Fairmoney Nigeria’s Fintech Startup Raised $12.5m in Series A Funding

Fintech just can’t stop raising money. The Firm launched in Nigeria last year with a local team and France-based engineering and product teams. Yesterday announced the raising of $12.5m, Led by Flourish, a venture of The Omidyar Group, the partners of DST Global, and existing seed investors Newfund, Speedinvest, and Le Studio VC.

Fairmoney is a microloan startup with a focus on the emerging market. Started as a mobile phone-based loan company, it has expanded to microloan to small businesses. Its goal with the new funding is to become a digital bank just like Kuda, which raised $1.6m seed last.

Back in May 2018, it raised $1.4m in seed and has gone on to grow to 200,000 customers.

The new funding will be used to scale up the engineering team and expand beyond Nigeria.

Big Question

Given that the engineering team is based in France, will the new funding help hire local devs and product team to help in further tailoring the product to the local markets they will be expanding to?

 

Breaking News: Nigeria’s online-only bank startup raised $1.6m Pre-seed

 Just when you think that Fintech-fever is over in Nigeria, out of nowhere comes Kuda, the fintech startup who prides itself as a bank without a single branch raised $1.6m in pre-seed. Founded just a year ago by Babs Ogundeyi, Kuda has racked up so much growth that investors decided to splash the cash on it.

What makes Kuda different from other Fintech Startups, in his world, Babs Ogundeyi said “Kuda is the first digital-only bank in Nigeria with a standalone license. We’re not a mobile wallet or simply a mobile app piggybacking on an existing bank, We have built our own full-stack banking software from scratch. We can also take deposits and connect directly to the switch,” Ogundeyi added, referring to Nigeria’s Central Switch ”

It’s amazing seeing freshly minted startup raise so much as pre-seed, I can imagine how out-of-the-roof the numbers must be. The funding was led by  Haresh Aswani , along with Ragnar Meitern.

Why does it matter

Many Fintech before it mostly piggybank on existing banks and exist just like wallet service but Kuda has been given a license and its strategy is to operate strictly like a bank. Sign up, verify your identity, get your bank account number and start banking.

It also has a relationship with 3 (GTbank, Access, and Zenith)of the top ten banks in Nigeria where you are able to walk, make deposit or withdrawal without charges. This essentially turns it into Nigeria’s bank with the widest reach. According to the story, the banks are not investors but partners. This is unlike other partnership we have seen banks in recent times where they own equity in startups where they have deep integration.

The startup plans to use the fund to scale up its team and execute more on it’s the strategy. With offices in Lagos, South Africa and London!

Jumia is looking to deal with fraud and loses, jumps into the ring with Paylater, RenMoney to start giving out loans

It’s no secret that Jumia is struggling to turn a profit; this was apparent during its last earnings call. Since its launch, it has burnt through more than a Billion dollars in a bid to dominate e-commerce in Africa.

JumiaPay, the payment arm of the company, which has been growing over the years, looks like a good candidate and channel for growth. During the earnings call, the CEO mentioned that it will be spun-off as an independent firm to enable it to take advantage of the growing Fintech sector across Africa. They recently posted on their website looking for a loan officer to join the payment team. This product will help give loan to the merchant in its marketplace to enable them to increase inventory and improve sales. The consequence of this is that they will have improved revenue in the coming quarters.

According to the job post;

“Our loan officer will assist in the development of Jumia Lending in Kenya by presenting our solution to our sellers. He/she will be helping our sellers to apply for a loan, and with the help of the loan officer will review the data collected and the applications. The loan officer will be part of the JumiaPay team in Kenya and work side by side with the loan officer,”

The candidate will work from Kenya, which has a more evolved Fintech than other areas in Africa. It will be a testbed for other Fintech products the company will launch in the nearest future.

What does this mean for the space?

Fintech is growing aggressively across Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are the hottest spots for the sector. From Paylater, to RenMoney, Branch and other loan platforms, the fight just got bigger. This product should be an easier sell than others, given that the company has live data about the customers’ sales numbers from the platform this should help them accurately predict revenue and the merchant’s ability to pay back.

Stanbic IBTC Welcomes Students Back to School with New Educational Payment Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new school year started this month, and Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has introduced a suite of user-friendly educational payment products that will relive parents and guardians of the burden of school fees.
The question now is, how do these educational payment solutions work?

