Fintech is currently the most popular in the African startup ecosystem. It attracts a significant portion of VC investments, encouraging tech entrepreneurs to unleash their creativity. 

Fintra is a fintech solution launched, this year, by Senegalese start-up Orya Technologies. It helps employees face urgent needs by allowing them access to salary advances (up to 20% of salaries at a 6% interest rate) repayable within two weeks.  

The fintech solution -which aims to help employees serenely go by their usual duties while waiting for the next payday- was developed as an answer to the challenges faced by employees when they exhaust their earnings before payday.  Instead of wasting their time on paperwork all in a bid to collect bank loans repayable with a 12% interest, or turning to usurers, workers can simply apply for Fintra loans. 

According to Oumar Diallo, founder, and CEO of Orya Technologies, loan requests are processed automatically but the startup keeps check to avoid disrupting companies’ finances.  

Currently, the platform is in its beta phase. The phase, launched on September 15, 2022, is expected to be completed within two months. For the time being, the loans can be requested only by employees whose employers are enrolled in the program. For Oumar Diallo, the loan process is simple. Once participating companies set up accounts for each of their employees, those employees can request salary advances -via a mobile app- starting from the 15th of every month and receive the advances in their mobile wallets within one hour. 

With Fintra, Orya Technologies targets an about XOF350 billion (US$520 million) market of 350 thousand workers (per company figures) in Senegal. It also targets the West African region and its four million former workers. To reach its goals, it bets on its main investor, Compagnie Générale sénégalaise d’ingénierie et d’investissement.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

In Africa, money transfers are sometimes quite expensive, therefore impairing financial inclusion. To address the various reasons, a number of local startups are devising adapted solutions. 

Eversend is a fintech solution developed by an eponymous Ugandan startup founded in 2017. It allows users -both individuals and businesses- to make affordable “borderless” money transfers. 

“Eversend aims to be a solution to the “massive currency devaluation, high-interest rates, predatory pricing of up to 15 percent in hidden forex fees, inadequate payments infrastructure, and mediocre digital banking experiences,” says Stone Atwine, co-founder of the startup which went live in 2019. 

To successfully carry out its mission, the fintech solution has a mobile app (accessible on Android and iOS devices). The services accessible on the mobile app include money transfer, currency exchange, virtual debit cards, or stock trading. Its stock trading feature allows access to US stocks from the Eversend interface. It also allows businesses to make multi-currency payments. 

Currently, Eversend claims more than 350,000 happy clients. According to Stone Atwine, the volume of transfers it processed rose to US$230 million, up from US$5 million in 2020 and US$800,000  in 2019. 

We hit our goal of sustainability last year, and we are entering our growth and expansion phase in 2022,” the co-founder said. 

The Ugandan startup is among the 60 beneficiaries of the second cohort of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, which entitles participants to a slice of US$4 million in financial support. The startup is already operational in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Ghana. It also plans to scale in French-speaking Africa, Europe, and the USA. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions
mercredi, 28 septembre 2022 15:58

Nigeria: myStash automatizes the savings process

In Africa, the volume of funds attracted by fintech startups is growing rapidly. Those startups come up with alternative solutions to address some of the pressing challenges faced by businesses and individuals.

myStash is a fintech solution developed by an eponymous Nigerian startup, founded in 2021. It automatizes the savings process, allowing users to save a preset percentage of their earnings and expenses.

Through its web and mobile apps (the mobile app is available for Android and iPhone users), users can manage their finances and set the percentage of expenses and earnings to save. To do that, they must first register by providing personal information, then link their bank cards to their myStash accounts. 

The startup assures that the process is secure and it has no access to sensitive information. On its website, it claims that it has helped over 25,000 customers and hundreds of businesses “make better money moves by helping them save bit by bit in Naira or Dollars.”  

The startup also offers a 5-12% interest on the amounts saved. In addition, it enables users to receive part of their salaries in US dollars. Its services are free. This year, it is among the 43 African startups selected for the Social and Business Camp sponsored by the French Development Agency to help startups get themselves known to potential investors for their growth. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

In Africa, access to some financial services is always challenging. However, with new technologies, entrepreneurs are stepping in to offer interesting alternatives.  

Chapa is a fintech solution developed by Ethiopian startup Chapa Financial Technologies S.C, founded in 2020.  It provides an API gateway enabling Ethiopian businesses and organizations to accept online payments and receive the payments directly in their local bank accounts within 24 hours. 

“Chapa’s mission is to empower Ethiopian entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive in the global economy. This launch formally establishes our entry into Ethiopia’s financial sector, and we look forward to expanding our fingerprint on the development of the digital ecosystem across East Africa in phase two, and the rest of Africa in phase three,” says Chapa Financial’s co-founder and CEO, Nael Hailemariam (photo, left). 

