Your Weekly Africa Fintech News Digest 30.Aug- 6.Septby Fintechnews Africa 6 September 2021
In last week’s Africa fintech news, Australian BNPL firm Zip broadened its global expansion plans with the acquisition of South African BNPL startup Payflex. Zip already owned 25% of Payflex from a deal six months ago (TechCrunch).
Zip snapped up the 2018-founded fintech startup for an undisclosed amount, adding it to a list of acquisitions the company has made this year so far. This includes the UAE’s Spotii, QuadPay in the US, and Twisto from the Czech Republic.
The acquisition spree this year tops up what Zip managing director and CEO Larry Diamond said was a “truly transformational” 2020 for Zip (Disrupt Africa). The company processed US$5.8 billion in total transaction volume last year, closing with 7.3 million customers and 51,000 merchants across the world.
Africa-focused pawaPay fetches US$9 million
In other news last week, Africa-focused payments company pawaPay raised US$9 million in a seed round (Fintech News). The round was led by China’s MSA Capital and UK-based 88mph led the round.
What’s special about the startup is that its unified API brings together Africa’s fragmented mobile money infrastructures, largely dominated by telecoms companies in the continent. Merchants will be able to tap into these mobile money systems all in one place through pawaPay’s solution. pawaPay has a presence in 10 African countries so far, and is based out of London.
Other Africa fintech news highlights
In more good news for local fintech players in Africa, early-stage African-focused tech fund LoftyInc Capital Management launched its LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund 3. The US$10 million fund is aimed at seed-to-Series A tech companies, and has already made 25 investments, including in fintech firms.
Elsewhere in last week’s Africa fintech news, Y Combinator’s Summer batch this year featured the largest cohort of African startups ever funded by Y Combinator (TechCrunch).
Fintech startups that made the cut include Egyptian insurtech startup Amenli, Kenyan neobank Fingo, South Africa’s on-demand wage platform FloatPays, and Nigerian digital bank for migrants Lemonade Finance. It also featured SME lending platform from Nigeria Payhippo, and Zambian card issuing API provider Union54.
Crypto in Nigeria also made the headlines in last week’s Africa fintech news. Blockchain and DLT company Bitt won the bidding to become the technical partner for Nigeria’s eNaria central bank digital currency project (Finextra). The Central Bank of Nigeria has been working on the project, dubbed Project Giant, since 2017.
Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also set up a fintech division to study crypto investments and products from a regulatory standpoint (Nasdaq). Once crypto is allowed into the country’s banking system, regulations are likely to soon follow, according to SEC Director General Lamido Yuguda.
That wraps up this week’s Africa fintech news digest. Remember to subscribe to the Fintech News Africa newsletter for more top updates on African fintech.