Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review – January 13, 2024

January 13th, 2024
Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review

What’s inside?

• US SEC approves Bitcoin ETF’s – big win for crypto universe
• Kenya is the top recipient of VC investment in 2023
• CBN sacks boards of three major lenders following investigation
• Seedstars Africa receives $30M USD from EIB

Making the news

US SEC approves Bitcoin ETF’s – a big win for the crypto universe 
“The U.S. securities regulator on Wednesday approved the first U.S.-listed exchange traded funds (ETFs) to track bitcoin… it approved 11 applications, including from BlackRock (BLK.N), Ark Investments/21Shares (ABTC.S), Fidelity, Invesco (IVZ.N) and VanEck, despite warnings from some officials and investor advocates that the products carried risks.” Reuters

  • The approval provides institutional legitimacy to Bitcoin from the world’s largest financial market regulator
  • Signals potential for future regulation in an industry often hampered by the lack of clear regulation 
  • Strengthening the concept of ‘crypto as an asset class’  

Kenya is the top recipient of VC investment in 2023 
“For some time now, Nigeria has taken a commanding lead in the amount of funds invested in its tech market, however, in 2023, Kenya overtook Nigeria, gaining the highest amount of tech funds on the continent. Additionally, the report shows that for the first time in a while, tech funding across the four markets was distributed relatively equally.” Business Insider Africa

Banking & Telecom Activity


Startup Activity

 Côte d’Ivoire – HealthTech startup, Lapaire, raises $3M USD as the eyecare-focused startup aims to expand its footprint across Africa 
 Egypt – EdTech startup, Orcas, acquired by Baims, a leading Kuwaiti EdTech company expanding its presence across MENA’s thriving education technology sector 
 Egypt – AutoTech startup, FriendlyM, raises $2M USD with plans to use the capital to expand fully across all governates in Egypt 
 Kenya – eCommerce startup, Badili, raises undisclosed seed funding to help the company expand within East Africa 
 Nigeria – Fintech startup, Cleva, raises $1.5M USD pre-seed funding round to expand its mission in making it easier for Africans to open USD-denomenated accounts

Investor Activity

Featured Article

How Africa-focused VCs are turning to secondary markets for liquidity lifelines – Muktar Oladunmade & Abraham Augustine in TechCabal 
“Angel investor syndicates and micro-funds have been the biggest beneficiaries of secondary market transactions. The funding boom of 2021 and 2022 was a boon for these early investors who sold shares in companies they had invested early in to newer (and typically) desperate investors looking to get into “hot” startups.” TechCabal

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AFTS partners in the news

Yellow Card and Coinbase partner to expand access to digital assets in Africa 
“Yellow Card, the largest and only licensed Stablecoin on/off ramp on the African continent, and Coinbase, the leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, have partnered to expand and simplify access to USDC and digital assets in Africa.” Continue reading

AFTS in the headlines

Is fintech the one true ecosystem vertical? African PreSeed Podcast LIVE @ AFTSLusaka
“On the 2nd of November, the African Pre-seed podcast partnered with the Africa FinTech Summit in Lusaka, Zambia, to host the first-ever edition of APS Live, where our host, Hope Ditlhakanyane had Investor at Flourish Ventures, Efayomi Carr, Founder of scale, Miranda Perumal, and Founder and Chairman of Blockchain Association of Kenya (BAK), Michael Kimani on the couch in front of a live audience to discuss whether fintech is indeed the one true vertical within the African tech ecosystem.” Listen to the episode now! 

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