The narrative about Africa’s Financial Technology (Fintech) industry has been changing over the years. There have been large support for African startups in Cape Town, Nairobi, Lagos, and other parts of the continent. The prestigious Y-Combinator has continuously assisted African tech startups by providing accelerator funds to drive the startups.
The focus on African Fintech startups has increased in recent times, and Fintech has become the biggest funded sector in Africa. In 2019, African Fintech startups received $2billion in venture capital funding. The sector came with more bangs in 2020 as American e-payments firm, Stripe, ventured into the African e-commerce market by acquiring Nigerian startup firm Paystack. Dubai’s Network International acquired Nairobi-based Fintech, DPO Group, for $288 million. WorldRemit Ltd., a U.K. online money transfer company, acquired Africa-focused remittance company Sendwave for $500 million.
Chipper Cash caught Jeff Bezos’s attention in 2020 Chipper Cash is a Fintech startup that offers a cross-border, peer-to-peer payments service in African countries such as Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya. Chipper Cash was founded two years ago in San Francisco by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. With 3 million users and an average 80,000 transactions daily, the Fintech startup was having a good take-off. This take-off became even better as they raised $30million in their Series B funding from Jeff Bezos. The Chipper Cash investment is Jeff Bezos’ first startup investment in Africa. According to the co-founder of Chipper Cash, Serunjogi, “It’s a big deal when a world-class investor like Bezos or Ribbit goes out of their sweet spot to a new area where they previously haven’t done investments”.
What this Investment has brought to Chipper Cash
Jeff’s investment has widened the Chipper Cash’s product suite and has allowed the startup include more payment solutions, cryptocurrency trading and investment services as part of their products. The best feature of the product now may very well be the feature that allows African users to invest in US stocks.
Investments like Bezos’ are likely to drive global interest even higher; Africa’s tech startups showed resilience with a wave of multimillion-dollar exits recorded in 2020, despite initial fears of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.