To access its services, businesses or organizations have to create accounts by providing the usual information line: name surname, business name, etc. Chapa collects 3.5% of every national transaction processed and 1% of the international ones. Its clients pay nothing for API integration or maintenance. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

African tech entrepreneurs are developing solutions to ease daily business tasks. In Kenya, a fintech solution has been developed to help merchants operating in the informal sector with their bookkeeping tasks. 

Leja is a fintech solution developed by Kenyan startup Asilimia. It allows merchants operating in the informal sector to record their cash inflows and outflows. 

I use it to write down my statements. Sometimes my supplier calls me to find out how much products he sold me two or three weeks ago. Thanks to Asilimia, it's easy, I go to the app and I find the transaction. [...]  Before, I had to write everything down in a notebook, but it's easy to lose it. While these readings are important, it allows me to see at the end of each month whether I am selling at a loss or making a profit,” indicated Judy Achieng, a Leja user. 

The solution has an Android app that allows merchants to record their transactions. Leja integrates M-Pesa, the popular mobile money wallet in Kenya.  Asilimia also plans to add other mobile money providers as well as banks to enable merchants to collect payments. 

To use the Leja app, merchants must create an account by filling some personal information. The process is crucial because merchants can access microloans through Leja as microfinance institutions and banks can monitor the evolution of users’ businesses.

In Kenya, Asilimia claims more than 50,000 people are using Leja. It also plans to roll out a USSD Code to enable access to its services for rural populations. 

Its services cost US$3.5 monthly. Since its creation in 2017, it has raised nearly US$2.5 million to support its development.  This year, it is one of the startups selected for the second cohort of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund for Africa.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The partnership between the two companies addresses several issues, including transparency problems. It also helps avoid the long bank queues.  

Orange Money and pan-African payment company Cellulant recently partnered to launch card-to-wallet transfers for eight banks in Botswana. 

According to a release published by Cellulant last Monday, the solution baptized Orange Money Card-To-Wallet will positively impact growth in the informal and financial services sectors. 

The introduction of Card-To-Wallet aligns with our financial inclusion strategy that is centered around providing relevant and convenient solutions that address our customers’ everyday needs, as well as addressing our priorities around placing our customers first,” said Seabelo Pilane, CEO of Orange Money Botswana.  

For  Bathusi Beleme, Cellulant's Country Manager in Botswana, the partnership is in line with the payment company’s strategy to extend its services to “merchants in Botswana to help them digitize their payments.”

The service is already accessible to banked Orange Botswana subscribers. It will allow them to transfer funds from their bank cards to Orange Money wallets via Orange Botswana’s website. The process is powered by Tingg, Cellulant's payment platform. 

The sender will need only a registered Orange SIM card while the recipient will need an Orange Money account. Although most banks in Botswana have mobile apps, some do not yet offer this option to their customers. This solution, therefore, offers bank customers more options and allows them to transfer money easily and transparently, saving a lot of time.

 In its 2021 report, "The State of Instant Payments in Africa: Progress and Prospects," independent organization AfricaNenda says that, in Africa, 27.5 billion transactions were made by mobile payment accounts in 2020. The overall transaction value was US$495 billion. Year-on-year, the transaction number rose by 15% while the value increased by 23%.

Samira Njoya

Published in News

Sending funds home has always proven difficult for the African diaspora. To address the situation, a Senegelase startup is offering an interesting alternative to the already existing means. 

Cauri Money is a fintech solution developed by an eponymous Senegalese startup, founded in 2021. It allows users, the African diaspora notably, to transfer funds at affordable rates. 

The solution has a mobile app, which allows Android and iOS users to access its services. Before accessing its services, users must first register accounts by providing a set of personal data. 

After the usual checks, they can start making international transfers through the solution, whose customer support is accessible to even those who speak local languages. In partnership with Paynetics AD, a Bulgaria-based banking platform provider specializing in B2B payments, Cauri Money can create payment accounts and provide MasterCard bank cards to its customers.

In 2020, the startup stated its ambition to reach over ten thousand users by the end of 2021. However, it is still struggling to build a significant user base and, according to Playstore data, its Android app has been downloaded by just over 100 users, as of publication date.  The startup nevertheless eyes markets like Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria. To support its growth, it has raised some US$350,000 since its inception. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

In recent years, African tech entrepreneurs have developed several digital tools to help businesses reach their full potential. This is the case of Kenyan startup Boya which has developed an interesting solution that helps businesses track employee expenditures. 

Boya is a fintech solution developed by a Kenyan firm Boya Inc. It allows businesses to issue Visa expense cards and track the expenditures made from those cards via its web and mobile (Android and iOS) apps. 

