Global payments company, Visa has selected 23 African companies for the inaugural cohort of the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator which was launched in June.
"Africa’s fintech community is at the forefront of payments innovation and connecting more of the unbanked with access to the digital economy," said Otto Williams, Head of Partnerships, Products and Solutions, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa.
The selected startups will benefit from 1:1 mentoring from experts and founders in the ecosystem from Africa, Visa-specific training, partnership opportunities and undisclosed funding. Additionally, they will enjoy an array of product perks and discounts from more than 100 vendors worth $200,000. This includes credits from Google Cloud and HubSpot.
Meet the inaugural cohort of Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator
Of the nine African countries selected for the accelerator, Nigerian startups dominated the cohort, followed by Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Zambia, and Tunisia.
A notable trend we've observed within the cohort is that a majority of the startups have previously taken part in global accelerators, such as Y Combinator and Techstars.
We curated their names below according to their primary markets.
Launched in 2022 by Segun Adeyemi, Olamide Sobowale and Gbekeloluwa Olufotebi, Anchor provides APIs, dashboards and tools that help developers easily embed and build banking products. This includes APIs for creating bank accounts, funds transfers, savings products, issuing cards and offering loans.
Dojah is also a YC-backed startup. Founded in 2021 by Tobi Ololade and Ayomide Oso, this startup, based in Lagos, has one singular objective; to impact more lives through technology by offering a comprehensive Know Your Customer (KYC) and digital onboarding solution. This solution is tailored for organisations seeking to expand their operations across the African continent.
Recently, Dojah launched EasyDetect, a fraud prevention product, to assist digital businesses in recognising and thwarting dishonest practices on their platforms.
Moni is a leading financial institution in Nigeria, dedicated to providing innovative financial solutions to individuals and businesses alike.
Moni's core focus lies in providing high-interest savings (Up to 21% per annum) and loans specially tailored for small and micro enterprises. Operating across multiple regions, including Nigeria, Guinea Conakry, and the Benin Republic. Moni aims to enhance the financial well-being of its users and foster shared prosperity for all
The YC-backed startup was founded in 2021 by Femi Iromini and Dapo Sobayo.
Founded in 2014 by Timbo Drayson, OkHi's products allow banks, fintechs and businesses to collect and verify customers’ addresses through their smartphones, replacing the need for utility bills and in-person interactions.
Since its launch, the fintech startup has raised about $3 million in funding.
- Orda Africa
Orda is an African restaurant cloud operating system provider. The startup was founded by Guy Futi, Fikayo Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri, in 2020, modelled after the US, market leaders, Toast.
Backed by Quona Capital, FinTech Collective, and other leading local and foreign investors, Orda has secured at least $4.5 million in funding.
Traction Apps is a Nigerian startup that is building the next generation of payment solutions and business tools to help power the growth and operations of merchants and SMEs in Africa.
OZÉ is a Ghanaian fintech startup that provides digital recordkeeping tools with embedded finance products to medium and small businesses.
With about $3.7 million in funding, the startup OZÉ which was founded by Meghan McCormick reported a client base of over 125,000 business owners in Ghana and Nigeria as of last year.
- The Blu Penguin
Blu Penguin delivers an in-store Point of Sale (PoS) system. This system enables merchants to accept payments from various channels through a unified app. Founded by Tenu Awoonor in 2018, the fintech startup is positioning itself as the "Square for Africa," akin to Jack Dorsey's widely recognised payment platform.
Launched in 2016, AgroCenta runs a mobile merchant platform that offers market information, storage and delivery solutions, as well as financial services to smallholder farmers in Ghana. The Techstars-backed startup has raised about $1.9 million in funding.
- Affinity Africa
Founded by Tarek Mouganie, Affinity provides banking products to the underserved and unbanked. Its proprietary tech platform is designed to accommodate both digital natives and users with low fidelity, allowing the fintech to deliver cost-effective 24/7 banking services.
