Afridigest Fintech Review: Chipper on the chopping block?
Week 11 2023: March 12-18
The Afridigest Fintech Review is a weekly recap of what happened in African fintech.
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On to the week’s highlights:
• One fintech deal was announced out of Morocco.
• Some very good reads this week on Nigeria’s digital payments ecosystem, on where digital wallets are thriving & why, and on the emerging 'save now, buy later' model.
• Aside from the fallout from SVB’s collapse, the top news of the week was probably Bloomberg’s report that Chipper Cash is exploring a sale. Aside from that, there was a big instant payments launch in South Africa. And one Indian company announced plans to invest $200M in its pan-African fintech initiative.
• Companies appearing in today’s Fintech Review: Konta, OnePipe, Chipper Cash, Pandascrow, Bloc, Leatherback, Tintra, Sopra Banking Services, PayShap, & more.
• Executives appearing: Knife Capital’s Keet van Zyl, Faysal Company’s Faysal Axam, Taly’s Magdy Hassan, Thunes’ Peter De Caluwe, VerifyMe’s Esigie Aguele, Chipper Cash’s Ham Serunjogi, Mukuru’s Juan Seco, Ezra’s Andrew Goodrich, FairMoney’s Oluwatomi Ayorinde, OnePipe’s Yvonne-Faith Elaigwu, OPay’s Olu Akanmu, FXC Intelligence’s Adeyanju Pinheiro-Aina, Tewodros Tassew, & more.
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Week 11 2023: March 12-18
FINTECH & FINTECH-ADJACENT FUNDRAISES IN AFRICA
🇲🇦 Konta, a Moroccan fintech SaaS platform digitizing invoice management, raised ~$1.15M (MAD 12M).
🇳🇬 OnePipe, a Nigerian embedded finance infrastructure provider, secured a ~$4.8M (NGN2.25B) collateralized credit facility.
🤝🏽 Mergers and acqusitions
🇳🇬 Fairmoney, a Nigerian credit-led digital bank, acquired CrowdForce, a Nigerian last-mile offline distribution network for an estimated $15-$20M in cash and shares. The acquisition is centered around PayForce, CrowdForce’s last-mile financial services distribution arm.
📰 News of the Week
I wrote in the header of Week 9’s Fintech Review that “one of Africa’s notable fintechs was awarded a US patent, but it has some interesting rumors swirling around it.”
That fintech is Chipper Cash and those rumors officially hit the mainstream press this week with Bloomberg reporting that Chipper is “searching for [a] buyer.”
For its part, Chipper downplayed the news, stating that it’s not uncommon for the company to receive unsolicited acquisition offers and this is the latest example of that.
“We have never sought to be acquired.” — unnamed Chipper Cash spokesperson
While there’s no reason to doubt that, it’s not exactly rare for deals to get done subsequent to unsolicited approaches. And from folks I’ve spoken to who would know more than your average bear, the general sentiment here is that ‘anything is possible.’
🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) officially launched its WhatsApp-compatible peer-to-peer instant payments platform PayShap. It’s worth noting that PayShap isn’t a standalone app and it can be accessed only through existing banking apps in South Africa. In addition to that, while PayShap launched its instant clearing feature that gives the option to pay by account or pay by proxy (e.g., using a cellphone number), it will soon launch an additional request-to-pay function.
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