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This Week In Fintech - Africa(12/18)

This Week In Fintech - Africa(12/18)
North African Fintech Startup Companies You Should Know

Hi Fintech friends 👋

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

  • Over $20 million in funding was raised by African Fintechs, including one merger.
  • An African-based VC announced the first close of its $30 million fund.
  • The largest mobile money service in Africa partnered with VISA to debut physical cards.
  • An African Unicorn laid off employees again for the fourth time in one year.

💸 Fundraise and Exits

  • Kenyan e-commerce and fintech platform for mass market consumers, Copia Global raised $20 million.

  • 2 South African startups merged with Austrian counterpart.

Techstars invested $120,000 in each of 12 selected African startups, 7 of them are Fintechs and below is what they do;

  • 24Seven; an asset-light marketplace that enables small businesses and convenience stores to order inventory on credit with one-hour doorstep delivery.
  • GetEquity; a platform that facilitates access to investment opportunities by SEC-accredited providers, reducing entry barriers through investment aggregation across various asset classes.
  • JumpnPass, a mobile self-checkout platform for modern retail in Africa.They enable shoppers to use their smartphones to effortlessly scan product barcodes, pay for items, and skip long queues.
  • One Plan helps workers in Africa’s informal economy create affordable financial plans, making it easier to start a retirement plan, access low-interest credit, and access health + life insurance cover.
  • Rana democratizes access to clean and reliable solar systems for SMEs and residential customers through affordable long-term solar subscriptions, replacing the need for expensive, unreliable, and toxic backup generators.
  • Surge Africa allows individuals, micro-entrepreneurs and MSMEs in Africa to make instant cross-border transfers and pay up to 80% less in fees.
  • Veend enables individuals and businesses with verifiable income to access funds on-demand, addressing their needs for emergency funds or working capital.
The list of some of the other African tech startups backed by Techstars in previous cohorts.

💰 Venture Funds

  • The South Africa-based E4E Africa, an entrepreneur-driven venture capital fund announced the first close of its US$30 million E4E Africa Fund II.

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • Chipper Cash, the  African Unicorn digitizing Remittances announced that it now holds money transmitter licenses in 40 U.S. states.
  • ClearBank and LemFi joined forces to take on the challenges of international payments.
  • PawaPay received Payment Service Licence from the Central Bank Of Uganda.
  • Copia Global partnered with Visa to provide digital financial services to middle-to-low-income consumers.
  • Yabx and Clickatell partnered to Launch WhatsApp Lending in Africa.

📰 News of the Week

M-Pesa partnered with Visa to debut physical debit cards, marking a bold expansion beyond its virtual GlobalPay offering and setting its sights on the cash-reliant retail sector.

M-PESA, Kenya’s widely used mobile money platform with 51 million users, is partnering with Visa to introduce physical debit cards, marking a bold expansion beyond its virtual GlobalPay offering.

M-PESA, known for its digital innovations, previously offered customers the virtual GlobalPay card exclusively for online transactions, powered by Visa. However, these virtual cards had limitations and couldn't be used at Kenya's predominantly cash-based retail stores. The introduction of physical cards represents a notable evolution for M-PESA, signaling a strategic move to extend its influence beyond digital realms and make inroads into the traditional physical retail landscape.

📑 Read of the week

  • Fintech Africa 2024: 5 Predictions You Can’t Ignore (Techbuild).
  • The biggest challenges for Fintech in Africa in 2024 (Techfinitive).

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • Chipper Cash cut 15 jobs in the fourth round of layoffs and also reduced the salaries of the remaining UK and US employees.
  • The Central Bank of Egypt considered issuing a digital pound.
  • Flutterwave named new executives a month after CFO’s departure.
  • OPay faced scrutiny over weak KYC system.
  • Bitmama temporarily suspended deposits on its platform
  • M-Pesa agents to disburse social protection payouts.

🎥 VIDEO INTERVIEWS/DISCUSSIONS

  • ‘How to Pivot’ with Perseus Mlambo, founder and CEO of Union54, the company initially began as Zazu, an agtech startup, which later transitioned into Zazu the Neobank. After issuing virtual cards and recognizing high demand in the fintech sector, they pivoted to Union54, a card issuing API. Due to substantial traction but encountering fraud issues, the company has pivoted again to ChitChat.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

In 2022, PiggyVest, a Nigerian digital savings company, disbursed over $519 million, pushing its total payouts to customers since its 2016 inception to $1.42 billion. Remarkably, the company achieved this while securing just $1.1 million in funding.

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

  • Venture For Africa launched the Fundamentals of Fintech Product Management, designed to equip you with the essential knowledge and skills to navigate the African fintech industry.
  • Kuda is hiring for Head of Credit Risk.
  • LemFi is hiring for Compliance 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 .