Posted In:

Africa, Startups, Fintech


#439
A Bright Spot On The Horizon

Published:

May 28, 2022


Author:

Roxy Horrie

Posted In:

Africa, Startups, Fintech

Published:

May 28, 2022


Author:

Roxy Horrie


Share:

As whispers of a recessionary environment have amplified throughout our most proximate circles, the glass half full perspective has been tossed to the wayside. A few time zones away, however, Africa is enjoying a well-earned dose of optimism. The progress in numerous economies throughout the continent has been notable, as highlighted by the inaugural FT ranking.

Global macro conditions are supportive of long-standing raw materials industries, as booming commodities demand has driven strong growth, while clean energy trends have steered up prices for inputs such as platinum.

Meanwhile, our favorite child hasn’t been forgotten. The explosive success of the fintech sector on the global stage led African startups in raising $5b in funding in 2021 – more than the past seven years combined, according to some reports.

As we enter a more uncertain future, fintech companies across the continent are discovering an interesting edge. Given the higher uncertainty and lower risk appetite with which most international investors have operated, the table stakes that startups in developed markets are beginning to grapple with – demonstrating substantial traction and a clear path to revenue – are nothing new for the continent.

Nor is the resilience through choppy economic conditions that many of Africa’s fintech companies are already accustomed to enduring. Despite fairly clear skies throughout the rest of the world until now, Nigeria, for example, has weathered two recessions in the past six years – and has simultaneously given rise to some of the continent’s most valuable companies. As the storm ahead sets in, Africa may be among the best positioned to tee off into another tumultuous cycle.

A Bright Spot On The Horizon

Portfolio News


Wunder closes one of the largest commercial solar deals in U.S. history - Wunder, a category-defining provider of commercial and industrial solar solutions, announced a partnership with ClearGen, a Blackstone Credit portfolio company, providing Wunder with a large-scale capital solution to fund deployment of commercial solar. The partnership underscores the immense economic opportunity that exists within a market that also holds incredible potential for driving down U.S. carbon emissions. Read more

MoneyLion and AEON consortium obtain approval for Malaysian digital banking license - The Ministry of Finance in Malaysia has awarded a digital banking license to a consortium involving MoneyLion, AEON Financial Service, a Japan-based financial group, and AFS’s Malaysia-based non-bank financial service provider subsidiary, AEON Credit. MoneyLion is launching a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering to develop the digital platform and provide technology, data analytics and embedded finance capabilities to the consortium. Read more

A Bright Spot On The Horizon


African growth promise tempts investors - Africa’s markets represent a more battle-hardened environment for fast-growing companies than other regions. The businesses thriving in the continent’s major economies are as diverse as they come, and venture capitalists and other investors are coming to African markets with bigger cheque books than ever before. Read more

A new generation of Nigerian fintech entrepreneurs and bank executives is expanding formal financial services - While the coronavirus pandemic and falls in the price of oil have pushed Nigeria into recession twice in the past six years, the country’s financial services companies have expanded at breakneck speed. Read more


Industry News


FTX has held acquisition talks with Webull, Apex, Public.com - If the reports are true, it could be a sign that FTX is making another serious push into stock trading. All three companies—Webull, Public.com, and Apex Clearing—are registered brokerages with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which means that they can buy and sell securities, such as stocks, on their own or on clients’ behalf. Read more

Banks and funds stash record $2t overnight at Fed facility - The figures disclosed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York marked the first time more than $2t had been tucked away in the Fed’s overnight reverse repo facility. The surge of interest in this facility, which acts as an investment of last resort, has been exacerbated by a decline in issuance of short-dated government debt, known as Treasury bills, spurred by a drop-off in government spending. Read more

JPMorgan warns overseas digital bank losses could top $1bn after UK push - JPMorgan Chase expects to lose more than $1bn in the next few years on its new digital-only international consumer bank that began operations in the UK last year. The bank hopes the digital business will break even by 2027 or 2028. Read more

Green fintech money app Tred busts crowdfund target in ten minutes - Tred, a UK startup building a carbon tracking debit card and app, has bust through its initial £600,000 crowdfunding target within ten minutes of going live on Crowdcube. Read more

Hotels using NFTs to create a StubHub for lodging reservations - Some resort owners think they have found a way to avoid getting stuck with excess inventory when guests cancel at the last minute - which involves converting room nights for sale into NFTs that can be bought or sold by hotel guests, similar to the StubHub market for concert and sporting event tickets. Owners say this ensures they get paid for the rooms because guests would sell their reservation in the market if they decide not to go, and appeal to the crypto-enthusiastic traveler. Read more