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC is a Nigerian financial institution with eight subsidiaries and an estimated staff strength of 5,000 Nigerians. Furthermore, 80% of the Stanbic IBTC board members are Nigerian.

With this Nigerian-based perspective, the bank recognises the cultural nuances in Nigeria, and has thus specifically modelled these products to be a relief.

The first of the solutions is the EZ cash loan/advance. Parents and wards who are strapped for cash at the point when school fees payment are due, can take advantage of the EZ cash loan, which gives access to loans, in less than a minute, to pre-approved customers.

If you are a salary earner, you can take advantage of Salary Advance (SALAD), another of the bank’s short-term loans that is quick and easy to get.

Another of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC’s educational products is an international money transfer solution for payment of school fees and allowances abroad.

Added to that are prepaid cards which can be preloaded with pocket money for children/wards, while the credit cards, which currently offer a 55-day interest moratorium, can be used to seamlessly pay school fees.

Dr. Demola Sogunle, the Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, said that the bank has a high-importance view of learning, and in accordance with this, it develops solutions that parents and guardians can take advantage of to ensure that their wards get the desired level of education.

He identified a deep understanding of Nigeria and developing tailor-made solutions as factors that distinguishes Stanbic IBTC Bank as a leading Nigerian financial institution.

Speaking on this, he said, “We are a Nigerian bank and we realise that whilst parents and guardians may have desired levels of education for their children, funding may be a deterrent in the pursuit of these dreams. We have hence developed these products which will ease the burden of school fees payment while also providing satisfaction to the parents and guardians that their wards are getting good education.

He added that the bank’s loan products offer fast, simple and convenient ways by which customers can meet their short term financial obligations to educate their wards, with very convenient repayment terms.

Other benefits of the school fees loans are: access to a revolving line of credit, flexible repayment terms, and the opportunity to access credit up to 100% of the customer’s income.

With schools resuming for a new term, the school fees loans will help to alleviate the financial burden parents and guardians may face in paying school fees. He further stated that the conditions for accessing the loan products are having a salary account with the bank; or having  investments with any of the Stanbic IBTC group subsidiaries.

Loan applicants can walk into any branch of the bank and apply for any of the education loans in a few easy steps. The application is then processed and the customer is contacted with feedback.

 

 

Chipper Cash Expands to Nigeria and Hires Abiodun Animashaun of Gokada

The San-Francisco based cross-border African startup, Chipper Cash has expanded to Nigeria. It further strengthened the move by opening an office in the capital city, Lagos, and hiring Abiodun Animashaun, cofounder and CFO at Gokada, the ride-hailing startup based out of Lagos, as County Manager.

Chipper Cash is a fintech firm involved in providing a platform for cross border payments. Founded by a Ugandan (Ham Serunjogi) and a Ghanaian (Maijid Moujaled), both of whom had arrived in the United States as students, Chipper Cash has grown at a steady clip and currently boasts as many as 70,000 users.

With offices in Ghana and Kenya, the firm is expanding to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, to offer its Peer to Peer payment service and app. It is doing this in partnership with PayStack—the payment gateway company, as confirmed by Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade.

Though the company only fully started October last year 2018, its plan to move to Nigeria’s major economy and scale digital finance applications in the budding Fintech space in the country indicates that its product has got a degree of traction.

Further testifying to this is the fact that as many as 70,000 active users on its no-fee, P2P, cross-border mobile-money payments product. Plus, 250,000 transactions have been completed in the platform since it went live.

Speaking on the rationale behind expanding to Nigeria, Ham Seunjogi, one of the co-founders of Chipper Cash, said,

Nigeria is the largest economy and most populous country in Africa. Its fintech industry is one of the most advanced in Africa, up there with Kenya and South Africa.”

“I think for any company doing fintech across borders, that is looking to be successful in Africa, it’s imperative that you have a presence in Nigeria.” he further said.

Besides Animashaun, Alicia Levine is another senior figure who is leaving and African tech venture to join Chipper Cash. Alicia Levine will leave Nairobi based internet hardware and service startup BRCK to become Chipper Cash’s Chief Operating Officer, according to Chipper Cash CEO Ham Serunjogi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carbon and Appzone Partner with Open Banking Nigeria

The Nigerian Fintech companies, Carbon and Appzone, have announced a partnership with the non-profit, Open Banking Nigeria.

