It has been a week of wins and losses!
Ghanaian fintech startup, Float reportedly lost ₦5 billion after it attempted to profit from the FX crisis in Nigeria. Before that, the startup was scammed by an exchange merchant.
Investors at the startup said, “the situation is being handled”.
During the week, TechCrunch Africa reporter, Tage Kene-Okafor raised a question about the value of payouts made by Nigerian fintech startup, Piggyvest last year. “In 2022, we paid out just about ₦400 billion, bringing the total paid out to over ₦1.1 trillion since inception,” Odun Eweniyi, co-founder and COO of Piggyvest, said. In its first year, the fintech paid out ₦21 million to users.
Piggyvest was founded in January 2016 and has raised at least $1.2 million. It is currently raising for its next funding round. Going forward, the fintech startup—armed with its microfinance bank licence and mobile money licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria, as well as a fund manager license from the SEC—wants to start offering credit.
“Right now, we have a savings and investments arm, which is Piggyvest, and a spending arm, which is Pocket app. So once we’re able to understand savings and investment patterns and spending, then we can build reliable data to be able to give you credit,” according to Josh Chibueze, co-founder and CMO of the startup.
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🗞️ The weekend's top story
India plans to expand its Unified Payment Interface to Africa
The news: The Indian government is planning to expand its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in Africa through commercial partnerships between payment platforms. According to Mint, an Indian business publication, the government is conversing with "several African countries", including Namibia, Mozambique, and Kenya.
Why it matters: "There are many countries in the world which have similar problems we had before the advent of UPI. These are financial inclusion, supporting rural economies, fintech incubation, transparency, and other things," says Ritesh Shukla, International CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
"We are looking at partnering with those countries to help them create their own versions of UPI in a very sovereign manner," Shukla added.
Know more: NPCI conducted the pilot launch of UPI in April 2016. It is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.
Currently, UPI has about 300 million UPI users and 500 million merchants who use UPI to accept money for their businesses, according to local media. It is said to be the most popular way that Indians transact online.
The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is using this growth to advocate for a global adoption of the infrastructure. "There is scope for working with BRICS on the UPI technology," Modi said at the BRICS Business Forum Leaders' Dialogue in Johannesburg, last month. South Africa, Ethiopia, and Egypt are currently the only African countries in BRICS.
📰 What else happened this week?
- Asaak enters Latin America: Ugandan mobility fintech Asaak has acquired Flexclub Mexico as part of its expansion into Latin America. Flexclub will now focus on its South African operations.
- Black Ostrich Ventures is going after the minorities: US-based, Black Ostrich Ventures has raised a $20 million fund to invest in startups in Tanzania, Zambia, Morocco, and Uganda, away from the Big Four markets of Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa which have cornered 92% of African startup investments in the first half of this year.
- X was hacked: Anonymous Sudan has taken responsibility for X's (formerly Twitter) outage, stating that it is pressuring Elon Musk to launch Starlink in the country.
- Electric Boda on the streets of Nairobi: Global ride-hailing firm, Uber has launched electric bikes in Kenya's capital city, Nairobi. This is its first e-mobility product in Africa, which forms part of the company's efforts to be a zero-emission company by 2040.
- For Nigerians: NITDA has opened applications for AI developers group training in Abuja. It is open to Nigerian youths aged 15 and above, including National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, students, graduates, and tech enthusiasts.
- For African tech startups: Applications are open for the 2023 MEST Africa Challenge. Only early-stage startups in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa, are eligible to apply for the $50,000 in equity prize.
- Startup Accelerator: Applications have been opened for the Startup Wise Guys SaaS acceleration Africa program. Selected startups will receive up to €100,000 investment for equity with a follow-on possibility. The deadline to apply is September 7, 2023.
- Job vacancy: Moniepoint is hiring for several roles across its engineering, business operations, compliance, marketing, and customer success teams.
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Have a great September!