Afridigest Fintech Review: Binance, Visa, Google advance Africa growth plans
Week 34: August 21-27
The Afridigest Fintech Review is a weekly recap of what happened in African fintech.
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On to this week’s highlights:
• It was a relatively slow week for fintech funding on the continent with just three relevant deals announced for $7.4M in disclosed funding.
• Binance was quite active across the continent. The crypto exchange launched local currency deposits in South Africa, a crypto education hub in Cameroon, and is hiring a West Africa Regional Director.
• Other global players continued to advance their Africa growth plans. Google Wallet launched in South Africa and Visa opened a DRC office.
Week 34 2022: August 21-27
🇿🇦 The Cape Town Stock Exchange (CTSE), a South African stock exchange for small- and medium-sized growth companies, announced a $5M round led by Imvelo Ventures. Launched in 2021, CTSE is targeting firms from across the continent with capitalizations of $7M to $140M that find the fees of other bourses like the Johannesburg Stock Exchange too expensive.
🇪🇬 SubsBase, an Egyptian no/low-code subscription & recurring revenue management platform, raised a $2.4M seed round led by Global Ventures. The platform provides invoicing, collection, analytics, and billing solutions; its payments solution is integrated with local providers such as Fawry, Paymob, and PayTabs, and global payment like Stripe and PayPal.
💰 Venture Funds
AAIC’s second fund ‘Africa Innovation & Healthcare Fund 2’ received backing from Japanese corporate Marubeni. AAIC’s fintech portfolio includes Chipper Cash and logistics companies with fintech verticals/solutions like Kobo, Gozem, and Sendy.
🤝🏻 Mergers & Acquisitions
Egypt’s valU, an Egyptian BNPL fintech platform, acquired 100% of Paynas, an Egyptian MSME-focused employee management, financial wellness, and benefits platform. The deal gives valU access to Paynas’ roster of MSME clients and employees; access to Paynas data will improve valU’s BNPL products with respect to credit scoring and loan disbursement in particular.
🚀 Partnerships & Product Launches
South African fintech-as-a-service provider Ukheshe and South African payments provider Paycorp finalized an agreement to boost the functionality of Paycorp ATMs. The partnership will allow South Africans to use their mobile wallets (e.g., MTN Momo, OzowMe) to perform cardless cash withdrawals from 4000+ Cash Express ATMs owned by ATM Solutions, a division of Paycorp.
Be smart: Across the African continent, access to ATMs is generally poor, but South Africa is a leader on the continent with ~60 ATMs per 100,000 adults, behind only the Seychelles and Namibia; the figure is 10x higher than the World Bank estimate for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. It’s one of the many areas in which the South African market & opportunities within it diverge somewhat from other markets across the continent.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt (ADIB) announced a partnership with SimpliFi, a cards as a service (CaaS) platform for the banking and fintech industries in MENAP; the companies will collaborate to help B2B clients issue prepaid cards easily. Through the collaboration, ADIB Egypt gains a new offering in its portfolio of solutions for corporate clients, and SimpliFi gains guided access to the Egyptian market alongside an experienced player.
The United Bank for Africa (UBA), which serves over 37M customers in 20 countries across the continent, and MFS Africa, a digital payments gateway that connects over 400M mobile money wallets across 35+ African countries, signed an MoU to collaborate on cross-border remittances, SME payments, corporate disbursements, and more.
📰 News of the Week
Google Wallet is now available in South Africa, it’s first African market. Cardholders of partner South African banks can now use Google Wallet to make contactless payments using their Android OS devices.
Africa’s first central bank e-currency is yet to have recurring users. While the Nigerian Central Bank governor considers the growth of Africa’s first CBDC—the eNaira—to be “remarkable” to date, Quartz’s Alexander Onukwue notes that this “should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism as at an average of 1.35 transactions per active wallet, the eNaira has not convinced its users to do a lot with it.”
South Africa's Central Bank greenlights financial institutions to serve crypto clients. The South African Reserve Bank published new guidelines permitting financial institutions to deal with funds linked to digital assets — a departure from the approach used by Central Banks in Nigeria (pdf) and elsewhere on the continent.
🙈 Visual of the week
📑 Read of the Week
How NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) powers Nigeria’s digital economy. NIP, Nigeria’s real-time payments system, helped catalyze Nigerian fintech innovation. Here’s a wonderful deep-dive on NIP from Tochukwu Ironsi & the Paystack team.
👔 People Moves
Mansi Babyloni returns to Flutterwave as Chief People and Culture Officer from PwC’s People practice in London
Brendon Williamson (previously Head of Commercial) was appointed PayFast’s new Managing Director
📜 Other News, Reads, and Media
Global payments company Visa opens new office in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Sabi, a Nigerian B2B platform for goods and services distribution in the informal sector, formally announced the launch of its South African operations through a partnership with Vumele
Jess Anuna, Founder & CEO of Nigerian cross-border e-commerce payments solution provider Klasha (Pymnts)
Carine Dikambi, Director of Francophone Africa at Binance (The Fintech Times)
Firas Ahmad, Group CEO of East African mobile money platform AzamPay (Big5D)
Gbemi Akande, Co-Founder of seed-stage VC firm Pacer Ventures (CoinGeek)
Dare Okoudjou, MFS Africa Founder and CEO, writes ‘Why card and mobile money interoperability are critical to empowering African consumers and entrepreneurs’
Stone Atwine, Eversend Co-Founder and CEO, writes ‘Stablecoins are the future of business payments’
Fehintolu Olaogun, CredPal Co-Founder & CEO, writes ‘How consumer credit can drive growth in Africa’s emerging e-commerce sector’
Requirements to get a fintech-related license in Nigeria (Benjamin Dada)
5 fintech execs unpack financial inclusion in Africa (Ventureburn)
Here’s why African fintech is fast-expanding (Ventureburn)
Fintech Egypt: Getting The Deal Through (A quick reference guide of Egypt’s regulatory landscape)
🐤 Tweets of the Week
A quick reminder from a user about customer-centricity:
A couple of tweets on what it takes to improve B2B payments:
A short thread on the value of unorthodox backgrounds:
🗣️ Community Corner and Opportunities
Applications are now being accepted until September 15th for the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT)’s Catapult: Inclusion Africa Program — it’s an all-expenses-paid, week-long boot camp for African fintechs that want to forge connections between Africa and Europe
Binance, the world’s largest digital asset exchange by trading volume and users, is hiring a Lagos-based Regional Director - West Africa
Embedded finance and liquidity solutions provider Kuunda is hiring a Kampala-based Product Growth & Operations Manager
MADE IN NIGERIA 🇳🇬 WITH 💚
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