In addition to giving businesses a real-time overview of employee spending and allowing them to quickly activate or deactivate expense cards, the fintech solution offers instant overdraft when needed. The overdraft limit increases proportionally to the transactions made by requesters through Boya. 

To quickly address client issues, Boya  Inc, which was founded in 2019, has a 24/7 support service for Boya users. 

Let’s note that the Kenyan startup has been selected to participate in the 2022 Winter cohort of Californian accelerator Y Combinator. The program is an opportunity for Boya to find additional capital besides the financing it will receive from Y Combinator.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

The fintech, which developed the solution wants to help Sudanese users manage the growing devaluation of their local currency. Its ambition is to expand in East Africa, a market of about 500 million individuals. 

Bloom is a fintech solution developed by a Kenyan eponymous startup. It helps users save in US dollars and spend Sudanese pounds. The started behind the innovation was founded in 2021 by Ahmed Ismail, Youcef Oudjidane, Khalid Keenan, and Abdigani Diriye. In July 2022, it completed a US$6.5 million funding round to support its growth. 

According to Ahmed Ismail, “the plan is to scale in the country and then expand to other markets. We anticipate being in at least one market before the end of the year and a couple more early next year.” Bloom’s ambition is to help Sudanese manage the rapid devaluation of the Sudanese pound.  

The fintech has a mobile app, which can be downloaded from AppStore, PlayStore, or its web platform. Users can create free accounts by registering with their phone numbers to start saving. "Banking services are provided by the Export Development Bank, which is licensed by the Central Bank of Sudan and is a member of the Bank Deposit Security Fund of the Central Bank of Sudan," the fintech indicates. 

Bloom claims more than 100,000 users. It has strategic partnerships with the likes of Visa, which invested in its funding round for regional expansion. In March 2022, the fintech was selected to participate in the Winter 2022 cohort of the Californian accelerator Y Combinator.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

From taking the risk of leaving a successful career at Coca-Cola for entrepreneurship to founding two successful fintech startups and selling one in an acclaimed deal, Hilda Moraa knows what it takes and how to achieve it. Some 12 years ago, after a few years of professional career, she decided to venture into entrepreneurship. Her two ventures were successful and she wants to help other Africans succeed by removing the main challenge that usually limits their efficiency: funding. 

Kenyan entrepreneur Hilda Moraa is the founder of Pezesha, a fintech founded in 2016 to facilitate access to financial support for African SMEs. According to Moraa, financial aid helps SMEs improve their efficiency. That is why she launched her fintech, which connects fund seekers with investors (banks and financial institutions notably) through a digital financial marketplace. 

By resolving the issue of small and medium enterprises securing working capital and gaining a credit score, I believe we can equip business owners with assets so they can compete and trade on a national scale,” she told Google in Africa in March 2022. 

In 2021, she was among the fifty recipients of Google’s Black Founders Fund Africa. Two years earlier, she was among the participants of the Obama Foundation’s Leaders program. This enhanced the leadership and innovation skills she acquired in the course of her professional and entrepreneurship career. Indeed, ten years earlier, in 2011, she founded WezaTele, a startup that uses data analytics to help last-mile businesses grow and scale their businesses. She remained the CEO of WezaTele till its acquisition by financial services group AFB (now Jumo World) in 2015.  

The same year, she published her book, A Kenyan Startup Journey,  sharing the key lessons she learned as the founder and CEO of WezaTele. In 2016, in recognition of her actions in favor of entrepreneurship, she was selected on The Guardian’s list of Africa’s top 10 pioneers, and Business Daily’s top 40 women that celebrate women who thrive in the tech sector. She also made it to Quartz Africa’s list of the top 30 African innovators. In 2019, she also received the DFS Lab’s Female Focused Fintech Prize. 

The tech entrepreneur started her professional career in 2008 when she joined the IT company Techbiz as an IT intern in asset management and ERP implementation. The same year, she became coordinator of the Strathmore University computer lab. Then, in 2009, she was recruited, as a database analyst and innovation implementer, by Coca-Cola Kenya.

In 2011, Hilda Moraa became an innovation strategist and senior ICT researcher at iHub Nairobi. From 2017 to 2021, she was a board member of Station F, a startup campus based in Paris. Concurrently, in 2020, she served on Kenya's Covid-19 ICT and Innovations Advisory Committee established by the Ministry of ICT, Innovation, and Youth.

In June 2022, she was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the Konza Technopolis Development Authority, whose mission is the development of a sustainable smart city and innovation ecosystem in Kenya.

Melchior Koba

Published in TECH STARS
Page 6 sur 10

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.