Afridigest Fintech Review: M-Pesa's Ethiopia entry endorsed
Week 40: October 2 - 8
The Afridigest Fintech Review is a weekly recap of what happened in African fintech.
Hello again, friends! Remember: this Fintech Review goes out on Sundays, the regular Week in Review goes out on Mondays, and the French-language Revue de la Semaine goes out on Wednesdays. (Assuming no delays.)
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On to this week’s highlights:
• Three fintech-ish deals were announced for ~$6M in disclosed funding.
• After engaging in talks with the government since at least summer 2018, Safaricom received official approval to acquire a mobile money license in Ethiopia — Africa’s second largest market by population
• Nigerian neobank Carbon renews its commitment to transparency with the public release of its latest P&L statement
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Week 40: October 2 - 8
🇰🇪 Tanda, a Kenyan open agent network & financial services distribution platform, raised an undisclosed amount in an ongoing pre-series A round with participation from HAVAÍC’s Universum Core African Fund, DFS Lab, and others
🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches
Kenyan B2B e-commerce food distribution platform Twiga Foods launched a third party fleet marketplace in partnership with NCBA and Isuzu East Africa. The new service allows members of the public to make a 10% down payment on a truck (with the balance financed by NCBA) and have it deployed on Twiga’s platform, earning regular monthly income.Eventually, the big GMV players outrun 3PL availability and Twiga is no exception. But what a way to build the infra as you go and with leverage as well. Such a required muscle in African tech.Today we launched our 3rd Party Fleet Marketplace. In partnership with NCBA & Isuzu E.A. members of the public can now invest as little as 10% of the value of the new vehicle, get financing and have it deployed with @TwigaFoods for a regular monthly income for the next 6 years! https://t.co/daFQf3sCC4Peter Njonjo @njonjo2012
Similarly, Kenyan electric mobility startup Basigo announced a vehicle financing partnership with KCB Bank. As a result, bank customers can now receive up to 90% financing for the purchase of electric buses to be deployed under BasiGo’s pay-as-you-drive model.
Nestcoin, a Nigerian platform that builds, operates, and invests in crypto native products, launched peer-to-peer crypto deposit and withdrawal platform Onboard. The platform allows users to easily go between crypto and fiat and vice versa; for example, selling tokens directly from non-custodial wallets and receiving payment into their bank accounts.
Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech platform bridging TradFi with DeFi, launched Vella 2.0. It offers a suite of solutions for SMEs including cross-border B2B payments, a savings feature offering up to 12% APY, an enterprise service that helps startups become crypto-enabled using Vella’s API, and a variety of embedded finance solutions and products.
Nigerian telco Globacom launched MoneyMaster, its payment service banking platform. Glo says it will leverage a network of 100,000+ agents across Nigeria to provide financial services in the country via MoneyMaster. Payment service banks in Nigeria can facilitate payment and remittance services, accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, issue debit and prepaid cards, and operate electronic wallets, but cannot offer loans.
HammerPay, the fintech subsidiary of America’s Hammer Technology Holdings (OTCQB: HMMR), announced an upcoming Q4 launch of its digital wallet-as-a service platform across Africa, beginning with Liberia.
Kenyan consumer credit & BNPL platform Lipa Later and Kenyan API-driven insurance platform Lami announced a partnership to offer credit insurance via BNPL.
Nigerian one-click checkout platform OurPass announced a partnership with Flutterwave to offer Flutterwave-powered POS terminals to retail businesses.
📰 News of the Week
Safaricom received official approval to launch M-Pesa in Ethiopia. The announcement was made on Thursday during a ceremony attended by Kenya’s President William Ruto, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Ethiopia’s Finance Minister Ahmed Shide — an indicator of just how big of a deal this is. The approval means that Safaricom, after years of lobbying, will be allowed to acquire a mobile money license for M-Pesa services. The Kenyan operator had been in “advanced talks” with the Ethiopian government to introduce M-Pesa in the country since at least July 2018. Ethiopia is Africa's second-largest market by population and M-Pesa will compete with fellow privately-owned players like Kacha and market leader Telebirr, a service of state-owned Ethio Telecom.
How Ethiopia blundered its transition to mobile money (Sep 2021, Rest of World.)
This Twitter thread on the M-PESA/Safaricom split in Kenya
📑 Reads of the Week
Nigerian credit-led neobank Carbon released its latest P&L statement
Fejiro Hanu Agbodje, Founder & CEO of Nigerian crypto platform Patricia, writes ‘The state of blockchain in Africa’
Hannes Wessels, South Africa Country Head for Binance, writes ‘Digital currencies for economic transformation in Africa’
🙈 Visual of the week
A (now outdated) map of Ethiopia’s emerging fintech ecosystem. From Ethiopian data & insights platform, Shega.
👔 People Moves
📜 Other News, Reads, and Media
Kenya's Office of the Data Protection Commission (ODPC) will audit at least 40 digital lenders for data breaches
The Bank of Namibia brought virtual assets under its fintech innovations regulatory framework meaning that while bitcoin isn’t legal tender, merchants can legally accept them in the country
Nigeria attracted $10.1 billion in diaspora remittances in the first six months of 2022 — the highest half-year amount since H2 2019
The Senegal Fintech Association (SEN-FINTECH) is now up and running with Aziz Yérima, Co-Founder & CEO of PayDunya, at the head of the organization
MEDIA INTERVIEWS & REPORTS
A panel discussion on the future of digital financial services in Rwanda featuring Diane Karusisi, CEO of Bank of Kigali; Mapula Bodipe, CEO of MTN Rwanda; and others (CNBC Africa - Video)
Obinna Ukwuani, Chief Digital Officer, Bank of Kigali (Connected Banking East Africa - Video)
Zekarias Amsalu, Co-Founder of Africa Fintech Summit, on the history of financial services in Africa (African Media Agency - Video)
Africa's fintech market defies VC downturn (Pitchbook)
Flutterwave CEO torn between damage control and sustaining growth (Business Daily)
Banks take the fight to the disruptors (TechCabal)
Open banking could be what Africa needs to deepen financial inclusion (Quartz)
The end of mobile money agent networks as we know them (Mondato)
Is Wave Mobile Money currently just surviving in Uganda? (Newz Post)
Retail transactions boost crypto adoption in sub-Saharan Africa (Pymts)
🐤 Tweet of the Week
🗣️ Community Corner and Opportunities (feel free to send yours in)
Congrats to readers at TeamApt, Paga, MFS Africa, Chipper Cash, Jumo, and OPay for having their companies featured on CB Insights’ Fintech 250 list of the most promising fintech companies globally.
Congrats to Jay Alabraba & Tayo Oviosu on the rocketship that is Paga.
MADE IN NIGERIA 🇳🇬 WITH 💚
Thanks for reading 🙌🏽