The Fintech industry in Africa keeps growing

The African technology market is an ever-expanding industry. The implementation of new technologies from other regions in the world is accelerating the development of innovations in the African continent who’s shifting from traditional activities to the new wave of the Digital Revolution.

Only in 2020, African startups raised up to 1 billion dollars in funding which was a record. Out of the billion of funding, 700 million dollars belonging to technological startups. One of the main reasons for the growth of tech startups in Africa is the establishment of multiple tech hubs in the region. According to qz.com the number of tech hubs in Africa grew by 50% in 2019. Nigeria and South Africa are the leading countries in terms of tech hubs with 85 and 80 hubs respectively.

One of the main industries in terms of dynamism and weight in the startup ecosystem is the Fintech industry. The word “Fintech” comes from the combination of the words “financial technology” and it’s defined as all the services that look to boost the automatization of financial processes in companies and consumers. This can work in any given industry such as health, education, banking, or investment among the most popular.

To best illustrate the activity of Fintech a good example would be the proliferation of online banking companies. Online banking becomes very popular as, without the fixed costs of opening physical branches, costs are reduced drastically. Thanks to this, online banks can offer their clients free accounts, meaning no fees are charged for the management of their savings or the use of credit cards.

One great example of a successful African online bank is Kuda Bank. The Nigerian-based company managed to obtain a 10-million-dollar seed round in 2020 and the growth since then has been exponential. Babs Ogundeyi, the company’s co-founder and CEO has not only managed to improve the life of customers but now is also fostering policies inside his company to promote the recruitment of women employees in order to bridge the gender gap in the tech industry, an issue which is recurrent in the whole world and not only in Africa.

In relation to financial services, mobile-based payments are also becoming very popular in Africa. Services such as PayPal (founded by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla) have become a global phenomenon thanks to the rapid rise of the internet and online marketplaces.

The application of mobile-based payments has now turned essential for the business models of many internet platforms such as online casinos like the ones listed in Casinos.co.za. This platform has a list of casinos in South Africa that have integrated different payment methods such as Neteller, PaybyPhone, and even thru cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Customers get to gamble in sites that offer games from the world’s leading slots producers like Playtech or NetEnt and the possibility of paying straight from a mobile device is one of the main reasons for the growth of this industry.

Right now, one of the fastest-growing payment platforms created in Africa is Flutterwave. Present in 12 African countries including Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon and even counts with international presence in the United Kingdom.

Flutterwave defines itself as a payment facilitator company. It accepts more than 150 different currencies and has taken its activity to the next level by issuing payment cards, payment links for external customers, and even an online store for companies to upload their goods and services. They’ve processed more than 100 million transactions valued at 5 billion dollars and in 2020 they secured an investment round worth 35 million dollars. The expansion of their capital means that they’re now valued at over 1 billion dollars making this company one of the very few “Unicorns” in the whole African continent as per Antler.co.

Other industries such as the health industry is experimenting the rise of startups like Medsaf, a service that helps pharmaceutical suppliers connect with hospitals and pharmacies or Hellium Health which delivers medical services and is present in several countries in Africa. Both companies raised 3.5 million and 10 million dollars respectively in 2020 only.

Global investors are aware of the tech startup landscape in Africa and the investments will surely continue to grow in the next couple of years, meaning that countries will have new ways of developing their economies and hope for a positive and permanent impact in the long term.

Source: techjaja.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.