Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review – April 27, 2024

April 27th, 2024
Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review

What’s inside?

• Digital taxes spread across Africa, hurting fintechs
• Bolt is helping finance electric motorbikes in Kenya with M-KOPA’s help
• Equity Bank pursues hackers who stole $2.1M USD
• AgriInsurTech startup, Pula raises $20M USD 

Making the news

Bolt drivers in Kenya to finance Ampersand and Roam e-bikes through new partnership with M-KOPA
“Bolt has assured its riders that the partnership with M-KOPA, Roam, and Ampersand will significantly reduce the cost of owning an electric motorbike by 40% compared to a fuel-powered motorcycle… Bolt has made the decision to subsidize the ownership of electric motorcycles, hoping to streamline their transition from fuel-powered vehicles with little cost on riders’ incomes and company’s profit goals.” The Kenyan Wall Street.

Digital tax wave spreads across Africa 
“Out of the 54 countries in Africa, 21 have already enacted the rules for non-resident suppliers to account for value added taxes or the goods and sales tax on electronically supplied services with five more countries (Botswana, Ethiopia, Mali, Republic of Congo and Rwanda) in the pipeline. Some countries have also introduced a Digital Services Tax (DST) or a similar levy on the gross revenues derived by digital platforms and service providers from certain activities or transitions in their jurisdictions.” The Kenyan Wall Street

Kenyan Parliament passes historic EU free trade deal 
“The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will give Kenyan traders duty-free and quota-free access to the $13.9 trillion European market. According to the EU, total trade with Kenya reached $3.5 billion in 2022, representing a 27% jump from 2018… Under the terms of that deal, Kenya will gradually lower duty on imports from the EU within the next 25 years and incentivise European companies to set up in the country.” Techcabal

Banking & Telecom Activity

  • Equity Bank pursues fraudsters in $2.1M USD malware attack in Kenya, Equity employees implicated 
  • Nigerian Naira depreciates over a third in 2 weeks in the US dollar index, market forces cited as causing the significant decline 
  • Campaign against Kenya’s controversial 20% excise tax on digital lenders gains speed ahead of Finance Bill 2024’s draft publishing on April 30th
  • Airtel Nigeria increases market share to 29% in March 2024, adding 1.5M new subscribers in Q1 2024 


Startup Activity

 Egypt – Fintech startup, Bokra, raises $4.6M USD pre-seed round to help the startup launch its mobile app across the MENA region 
 Egypt – Fintech startup, Waffarha, secures 7-figure seed round to build out the company’s tech stack, expand to Saudi Arabia, and hire additional team members 
 Kenya – AgriInsurTech startup, Pula, raises $20M USD Series B funding round from BlueOrchard, IFC, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 
 Mozambique – Fintech startup, Roscas, raises funding from Renew Capital to enhance its services and broaden its impact 
 Nigeria – RetailTech startup, OmniRetail, begins Series A funding round with commitment from Goodwell Investments 
 USA – B2B marketplace, The Folklore, raises $3.4M USD to strengthen the company’s eCommerce model 

Investor Activity

  • TLcom Capital closes 2nd fund at $154M USD to support early-stage startups with notable investors including the European Investment Bank (EIB) 
  • Spark + General Partner announces the 2nd and 3rd closings of its Spark+ Africa Fund with $64M USD 

Other tech news…

  • National Basketball Association Africa (NBA) launches accelerator program for startups in event management, digital marketing, and youth development

Featured Read

The next chptr – Tesh Mbaabu 
“We’ve always known that building a high-growth startup would be hard. However, we believe that entrepreneurship is a person’s fate because, from the day you start, you’re more likely to fail than to succeed. Our ecosystem is still very young, and we need more failures, not less, because that’s how we learn, grow and emerge stronger. Failing means we are pushing the limits and learning lessons that help us discover what truly works in the African context.” Continue reading

2024 Startup Funding to Date – WeeTracker

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Partners in the news

Post-CEO exit, Cellulant appoints new leaders, shifts focus on profitability
“While Peter O’Toole, the company’s former CFO, remains acting CEO, Andy O’Sullivan, who co-founded Innovate Payments, is Cellulant’s new CTO. He replaces George Murage, who has now moved to Pesalink. Gbenga Haastrup is the new executive consultant for governance, risk, and compliance. Haastrup held executive leadership positions at UMBA, Interswitch, UBA and Standard Chartered Bank.” Techcabal

Corporate shakeup at Flutterwave Key to Going Public, CEO says 
“The company’s focus on bolstering its leadership team with seasoned executives is part of its commitment to navigating regulatory landscapes and building investor confidence, the CEO reiterated.  Several new executives, including former executives at Stripe, PayPal and American Express, joined Flutterwave late last year one month after the exit of at least four executives.” WeeTracker

Baobab Network acquires marketing company to boost the support it provides to its portfolio 
“Baobab Network, an early-stage investor that backs startups across Africa, has announced the acquisition of Reflector Marketing, a strategy and branding agency headquartered in South Africa.” Learn more

AFTS in the headlines

Thank you to all of participants of the AFTSDC IMF/World Bank side event in Washington DC on April 17th! 

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