Ethereum Founder Buterin Blasts DeFi Model in Terra Critique - Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin said there is no genuine investment that can get anywhere close to 20% returns per year while analyzing the implosion of the Terra blockchain which sent the crypto market into freefall earlier this month. Read more

Stripe launches App Marketplace, scripts and tools incorporating third-party SaaS apps that work alongside Stripe - The move potentially represents Stripe's biggest leap yet away from payments. The Marketplace is launching with 50 apps that Stripe’s customers are already using as part of their marketing, payments and business development stacks, such as DocuSign, Dropbox, Intercom, Mailchimp, Ramp and Xero. There will be more added over time as well. Read more

JPMorgan Summer Reading List arrives in the metaverse - JPMorgan has made its annual Summer Reading List available for perusal in a metaverse library. Read more

The Airbnb of Wall Street Wants to Free Up Trapped Bank Capital - Capitolis' new idea resembles an old one: Banks have long sliced up and sold their big corporate loans to other banks and investors. Capitolis figured out how to use this syndication concept to turn all kinds of banking products—foreign-exchange swaps and lines of credit, to name a few—into a kind of fixed-income security or loan they can sell to investors. Read more

Coinbase tests app for employees to grade each other during meetings - The cryptocurrency company has been piloting an app that collects employees' evaluations of their colleagues, including their managers, after meetings and other interactions. Known as Dot Collector, the app was invented by Ray Dalio's hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, and has been in use by Coinbase's HR and IT teams since the first quarter of this year. Read more

Banks turn to blockchain in search for high-quality trading assets - BNP Paribas has joined JPMorgan in using digital tokens for short-term trading in fixed-income markets as some of the world’s biggest investment banks step up efforts to modernize the $12t market with blockchain technology. JPMorgan’s blockchain allows banks to lend out US government bonds for a few hours as collateral, without the bonds leaving their balance sheets. Read more

Swedish fintech Klarna to cut 10% of workforce - CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski told Klarna’s more than 7,000 employees globally it was the “hardest” announcement the Swedish bank had made. He called 2022 “a tumultuous year” and blamed Russia’s war in Ukraine, a shift in consumer confidence, rises in inflation, a volatile stock market “and a likely recession” for the job cuts. Read more

Select Financings


ADDX - Singapore based blockchain capital markets exchange raised $58m in new funding led by SET Venture Holding. Read more

Altan Insights - New York based alternative asset intelligence platform raised $4m in Seed funding led by Slow Ventures. Read more

Babel Finance - Hong Kong based wholesale crypto services provider raised $80m in Series B funding led by Jeneration Capital. Read more

Clear Street - New York based cloud-native prime brokerage company raised a $165m in Series B funding led by Prysm Capital. Read more

Clozd - Salt Lake City based corporate sales analysis software company raised $52m in Series A funding led by Greycroft. Read more

Common - San Francisco based DAO management platform raised $20m in growth funding led by Spark Capital. Read more

Debbie - Miami based behavioral savings company raised $1.2m in new funding led by One Way Ventures. Read more

Doppel - San Francisco based monitoring service for NFT fraud and counterfeits raised $5m in Seed funding led by FTX Ventures. Read more

Equipifi - Arizona based white-label BNPL provider raised $12m in Series A funding led by Curql Collective. Read more

GivePenny Technologies - UK based charity fundraising platform raised £1.25m in new funding led by MEIF Proof of Concept. Read more

HyperPay - Saudi based payments company raised $40m in growth funding led by Mastercard. Read more

Jar - India based savings and investment app raised $50m in Series B funding led by Tiger Global. Read more

Jupiter Exchange - New York based alternative asset exchange using fractional NFTs raised $5m in Seed funding led by White Hilt Capital. Read more

Kapaga - London based cross-border payments company raised £1.5m in new funding led by Target Global. Read more

Moves - Toronto based banking app for gig workers raised $5m in Seed funding led by OMERS Ventures. Read more

PayEngine - Los Angeles based payments facilitation platform raised $10m in Series A funding led by Point72 Ventures. Read more

Pebble - New York based crypto savings app raised $6m in Seed funding led by Y Combinator. Read more

StarkWare Industries - Israel based Ethereum scaling company raised $100m in Series D funding led by Greenoaks Capital and Coatue. Read more

Stable - New York based agricultural commodity financing company raised $60m in Series B funding led by Acrew. Read more

Tranch - London based BNPL for business company raised £3.5m in pre-Seed funding led by Flash Ventures and GFC. Read more

TransferMate - UK based B2B payments infrastructure company raised $70m in growth funding led by Railpen. Read more

ZenLedger - Seattle based crypto tax startup raised $15m in Series B funding led by ParaFi Capital and Bloccelerate VC. Read more

Zip - San Francisco based procurement software company raised $43m in Series B funding led by YC Continuity. Read more


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