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.

African agri-tech grows by 110%, gets more than $19m investment in 2 years

African agri-tech grows by 110%, gets more than $19m investment in 2 years

African agri-tech grows by 110%, gets more than $19m investment in 2 years
African agri-tech grows by 110%, gets more than $19m investment in 2 years


Investments in agriculture technology in Africa have seen $19-million invested in the past two years, with a new report showing agri-tech startups have grown 110% in the period.

There are 82 agri-tech startups operating across the continent at the start of this year, 52% of which started in the last 24 months, according to the Agrinnovating for Africa: Exploring the African Agri-Tech Startup Ecosystem Report 2018 report by Disrupt Africa.

Kenya and Nigeria both lead the agri-tech markets, followed by Ghana, and collectively account for over 60% active startups in the sector.

Although the report tracks annual startup activity in the agri-tech space since 2010, the authors say it began to boom in 2016, after which 43 new ventures were launched.

“The research shows that while Kenya was the early pioneer of the African agri-tech sector, accelerating interest in West Africa over the past two years means this region now dominates the market; and is home to two of the top three agri-tech ecosystems on the continent,” Disrupt Africa co-founder Tom Jackson said in a statement. ““Everyone knows how important the agricultural sector is across Africa, but until very recently it remained relatively untouched by tech innovators. That is suddenly changing as entrepreneurs and investors realize the scale of the challenges facing farmers, and spot opportunities to reach huge addressable markets.”


Fundraising grew 121% from 2016 to in 2017 alone.

“The scope for innovation in the agricultural sphere is vast – a refreshed take on the sector could unlock huge value for the whole of Africa,” says Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Nairobi-based Disrupt Africa. “Behind the scenes, there has been formidable acceleration in the agri-tech market recently, and it is one of the most interesting spaces to watch in Africa today.”.

Startups serving as eCommerce platforms to the industry have the largest share, accounting for 32.9% of total startups in the space. Other popular sub-sectors of the agri-tech space include information and knowledge sharing, and fintech solutions to farmers.

PiggyBank.ng, Nigerian Startup to Shake the mainstream in 2018

I have been following PiggyBank since their launch in 2016, and to see them grow aggressively over 2017 is amazing! Reading through the co-founder’s article on medium gave an impressive look into the steady execution and future of the company. I must say, it’s an impressive journey of how a Nigerian startup can be gritty, execution-minded and be awesome!

Product viabilities

Everyone in the world is aware of the need to save, and particularly in Nigeria(maybe Africa), we have Esusu culture of regularly saving money daily, weekly and monthly; most times jointly. I personally participated in joint-saving while in high school and running a small business. If there is any challenge to scale from that model, it’s the fact that, some people default after they have collected the fund contributed by everyone.

With PiggyBank, you are able to safe, put a SafeLock on it, and be sure to get your money when the time comes, say 3months time. The pain you get from the emergence of easy access (e-banking) to your money is the fact that, you can pull out your savings too quickly and as such, not be able to get the value of saving for a significant period.

(By William Iven, Unsplash)

The Accelerators

Till date, PiggyBank has participated in 3 accelerators; Village Capital, PitchDrive and BlackBox, all in 2017. When you look at the pattern of execution, you will see a coordinated, ambitious and lean(viral) approach to how they execute their strategies. I want to believe that their participation in the accelerators shaped greatly, the way they execute.

When you run a startup, getting a helping-hand in thinking through and executing your strategy has a value that can never be underestimated.

The Market

According to the last banking report, there are about 97.57m bank account holders in Nigeria, this is the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for the startup and given that we can assume a 25% Servicable Addressable Market (SAM) from the lot. Remember not all Nigerians with banking account will be ready to save money YET in a startup. This will change over time as their acquisition of a microfinance license could insure customer deposit as well, giving customers more confidence.

The Execution

In 2017, the startup grew 30,000% from 21m savings to close to 1 billion naira just within 12 months? That’s super impressive. According to the CEO, 30% of the money is in SafeLock, meaning customers have a pre-determined time for withdrawal and as a business, they can do investment with the money and make more.

The Future

This year 2018, we see PiggyBank breaking new ground and growing savings by at least 500%. With the acquisition of a microfinance, they will be able to hold money for longer, open a standalone bank account for customers and be able to introduce new products that will push them to the mainstream.

On the funding side, we predict (going by the pattern of startups in Nigeria) a $1.2m series a funding before the end of the year.