Afridigest Fintech Review: Mobile money spin-offs spring forth
Week 41: October 9 - 15
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 Africa-focused fintech deals were announced for ~$24M in disclosed funding. (Another $18M went to a separate emerging markets-focused deal with significant African operations.)
• Telco mobile money spinoffs have begun in Kenya. Airtel Money Kenya is now a separate entity from Airtel Networks Kenya — much to the delight of the Central Bank of Kenya.
• MTN Nigeria announced an interesting BNPL-like device financing offering, Yellow Card teased details of a new agriculture financing partnership leveraging the blockchain, Wise/Transferwise is suspending USD transfers to Nigeria, and more.
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Week 41: October 9-15
Pillow, a Singapore-based, emerging market-focused crypto platform allowing users to save, spend and invest using USD-backed stablecoins, raised an $18M Series A co-led by Accel and Quona Capital, with participation from Elevation Capital and Jump Capital. The startup’s largest user base is in Nigeria, and it also has a major presence in Ghana, as well as in India, Vietnam, and Brazil.
💰 Venture Funds
Nclude, a $105M Egyptian fund targeting fintechs in the Middle East & Africa that was launched as a partnership between Global Ventures and Egypt's largest state-owned banks, received an undisclosed investment from Mastercard.
🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches
MTN Nigeria announced a BNPL-ish subscription partnership with Intelligra, a Nigerian smartphone financing platform. The partnership, which also involves OEMs, a variety of financial institutions, and Nigerian retail store Slot, will see users pay as little as 7,000 naira (~$10) a month for a bundle that includes a smartphone, voice calls, and internet data. Users can pay the bundle price over 6-12 months with no down payment or upfront cost and MTN has agreed to finance up to 1,000 smartphones per day.
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