Afridigest Fintech Review: Pillow pulls the plug
Week 25 2023: June 18-24
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:
• Six equity fundraises and one debt fundraise.
• News of the week: Pillow, an Accel-backed stablecoin saving & investing platform whose largest market was Nigeria, is shutting down. PAPSS continues to make progress. And more.
• Companies appearing in today’s Fintech Review: Yellow, Agel, Tuma, BillBox, Octamile, Salad, Fast Credit, LayUp, ArifPay, Paymob, M-Pesa, PayU, Moniepoint, Pillow, Stitch, Glade, Chipper Cash, & more.
• Executives appearing: Flutterwave’s Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Turaco’s Ted Pantone, Zone’s Obi Emetarom, Visa’s Cuy Sheffield, M-KOPA’s Babajide Duroshola, Stellar Development Foundation’s Tori Samples, Revio’s Nicole Dunn, Zeeh Africa’s David Adeleke, OnePipe’s Victor Irechukwu, & more.
➜ This Fintech Review is available in full to premium subscribers of Afridigest (whose support we appreciate 🙏🏽) — if you’re a free reader, you’ll see a limited preview below.
⭐ Not interested in fintech? No problem: visit the Notifications section of your Account Settings page and deselect the Fintech option.
Week 25 2023: June 18-24
📰 News of the Week
It was a relatively quiet week for fintech across Africa, but here are three highlights:
PAPSS continued to make progress as it announced five new large bank partnerships. It also now expects to have twenty countries on board by the end of the year.
A successful Inclusive Fintech Forum was held in Kigali with President Kagame and a host of other dignitaries in attendance.
And in terms of startup news, Pillow, a Singapore-based crypto platform allowing users across emerging markets to save, spend, and invest using USD-backed stablecoins, announced that it’s pulling the plug and discontinuing operations.
The startup announced an $18M Series A co-led by Accel and Quona Capital eight months ago in Week 41 2022. 💰
It said its largest user base was in Nigeria, but that it also had a significant presence in India, Ghana, Vietnam, and Brazil. 🌐 More specifically, it claimed to have nearly 75,000 users spread across Nigeria and India.
It offered a 14% APY (annual percentage yield) return on assets invested. 👀
It blamed this shutdown on the “current regulatory climate and its impact on associated financial infrastructure.” Hmmph. 😒
✨ The rest of this newsletter is only available to premium members of Afridigest, whose support makes this work possible. If you’re not already a premium member, consider upgrading your subscription for access to the details below on fundraises, product launches, partnership announcements, and curated fintech news.✨