The 5 Most Popular Fintech Startups in South Africa 2021

The 5 Most Popular Fintech Startups in South Africa 2021

by 20 December 2021

South Africa is one of the top hubs for fintech, with several fintech startups in South Africa dominating headlines in 2021.

The country, known for its “clearly defined startup ecosystem with multiple players across capabilities,” sees a relatively high fintech penetration rate in Africa. For instance, a third of Johannesburg’s startups come from the fintech sector, while 94% of the population has regular access to the internet, and 67% have a bank account.

Digital payments and alternative financing are some of the hottest fintech sectors in South Africa right now. Digital payments in South Africa are expected to reach US$10.8 billion this year, becoming the country’s largest fintech sector by value. Next year, meanwhile, the revenues from the alternative financing segment is expected to grow 234.1%.

Fintech startups in South Africa also made waves by bagging some of the biggest funding rounds seen across the African continent’s fintech space. As this African fintech hub continues to grow, here are five fintech startups in South Africa that grabbed eyeballs.

Fintech Startups in South Africa 2021

Tyme Bank

Tyme was started in South Africa as a domestic digital remittance service provider, and has evolved into a challenger bank. The company is now headquartered in Singapore, with a presence in the Philippines and Vietnam as well. Tyme was founded in 2012 and is majority owned by Mauritius-based African Rainbow Capital (ARC).

Tyme is one of Africa’s biggest and most well known digital banks. This year, it closed a US$180 million Series B round that it raised across two tranches. The first tranche of US$110 million was raised in February, following which the company raised an additional US$70 million just this month.

TradeDepot

TradeDepot is a B2B ecommerce and embedded finance platform headquartered in Nigeria, but with a presence in Ghana and South Africa as well. The company supports SMEs in the distribution of food, beverages and personal care products, and provides an SME-focused buy now pay later service as well.

This month, TradeDepot raised US$110 million in a Series B equity and debt funding round led by the International Finance Corporation. Arcadia Funds provided the debt facility. The company reported that it had grown to 100,000 merchants, with gross market value multiplying by 5x.

Jumo

Jumo is an AI-based banking-as-a-service platform headquartered in South Africa. The company provides end-to-end banking infrastructure solutions, including core banking, underwriting, KYC, fraud detection, and AI-powered data capabilities to manage lending cost and risk. Apart from a presence in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Côte d’Ivoire, Jumo also has a footprint in Pakistan.

Jumo has disbursed a total of 120 million loans valued at US$3.5 billion, to over 18 million consumers and small businesses in its markets. The company is looking to increase its annual lending volume to US$40 billion in 2022. It raised US$120 million from new and existing backers in November this year to scale its platform.

Yoco

Yoco is a South Africa-based open commerce B2B payment solution provider focused on small business. Its offerings include online and in-store payments, business software and cash advances. The company raised US$83 million in a Series C funding round, the largest investment to have been raised by a South Africa-based small business payments platform.

Yoco is looking to reach one million customers over the next four years. The company processes over US$1 billion in card payments each year, and its services are available to more than 150,000 small businesses in South Africa.

Ozow

Ozow is a South African online payments solution provider for merchants and consumers across South Africa. The company provides a bank account-linked payments solution that works across different channels of payment, including QR codes, point of sale, ecommerce and e-billing. The company’s clients include companies such as MTN, Vodacom and Uber.

Since its Series A round 2019, Ozow has grown 100% year-on-year, with transaction volumes crossing US$100 million on a monthly basis. The company raised US$48 million in a Series B round that took place in November this year.

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