Afridigest Fintech Review: A new card issuer for Africa
Week 33 2022: August 14-20
The Afridigest Fintech Review is a weekly recap of what happened in African fintech.
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Week 33 2022: August 14-20
🇳🇬 Omnibiz, a Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform, raised a $15M ($5M equity/$10M debt) pre-Series A led by Timon Capital. The company is digitizing the traditional retail supply chain, but like other players in the sector there’s a fintech angle: It offers BNPL working capital solutions to merchants.
🇳🇬 Pastel (formerly Sabi Cash), a Nigerian SME-focused digital bookkeeping platform, raised a $5.5M seed round led by TLcom. The company is also developing Swift Money, a savings and loan product for community savings groups.
🇳🇬 Bridgecard, a Nigerian issuer of Mastercard & Visa cards, announced its acceptance into Y Combinator’s Summer 22 batch. The company seems to have pivoted to card issuing from its origins as all-in-one account management solution at a time when Zambian Mastercard issuer Union54 is facing well-documented challenges.“During one of our conversations with Mastercard, they declared that never in their history has there been such frequent instances or cases of card fraud from this region,” Union54 wrote to clients. The fintech is working to restore service in 6-8 weeks.
Co-Founder Tunde Adewole writes
💵 Debt Financing
🇺🇬 Watu Credit Uganda, the Ugandan entity of Kenyan mobility-focused asset financing platform Watu Credit, secured a $7M subordinated debt investment from the Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund.
Contextualize it: The last twelve to eighteen months have been a bit of a coming-out period for ‘mobility fintech’ across the continent with interesting new developments at Moove Africa, MAX, Tugende, Gozem, Asaak, and other platforms. We’ve said that the appetite for credit is virtually unlimited across the continent and ridehailing-focused vehicle financing is an interesting example.
💰 Venture Funds
Partech Africa Fund II will receive ~$45M from German development bank KfW. Partech Africa’s fintech portfolio includes Senegal’s Wave Mobile Money, South Africa’s Yoco, and Nigeria’s Nomba (formerly Kudi).
Microtraction announced a $15M first close of its second fund. Individual LPs include founders of venture-backed African fintechs such as Paystack’s Shola Akinlade, Paga’s Jay Alabraba, and Float’s Jesse Ghansah, as well as GPs of global funds such as a16z’s David Haber, Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel, and Precursor Ventures’ Charles Hudson. Microtraction’s fintech portfolio includes Cowrywise, Helicarrier, Bitsika, and Lemonade Finance.
🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches
Kenyan pay-as-you-go (PAYG) asset-backed financing platform M-KOPA and Kenyan electric vehicle manufacturer Roam (formely Opibus) signed an agreement whose aim is to deploy electric motorcycles across Africa at scale.
Make it make sense: Affordability is a key blocker for a primary segment of Roam’s motorcycle customer base — boda boda (commercial motorcycle taxi) drivers. Accordingly, M-KOPA will leverage its ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ expertise to provide drivers instant access and let them make flexible micro-payments over time. The partnership provides Roam with the opportunity to grow its foorptint everywhere M-KOPA operates, starting in Kenya. It’s another data point for the rise of ‘mobility fintech’ on the continent.
Egyptian discount/cashback rewards app Lucky announced a partnership with Egyptian on-demand warehousing and fulfillment platform Khazenly. The partnership will see Lucky provide its offers to Khazenly merchants & clients.
Pan-African crypto exchange Yellow Card launched Yellow Pay, a cross-border, intra-Africa payments solution.
Nigerian cross-border payments platform Changera relaunched with virtual pound, dollar, and euro domiciliary bank accounts that enable users to make foreign transfers, collect foreign payments, and easily convert to local currency.
📰 News of the Week
MTN's fintech ecosystem grows as spinoff plans continue. The new date for the spinoff of the telco’s fintech business seems to be December 2022. It initially planned to spin off the fintech business by the end of Q2 2022.
Central Bank of Nigeria to support 10 startups to help grow eNaira adoption. The eNaira, Africa’s first CBDC, has been off to a relatively slow start since its October 2021 launch. Now, the CBN is bringing together innovators, developers, entrepreneurs, coders, and others to identify solutions and use cases that can accelerate the eNaira’s adoption and utility.
Egypt’s central bank governor Tarek Amer resigns amid economic woes. Appointed CBE governor in 2015, Amer’s legacy is a bit complicated. But he undoubtedly played a significant role in the transformation of Egyptian fintech, birthing a new generation of startup and non-bank financial players after decades of lip service about financial inclusion.
🙈 Visual of the week
👔 People Moves
Pavel Khristolubov (formerly of Tinkoff Bank) and Elena Lavezzi (formerly of Revolut and Circle) joined Nigerian neobank Kuda as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), respectively
📜 Other News, Reads, and Media
Financial inclusion: Separating facts from fad and fiction (by Ibikun Taiwo, Communications Manager at Sustainable and Inclusive DFS)
🐤 Tweets of the Week
Matt Flannery @mattflanneryBeing able to exchange your currency is important for international travel. https://t.co/ZokYb0gxdE
🗣️ Community Corner and Opportunities
Nigeria-based Pan-African digital bank Carbon is hiring a Lagos-based Head Of Finance
Pan-African crypto exchange Yellow Card is hiring a Francophone Regional Manager (Fintech/Crypto)
Techstars is hiring a Managing Director for its fintech and proptech-focused Lagos Accelerator
MADE IN NIGERIA 🇳🇬 WITH 💚
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