Afridigest Fintech Review: Crypto use cases on the continent? Ripple-MFS Africa partnership provides latest proof point
Week 46 2022: November 13-19
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.)
On to this week’s highlights:
• Just one Africa-focused fintech deal was announced for ~$11M (including debt).
• Payments unicorn Chipper Cash expands to Zambia with proposed acquisition of fintech pioneer Zoona.
• Enterprise blockchain platform Ripple expands to Africa, thanks to MFS Africa partnership.
• New product & service offerings from Flutterwave, Fido, & Huawei.
• Other companies mentioned in today’s Fintech Review: Adumo, Pezesha, SecondSTAX, Nestcoin, Ovex, VALR, Kuda, BitMama, Branch, Paystack, Risevest, PalmPay, Wave, Finplus, Moni, Awabah, eTranzact, PesaPal, Union54, Kuunda.
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Week 46 2022: November 13-19
🤝🏻 Mergers & Acquisitions
Pan-African payments unicorn Chipper Cash announced the acquisition, subject to regulatory approvals, of Zambian B2B payments fintech Zoona. The deal supports Chipper Cash’s overall growth & expansion strategy across Africa and offers complementary benefits such as Zoona’s API, disbursements, and transfer solutions. Zoona was founded in 2008 and has processed over $3B to date via its Tilt service. Zoona investors include Quona Capital, AHL Venture Partners, Flourish, Microvest, BlueHaven Initiative, Omidyar Network, and 4Di.
🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches
MFS Africa, pan-African digital payments gateway that connects over 320 million mobile money wallets across 35+ African countries, announced a partnership with leading enterprise blockchain platform Ripple. MFS Africa will use Ripple’s on-demand liquidity product ODL — which relies on the cryptocurrency XRP to support cross-border payments — to carry out low-cost real-time transactions on its platform. (For another recent example of enterprise crypto use cases on the continent, see Pezesha’s August 2022 partnership with Cardano around DeFi pools for liquidity.)
SecondSTAX (Secondary Securities Trading and Aggregation eXchange), a Ghanaian investment platform for trading African securities, secured partnerships with the Ghana Stock Exchange and the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The startup announced a $1.6M pre-seed in Week 38 and this set of partnerships is the first step in its journey. As a result, institutional investors from across the continent will be able to access Ghanaian and Kenyan exchanges via SecondSTAX’s platform.
EthSwitch, Ethiopia’s national payment switch, and Ethiopia’s Oromia Bank announced partnerships with Mastercard. For the first time, Mastercard debit, credit, and prepaid cards are accepted in Ethiopia. Locals and foreign Mastercard users in the country can now withdraw local currency from Oromia Bank ATMs.