The fintech startup commenced operations by acquiring a microfinance bank in Ghana in February 2020 and subsequently received a license upgrade from the Bank of Ghana in March 2022.
Kenyan startup, Duhqa is a B2B platform for retail distribution of consumer goods in FMCG, cold chain and pharmaceuticals. The Techstars-backed startup has raised about $1.1 million since it was founded in 2021 by Victor Maina, Davis Angwenyi and Dudu Moilwa.
Power, founded by Brian Dempsey and Chandra Singh in 2020, allows workers to take control of their financial health by making a holistic set of financial services available to employees and gig workers across Sub-Saharan Africa. In February, the fintech startup raised a $3 million seed from DOB Equity alongside Bolt by QED Investors, Quona Capital, Zephyr Acorn, and Norrsken Accelerator.
YC-backed HR payroll provider, Workpay was founded by Paul Kimani and Jackson Kungu in 2019. The startup offers tools that enable its clients to pay salaries in local currencies across Africa (and outside the continent through the startup’s partners), file taxes and process employee benefits.
In February, Workpay raised a pre-Series A bringing its total funding to over $4.8 million. The startup has also participated in the Google Black Founders Fund.
Moroccan B2B e-commerce and retail startup, Chari operates a mobile app that connects small retailers in these two countries to FMCG multinationals and local manufacturers, allowing them to order and get products in less than 24 hours.
Founded by Imad Bouhmadi in 2020, PayTic streamlines the back-office operations and risk control of digital payments for banks and fintechs.
Weego is a mobility company that offers a variety of transportation options and solutions to people in Africa, starting from Morocco. The startup was founded by Saad Jittou and Mor Niane.
YC-backed Floatpays is an on-demand wage access platform that helps employees access, spend, save and manage their money.
The South African fintech was born in 2018. It allows users to invest in leading cash and equity funds in just a few minutes.
It is an all-in-one money management wallet that enables South African residents to send and receive funds.
Launched in 2021, Sympl enables customers to shop and pay later, with no interest. The Egyptian fintech startup was co-founded by Mohamed El-Feky, Yasmine Mohmed Henna and Karim Tawfik.
Launched in 2019, Eversend is a payments platform offering cross-border payments, virtual cards, currency exchange, and crypto buying and selling. The Techstars-backed startup has raised about $1.7 million in funding.
Founded by Chilufya Mutale and Eugene Mwila in 2019, PremierCredit is a leading online microlending and investment platform that operates in emerging markets in Southern Africa.
The platform connects lenders (investors) from across the globe to underserved borrowers in its markets thereby banking the unbanked and providing access to affordable digital financial services. In 2020, the Zambia-based startup received a $650,000 investment from US Venture Capital firm Enygma Ventures.
Konnect offers payment links by SMS, email, Messenger, or even WhatsApp: its platform brings together all payment methods in Tunisia which allows users to be paid in complete security.
Tracing Visa's history with African fintech
"Africa has one of the most exciting and admired fintech ecosystems in the world," according to Alfred F. Kelly Jr., Executive Chairman at Visa.
The fintech sector has consistently secured the highest funding in the African tech ecosystem. In the first six months of this year, fintech startups on the continent accounted for about 60.46% of the total $1.3 billion raised by African startups, according to BD Funding Tracker.
"Visa has been increasing our investments in Africa for decades and strengthening partnerships throughout the continent to support the next wave of innovation and growth. Our new Fintech Accelerator will bring expertise, connections, and investment to Africa’s best fintech start-ups, so they can grow at scale," says Alfred.
Visa has a history of direct investments in African fintech startups. In 2018, Visa invested in Paystack's Series A. The subsequent year saw them acquiring a 20% stake in Interswitch. In 2020, Visa also took part in Flutterwave's $35 million Series B fundraising.
Recently, Bloom, a Sudanese fintech startup, secured $6.5 million in seed funding to broaden its presence in the Anglo-East African region, and Visa was among the participants in the funding round. Notably, Bloom subsequently transitioned its cards from Mastercard to Visa.