobile Money.
  • Binance is hiring for Payments Operations Lead in South Africa.
  • Flutterwave is hiring for Senior Associate, FX Trading. 

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 .