Formerly known as Paylater, Carbon is Nigeria’s leading digital financial platform that gives quick loans at low interest rates, without the need for guarantors or collateral. Appzone is Africa’s leading provider of integrated banking and payment software platforms to financial institutions.

Recently, these two top financial technology (fintech) players respectively announced their collaboration with non-profit Open Banking Nigeria, joining  industry players like Paystack, Flutterwave, Interswitch, Ernest & Young, Fidelity Bank, Global Accelerex, TeamApt, PwC, and Sterling Bank who have partnered with Open Banking Nigeria.

 

With this collaboration with Open Banking Nigeria, the two fintech companies hope to extend the frontiers of innovation, to attain non-financial and non-partisan API standards for financial services in Nigeria.

Even more, the collaboration is expected to advance ongoing efforts by various notable financial industry stakeholders in the country targeted at maximising the rapid increase in digital and mobile payments, with the ultimate consumer-centric objective of meeting yearnings for convenience and flexibility.

The fintech companies, Carbon and Appzone would actively participate in diverse phases of the development of common API standards for Nigeria, testing the APIs for certification, and stimulating the adoption of Open Banking standards across the country.

Speaking on the partnership with Open Banking Nigeria,  Chijioke Dozie, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of  OneFi, the parent company of Carbon said, “At Carbon, we know that data is more important than oil. We also understand that open banking presents a tremendous opportunity to unlock financial access for millions of consumers and has the potential of transforming the financial services landscape, not only for banks and fintechs but for everyone across the ecosystem,

It follows our innovative leanings as a brand committed to providing credit to the financially under-served and excluded individuals around Africa. We believe that, with Open Banking, we would be able to extend consumer credit to the 40 million unique bank customers across the nation.

We find open banking critical to the future, especially as we support over 300 financial institutions on BankOne, our banking-as-a-service platform.

Our partnership with Open Banking Nigeria also comes as a result of our understanding that in our fast-rising digital world, the use of standard APIs is crucial to empower verified third party players to securely leverage technology. Moreso, the adoption of standardised APIs is known to cut cost, reduce connectivity complications and improve turnaround time.” said Obi Emetarom, Chief Executive Officer, AppZone.

According to Ope Adeoye of Open Banking Nigeria,the collaboration of these fintech companies would, “enable further innovation in our financial services industry where the lack of common API standards currently constitutes a barrier to innovation, especially in the areas of digital payments expansion and financial inclusion.

Open Banking Nigeria was founded in 2017 by a group of industry experts across fintech, banking, and risk management to build a common standard for Open Banking APIs (Application Programming Interface) in Nigeria.

It is tailored for various stakeholders within the financial services sector such as banks, Fintechs, and regulators, working together to build the next generation of API standards for the Nigerian banking and financial industry.

Wallets Africa wants you to ditch your business bank account

 

Ever put together the cost of making payments from your corporate bank account?

Founded in 2016, Wallets Africa is a Nigerian fintech startup that is working to make banking in this digital age as seamless as possible.

It allows people to send money, receive money, and make payments using phone numbers around Africa. The company’s goal is to give its customers a unique and improved transaction experience.

Two days ago, on 2nd September, the company, the Co-Founder and CEO of the company, John Oke, took to his Twitter page to announce the launch of a new product that will further help the company achieve its goal. He said,

Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to allow businesses enjoy modern internet banking just like our customers. I’m excited to announce the launch of Business Wallet Accounts on @walletsafrica. businesses.wallet.africa.”

“It’s the easiest way to manage bulk payouts, make expense payments and perform transfers via API. Startups that you love … already use their business @walletsafrica account to manage day to day business internet banking operations. Request access businesses.wallet.africa.”

In an interview with Venturehunt, the company disclosed that the name of the product is Wallets for Businesses.

What is the process of opening Wallets for Business?

To open a Wallets for Business account, you have to request access to the Wallets for Business website. Your business has to be registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission and have an RC number.

How is this different from normal banks?

Wallets For Business is really easy to set up and devoid of the typical bank charges that corporate customers are used to. This is mainly because Wallets Africa is not a bank, but a built relationship with banks to offer better experiences to our customers.

How are your charges different from the current bank charges?

