Afridigest Fintech Review: Visa's Africa vision
Week 24 2023: June 11-17
Afridigest is your intelligent guide to Africa’s tech ecosystem. The Fintech Review is a weekly recap of what matters in African fintech.
On to the week’s highlights:
• Two equity fundraises from accelerator programs and one debt fundraise.
• News of the week: Fintech M&A is poised to pick up in the second half of the year as Moniepoint, Zepz, and others are actively evaluating targets. Visa continues to deliver on its $1 billion Africa pledge. And Nigeria’s removed its currency peg — a move with a big impact on fintech startups in the country.
• Companies appearing in today’s Fintech Review: Pennee, MuduPay, FairMoney, Pezesha, Network International, aYo Holdings, Gamp, Eyowo, Mazzuma, VodaPay, DoshFX, Zepz, Moniepoint, Interswitch, Flutterwave, Baxi & more.
• Executives appearing: Safaricom’s Peter Ndegwa, Baxi’s Mxolisi Msutwana, Mojaloop Foundation’s Paula Hunter, Jia’s Zach Marks, OPay’s Olu Akanmu, Visa’s Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., & more.
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Week 24 2023: June 11-17
📰 News of the Week
Last December, just over a year after Google announced its commitment to invest $1 billion in Africa over five years, global payments provider Visa announced its own pledge to invest $1 billion in the continent through 2027.
This week, Visa announced its latest initiative in that vein — the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator which will work with 40 African fintechs each year for the next five years and invest in a third of them. (Applications open next month.)
Here’s a video worth watching of Visa’s Executive Chairman Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. on fintech in Africa from the 2023 Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa event in Morocco last week (22 minutes):
Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker: I know your expansion here is not a short-term play. How long do you figure before Visa's business on this continent accounts for a meaningful share of the company's growth?
Kelly: Oh, I think probably a decade. We’ll see. But what I say about Africa is that we’re going to invest heavily over the next five years so that, in essence, over the decade after that this starts to become a very meaningful piece of our business.
And here’s a quick look at Visa’s Africa strategy to date:
Visa’s equity investments include Nigeria’s Paystack, Interswitch, and Flutterwave; South Africa’s Jumo, and Sudan’s Bloom.
The company has also opened ten local offices across the continent in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, DRC, and elsewhere.
And it’s launched a variety of initiatives including an innovation studio in Nairobi (its first in sub-Saharan Africa), the She’s Next initiative in Africa, the Visa Everywhere Initiative, AWIF support, and more.
It’s worth keeping an eye on Visa’s approach to fintech & crypto in Africa going forward.
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