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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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Triple P (Paystack, Piggyvest, P1 Ventures) and VP (Ventures Platform) jointly acquired Brass(TWIF - Africa 06/03)

Triple P (Paystack, Piggyvest, P1 Ventures) and VP (Ventures Platform) jointly acquired Brass(TWIF - Africa 06/03)
Tanzania Fintech startups

Hi Fintech friends 👋,

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

  • Kenya based Fintech company secured $51 Million to expand financial services to underbanked individuals.
  • Morocco based payments company acquired Irish based Fintech company.
  • Fintechs and investors joined to acquire a Nigeria based digital banking startup.
  • Employee of a Nigerian bank ran after diverting $29 Million. 
  • Y-Combinator of Africa selected ten startups for its cohort.
  • Two fintech founders sat down to reveal what makes lending hard in Africa and what needs to be done.

💸Fundraise and Exits

  • Kenya’s M-Kopa Secured $51 Million Debt From International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to provide affordable smartphones to underserved communities.
M-Kopa journey to 3 Million
  • Morocco based payments company Hightech Payment Systems (HPS) acquired Irish fintech firm CR2.
Morocco Grabbed the Third Spot in Arab’s Fintech Space Behind UAE and Egypt

💰 Venture Funds

  • Accelerate Africa(Y-Combinator of Africa) selected ten African startups for its pioneer cohort.They operate in various sectors including Fintech, artificial intelligence (AI), cleantech, proptech, healthtech, automotive technology, HRTech) and logistics.
BD Insider 217: Why Iyin Aboyeji wants to build the “YC of Africa”
Prime Video cuts funding and staff in Africa. Still Inside: The launch of Accelerate Africa + Tech VC trends that will shape Africa in 2024.

🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches

  • MoMo, the payment service bank owned by MTN released an open Application Programming Interface (API) aimed at increasing digital wallets on the platform.
Use cases and commercial benefits for mobile money open apis
  • Flutterwave received payment aggregator license approval-in-principle to expand to Mozambique.
Flutterwave funding rounds
  • Nigerian regulators approved 18 new loan companies.The number of licenced loan app companies in Nigeria has increased to 284 as of May 2024.
  • Mastercard and EagleLion partnered to drive digital payment transformation in Ethiopia.
  • Stables partnered with Yellow Card to Bring Stablecoins to Africa.
Cryptocurrency Legal and CBCs landscape - Africa
  • Revolut, the global financial app with over 40 million customers expanded its Mobile Wallets feature by introducing partnerships with Airtel, Orange Money, and MTN.
  • Ecobank Group expanded AmEx Card Acceptance Across 21 African Countries.

👔 Leadership Lineup

  • Nigerian officials ignore court order to hospitalize Binance executive for malaria.
Tigran Gambaryan

Last week, a Nigerian judge directed prison officials to transfer detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan for treatment after he collapsed in court.

Yet Nigeria’s Correctional Service which runs the country’s prison system has disregarded the court order, according to Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran’s wife, and a government official familiar with the matter.

📰 News of the Week

  • Paystack-led consortium acquired Brass and replaced the CEO.
Brass Co-founders

Two months after it raised bridge financing to solve challenges with working capital, the Nigerian business banking startup Brass has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by payment giant Paystack, culminating talks that likely began in early 2024. Other investors include PiggyVest, Ventures Platform, and P1 Ventures.

We’re excited to act as new stewards for Brass’ mission: to enable entrepreneurship for Africans, making it more frictionless, and successful,” the investors told TechCabal in an email.

Co-Founder and CEO, Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke, co-founder and CTO will leave the business. Tolulope Saba, the head of Product will also leave. They will be replaced by a new leadership team that has not yet been disclosed. All other Brass employees will keep their jobs, one person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The acquisition ends months of uncertainty over the future of Brass after delays in processing customer withdrawals began in October 2023. Those delays continued for months, sparking liquidity concerns and prompting rumors of a shutdown. 

👀 Eye Openers

  • Fintechs are becoming Telecoms?

In March 2024, Interswitch, Nigeria payments Unicorn entered the telecommunications sector after acquiring a Tier 5 MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) license for $1.08 million from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). Interswitch obtained the license through its subsidiary, Systegra Technologies Limited, a value-added service aggregation provider licensed by the NCC. It offers several services, including SMS and USSD gateways, IVR portals, web and WAP, gaming, carrier billing, mobile advertising, and consulting. This development means that Interswitch can provide affordable 4G or 5G services to Nigerians or extend telecommunication services to rural areas.

Banks Vs Telcos

Last week, one of the biggest world’s Neobank, Nubank took its first tentative steps into the mobile network by launching an eSIM (embedded SIM) service for travelers. The service will give customers access to 10GB of free roaming internet in more than 40 countries without having to switch out their own existing physical SIM card or eSIM.

How are Fintechs planning to use their Telecom license and activities to align with their financial services? I will be reading your comments and sharing them in next week’s newsletter.

📑 Read of the week

  • Why the C2B payments market is hard for aggregators in Tanzania. (Substack)
  • On the Brass acquisition- initial thoughts. (Substack)

📖 Other News, Reads, and Media

  • First Bank employee ran after diverting $29 Million; bank began recovery.The bank reported the incident to the Nigerian Police Force on March 25, 2024, and obtained three court orders between April 4–8, 2024 to block hundreds of bank accounts believed to have received the stolen funds.
  • Solana Introduced $DAVIDO Token, Faced Swift Decline in Market Value Within a Day. Within four hours of its launch, $DAVIDO surged to a $10 million market capitalization.The excitement was short-lived. By Thursday morning, $Davido’s valuation had dropped by 90 percent, and according to DEX screener, the coin’s liquidity stood at $291,000 at the time of this report.

🎥 VIDEO INTERVIEWS/DISCUSSIONS

  • There is a $330 billion credit gap, according to the IFC. But why is it so hard to lend in African markets? The Flip explore that question with Chijioke Dozie, Co-founder and CEO of Carbon, and Mark Straub, CEO of Smile Identity.

🦉 Tweet of the Week

🎯 Fintech Opportunities

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👍🏽👎🏽  Did you enjoy this edition of This Week In Fintech Africa? Please share your feedback with me on Twitter or LinkedIn .