All bank transfers on Wallets go for as low as N25 and if you’re sending to a Wallets account, the transaction is done for free.

How long will it take before this product is open to the public?

We will be open to the public soon but we’re currently running a closed beta where people can request for access to start using it.

Do you have a banking license, and will the businesses receive a bank account number?

We’re currently using Providus Bank and all businesses will receive a bank account number.

Can Wallets For Business be used to handle employee payments?

Yes, it can. It comes with the bulk transfers option that allows the user to transfer money in bulk by integrating with Google sheets. All you have to do is input the account details into a google sheet and you’re good to go.

Will there be a corporate expense ATM card?

Yes, there will. We’ve started testing.

Basically, it will allow businesses to manage bulk payouts, make expense payments, and make transfers.

Even more, it includes a feature that will allow companies to link their business account with Google Sheets and perform bulk transfers to bank accounts.

Carbon Expands to Kenya Chijioke Dozie Discloses

From a tweet from the company’s CEO Chijioke Dozie, it appears that the fintech startup, Carbon (formerly Paylater) is expanding to Kenya.

Carbon is one of Nigeria’s leading digital financial platform that launched two years ago, around May 2017. It gives quick loans to its users without requiring collateral or guarantors.

On Aug 28, 2019, Chijioke tweeted saying,

Looking for a self-starter that can help launch @get_carbon’s operations in Kenya. Local knowledge and experience in financial services/fintech is preferred. @get_carbon is hiring for a Kenya Country Manager! Please see link for more details onefi.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?…

Before this expansion, its presence was in only Nigeria, South Africa,Ghana and Portugal. The startup has been doing quite well since its launch, and this expansion to Kenya, one of Africa’s fast-growing economies, is another step in this direction.

As a matter of fact, it recently secured $5 million debt funding to acquire more customers in the Nigerian market as well as finance its expansion to other markets in Africa.

What’s more, Carbon now functions as a payment solution platform, offering services such as fund transfers and bill payments, going beyond loan offering. This move by the company is mainly as a result of its parent company – OneFi recent acquisition of a payment solution, Amplify.

Recent news around the company revolves around its strange but amazing decision to make its audited financial report open to the public, something that is quite uncommon among private companies in Nigeria.

As part of its commitment to transparency between the company and its customers, and attracting top talents, the company promised to continue publicising audited

Bosun Tijani – The CEO of CC Hub

You should have heard of CC Hub, as they keep making revolution waves in the tech and entrepreneurial space in Nigeria, and Africa at large. Have you ever wondered who the brains behind CC Hub are?

Meet Bosun Tijani, one of the brains behind CC Hub.

Born in 1977, Bosun Tijani is a Nigerian entrepreneur and the CEO of Co-Creation Hub, which he co-founded with Femi Longe in 2010.

Named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Africa by New Africa Magazine, Bosun attended the University of Jos, where he got a diploma in Computer Science, and B.Sc. in Economics; the Warwick Business School, where he got an MSc in Information systems and Management; and the University of Leicester, where he is currently a Postgraduate Researcher in Innovation Systems.

An associate of the Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship, Bosun initiated and received the visit of Mark Zuckerberg for the first time in Nigeria in August 2016.

According to Bosun, his cofounding of CC Hub was fuelled by his quest for a more competitive Nigeria through knowledge application. With a deep sense of responsibility, Bosun together with Longe, took on a challenge of building a platform capable of spotting and supporting smart Nigerians to build a future of collective desire.

Funded by Google, Omidyar Network,and  Sainsbury Family Trust, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria Ltd operates as a venture capital firm, focusing on educational, health and wellness, digital security, fintech, and governance sectors.

Before this, he worked with International Trade Centre and Hewlett Packard on projects supporting African SMEs to leverage technology to grow their businesses. He later moved to Pera Innovation Network, where he worked as an European Innovation Manager, leading the networking and coordination of leading innovation agencies across Europe.

According to Bosun in an interview with Punch some years back, his passion is not necessarily in mentoring entrepreneurs, but in finding ways to make technology work for the society in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.

Speaking on this, he said, “That is why I have decided to do what I do, which is to find ways in which technology can be useful and one of those would be to find smart people. If my interest is in building technology solutions, obviously, I have to find smart and creative people that will build those solutions. So, find them, support them, invest in them and expose them to people who can help make their ventures grow