BD Insider: Kuda, Africhange and the scramble for African diaspora money

In today’s midweek update, we look at; Kuda, Africhange and the scramble for African diaspora money, Nala raises $40 Million to fuel expansion in remittance and B2B payments, Niger telecoms strengthens network with 16 new sites

BD Insider: Kuda, Africhange and the scramble for African diaspora money

In today’s midweek update, we look at:

  • Kuda, Africhange and the scramble for African diaspora money
  • Nala raises $40 Million to fuel expansion in remittance and B2B payments
  • Niger telecoms strengthens network with 16 new sites

Kuda, Africhange and the Scramble for African Diaspora Money

Africans in the diaspora often send money back home to support loved ones. But traditional remittance options can be a total drag—slow, expensive, and lacking transparency. This has opened the door for many African fintechs to stake their claim in the remittance market, and Kuda is one of the fintechs joining this space.

The Nigerian digital bank is expanding its global reach by launching a multi-currency digital wallet in Canada. This launch, expected in Q3 2024, comes after Kuda earlier secured a payment license in Canada.

This digital wallet will cater to Canada's large African diaspora, estimated to include over 100,000 Nigerians alone. The Canadian launch follows its initial foray into the UK market in November 2022. Plans are also being made to expand into Tanzania after securing a Tanzanian Payment Service Provider (PSSP) license in March.

Kuda faces growing competition in the remittance space. One of their competitors in Canada, Africhange, has recently launched operations in the UK, further diversifying their service offerings. This expansion hints at Africhange's ambitious plans, with Ghana and Kenya slated to join their network before the end of 2024.

Zoom Out: Kuda and Africhange are not alone in this space. Several African fintech companies are increasingly targeting the remittance market, offering competitive services to traditional money transfer operators like WorldRemit and Remitly.

Nala raises $40 Million to Fuel Expansion in Remittance and B2B Payments

Photo Credit: Nala

Nala, a Tanzanian fintech company, has secured a massive $40 million in Series A funding, etching its name as one of the continent's largest recipients of such investment. This funding is rocket fuel for Nala's ambitious mission to revamp remittance services and establish itself as a dominant force in B2B payments.

Nala's consumer app currently allows money transfers across a vast network, reaching 249 banks and 26 mobile money services in 11 African markets. It also integrated with Kenya's popular M-Pesa, enabling users to pay bills directly into local mobile wallets. Now, the fintech plans on scaling its offerings to serve the Asian and Latin American markets.

But Nala isn't just focused on individuals. Their B2B platform, Rafiki, which they launched in March, aims to streamline international transactions by directly integrating with banks and mobile money providers. With Rafiki, Nala hopes to eliminate the delays and frustrations often associated with cross-border payments, boosting efficiency for businesses of all sizes. “We’re reinvesting this money to enhance our infrastructure, ensuring reliable, low-cost payments for all,” said Benjamin Fernandes, CEO of Nala.

Nala isn't just throwing money at technology; it's also recruiting top talent. Their recent recruitment of ex-Wise staffer Andrei Klevtsov and ex-Currency Cloud executives Will Staples and Jan Philippaerts bolsters their ability to serve global businesses effectively and navigate the complexities of the global financial landscape.

Rewind: Nala raised $10 million in 2022 to aid its pivot from local to international money transfers.

Niger Telecoms Strengthens Network with 16 New Sites

Photo Credit: Niger Telecoms

Niger's national telecommunications provider, Niger Telecoms, is making significant strides towards improving mobile network connectivity across the country. Their recent completion of 16 new telecom sites in the Maradi region marks a crucial step in this national network expansion program.

Why it matters: This initiative prioritises connecting remote, underserved areas. Currently, only 38.2% of Niger's territory has access to telecom coverage, leaving many rural communities without mobile phone service.

The project is being rolled out in phases. The first phase focused on building the physical infrastructure, including pylons, solar power systems, and security fencing for the new sites. The current phase involves setting up and configuring communication equipment to ensure these sites become operational as soon as possible and start serving local communities.

Zoom In: Niger Telecoms' commitment to national connectivity aligns with the government's broader plan to connect 1.4 million people living in 2,111 communities to mobile and internet services over the next six years. This network expansion also holds strategic importance for Niger Telecoms itself. As the fourth-largest mobile network operator in the country with a 6% market share, these new sites represent a crucial move to improve their competitiveness and attract more subscribers.

Zoom out: Niger Telecoms would hope this new move helps them to avoid a similar fate to Tazanain telecom provider Sasatel which is set to liquidate after failure to sustain operation and pay its debt.

By the Numbers

23, 897

That's the number of active subscribers of Starlink in Nigeria as of Q4, 2023. This makes it the third largest Internet Service provider behind Spectranet and FiberOne, which had 113,869 and 27,000 active users, respectively, at the end of 2023.


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