Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review – November 18, 2023

November 18th, 2023
Africa’s Weekly Fintech Review

What’s inside?

• Paystack reduces headcount
• Tingo gets slapped with SEC suspension
• SA’s Pineapple rakes in $22M USD
• A week full of license announcements

Making the news

Jumia records lowest loss since IPO and GMV growth across five markets 
“In Q3 2023, Jumia reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $15 million, marking the lowest since its IPO in 2019 and a substantial decrease of $32 million compared to Q3 2022. This represents a 67% year-over-year decline and a 70% reduction on a constant currency basis. Year-to-date, the adjusted EBITDA loss stands at $61 million, down by 61% from the first nine months of 2022.” TechCrunch

Paystack reduces ‘outside of Africa’ operations, removing 33 roles in the UAE & Europe 
“African payments company Paystack has reduced its operations outside of Africa, trimming its workforce in Europe and Dubai. This decision comes as part of a streamlining effort, particularly in markets where the company had previously hired technical roles to support its primary operations in Africa.” TechCrunch

US-listed, Nigerian agri-fintech platform, Tingo, receives trading suspension 
“The United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the temporary suspension of trading in the securities of Tingo Group, Inc, effective immediately and in effect until at least November 28, citing misgivings about the financial statements and other information disclosed by the company.” WeeTracker

Zambia to open smartphone factory by June 2024 – announced at AFTSLusaka 
“Mutati further added that access to smartphones would boost the reach of fintech startups in the country as the devices are enablers of access to fintech services provided by the startups. In another effort to boost connectivity, Mutati also stated that the government plans to construct over 100 community digital centers nationwide.” TechCabal.

Banking & Telecom Activity

  • Safaricom witnessed increasing half-year profit in part thanks to M-PESA – contributing 42.1% of the telco’s revenue
  • 10 counties in Kenya testing green bonds as an option to increase local revenue in project spearheaded by FSD Africa, Nairobi Securities Exchange, CME, etc. 

Startup Activity

 Egypt – SaaS eCommerce startup, Awfar, raises undisclosed 6-figure funding to drive its expansion in the country 
 Nigeria – Online grocery store, Pricepally, raises $1.3M USD seed round to expand in Nigeria and re-introduce its group buying functionality
 Nigeria – B2B auto dealer marketplace, Shekel Mobility, raises $7M USD hybrid debt-equity round co-led by Ventures Platform and MaC Venture Capital
 Rwanda – Fintech startup, NALA, receives PSP license from Rwandan Central Bank to enable users to make international payments to the East African country 
 South Africa – InsurTech startup, Pineapple, raises $22M USD Series B funding round – making it the most capitalized InsurTech in Africa 
 South Africa – Real estate investment company, Neighbourgood, acquires TravelTech startup, Local Knowledge, in $1.5M USD deal
 Togo – Super app, Gozem, acquires Benin’s Moneex to help drive its expansion of financial service offerings in various markets 
 Tunisia – Fintech startup, My Easy Transfer, raises $420K USD to help power its growth and expand its offering

Investor Activity

  • Norrsken22‘s debut growth-stage fund closes with $205M USD, surpassings its original target size
  • InDrive launches $100M USD venture and M&A arm to invest in emerging markets in an effort to help diversify revenue streams 

Featured Article

How regulation and consumer behavior drives fintech growth in Africa – David Adeleke in Rest of World
“Each market has unique regulatory dynamics and changing consumer behavior that favors certain local payment methods over others. For example, in Kenya, mobile money emerged as the dominant payment method because the government allowed telcos to offer financial services. Yet, in Nigeria, this model didn’t take off.” Continue reading on Rest of World

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AFTS partners in the news

Flutterwave cleared in Kenya + new license to operate in Malawi
“[A]n anti-corruption court in Nairobi allowed the withdrawal of money laundering and fraud charges in a case filed by the Assets Recovery Authority (ARA) a year ago… [Meanwhile in Malawi] The International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) license was granted in October, and will enable the payments company to process remittances from Malawians and other Africans sending money back home. “
Read more about it in The Kenyan Wall Street

Cellulant obtains approval to expand in Egypt 
“Fintech company Cellulant has obtained initial approval to operate as a Payment Service Provider and Payment Facilitator in Egypt.”
Read more about it in The Kenyan Wall Street

Yellow Card launches Africa’s first PayPal USD (PYUSD) Stablecoin 
“PYUSD’s availability on Yellow Card means customers can smoothly transfer funds to and from the US. This is because PayPal and Venmo users in the US can accept PYUSD and exchange for the dollar. Essentially, it removes longer processes while providing security, stability, speed – while still being cost effective and less expensive.” Read more about it in Tech Africa News

AFTS in the headlines

AFTS’ Andrew Barden sits down with Chilekwa Banda, Chairperson of the Association of Digital Finance Practitioners (ADFP) in Zambia. 

Zambia’s Save&Remit wins top prize at AFTS’ AlphaExpo Pitch Competition in Lusaka
“Zambian fintech startup Save&Remit won the Alpha Expo pitch competition at the Africa Fintech Summit in Lusaka, Zambia. The company won a $2,500 cash prize, beating out 14 other startups.”
Read more about in in TechCabal

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