Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review – February 18, 2024

February 18th, 2024
Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review

What’s inside?

• Kenyan Shilling takes wild ride in FX markets 
• Jumia reduces losses by over 90% in Q4 
• Roam raises $24M USD Series A round
• AFTS MD moderates digital transformation panel at AU Meetings

Making the news

Kenya’s Shilling had a wild ride on the foreign exchange market this past week – here’s what experts are saying 
“The extreme volatility in the Kenya shilling exchange rate is not good for business since it is affecting business contracts and product pricing. However, the strengthening of the shilling is welcome for Kenyans since it’s expected to lower import prices. An injection of dollars in the market by the central bank has likely spooked speculators. Now they want to know the central bank’s capacity to keep supporting the shilling.” Continue reading on The Kenyan Wall Street.

Jumia reduces losses by over 90% in Q4 amid focus on restoring order and GMV growth 
“It ended the year with $58.2 million in adjusted EBITDA loss, marking a 68% decrease from 2022, and Q4 concluded with less than $1 million in adjusted losses, a 99% decrease. Jumia’s operating loss decreased by 90% to $4 million that quarter and by 64% to $73 million for the entire year, leading to an improved liquidity position, closing the year with $121 million according to its Q4 2023 and full-year financials.”  Continue reading in TechCrunch

Digital payments company, MDP, appoints Frank Molla as Managing Director of MDP Africa 
“Molla has two decades of experience in the payments industry across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Prior to joining MDP, Molla was Managing Director and Head of sub-Saharan Africa at BPC Banking Technologies. Before that, he drove Mastercard’s business strategy in Eastern Africa.” Continue reading on The Kenyan Wall Street

Banking & Telecom Activity

  • Africa Finance Corporation appoints Emeka Emuwa as Board Chairman after leading Citibank and Union Bank in Nigeria for many years 
  • Commercial Industrial Bank (CIB) Egypt recorded a near $1B USD profit in 2023, up 84% YoY 

Startup Activity

 Kenya – EV startup, Roam, raises $24M USD in Series A debt and equity funding to assist the company in reaching its strategic goals for scale 
 Kenya – Off-grid solar energy company, SunKing, raises $7M USD in debt funding to scale its solutions with its PayGo revenue model 
 Kenya – HealthTech startup, Ilara Health, raises $4.2M USD in funding to scale its operations in its home market and to roll out new B2B service 
 Morocco – Logistics startup, Logidoo, raises $1.55M USD seed funding to help with company’s franchise expansion into 5 new African countries 
 Nigeria – CleanTech startup, Arnergy, raises $3M in bridge round funding to help the company scale within Nigeria as solar begins to become cost-competitive with grid power 
 Nigeria – Mobility fintech startup, Moove, raises $10M USD in new debt funding to help power the company’s expansion into India 
 Tunisia – Team collaboration startup, Cynoia, raises ~$930K USD to power the company’s expansion into Senegal and Ivory Coast in particular 

Investor Activity

Other tech news…

  • Showmax overtakes Netflix as Africa’s top streaming platform with a reported 39% market share 

Featured Article

Herbert Wigwe in tech: From incubating Flutterwave to backing SystemSpecs, BVN – Frank Eleanya in TechCabal 
“Herbert Wigwe was many things to many people, but for many founders and executives in Nigeria’s tech industry, he was a patron, a mentor and a sponsor. The history of companies like Flutterwave, Africa’s most valuable fintech, Unified Payments, and SystemSpecs will not be complete without his pivotal role in their growth.” Continue reading on TechCabal

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Partners in the news

Leatherback set for international growth as EFCC drops all allegations 
“Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.” 

AlphaExpo alumnus, Ilara Health, raises $4.2M USD debt & equity pre-Series A round 
“Ilara Health, a Kenya-based health-tech enabling private clinics to access diagnostic devices and pharmaceutical products, has secured USD 4.2 M debt-equity in a pre-Series A round. The funds will be used to scale operations in the East African country, and to deepen health care access to the masses through the rollout of a B2B health and occupational service that will enable uninsured workers access care at its network of partner clinics for a fixed monthly fee.” Continue reading

AFTS in the headlines

AFTS MD, Zekarias Amsalu, moderates panel during African Union Meetings 
The session focused on Digital Transformation and brought together Professor Landry Singe, Frehiwot Tamiru, Dare Okoudjou, and Solomon Kassa. The panel took place as a side event of the AU Meetings and was opened by Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde. The session addresses the role that digital transformation, AI, tech policy, and innovation have on Agenda 2063. AFTS’ pivotal role in this panel is backed by our undying mission to support innovation and meaningful policy in order that financial inclusion and sustainable economic development can be beneficial to all Africans. 

AFTS’ Andrew Barden participates in launch of TRIFIC SEZ Innovation Hub in Nairobi this past week 
The Two Rivers International Finance & Innovation Centre (TRIFIC) is Kenya’s first ever service-sector Special Economic Zone. TRIFIC’s Innovation Hub provides flexible solutions for a variety of startup sectors while also providing them with substantive tax breaks, registration & licensing assistance, and world-class facilities backed by one of Kenya’s most prolific developers, Centum. Learn more

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