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What follows are our picks for FinTech startups to watch out for this year. There’s a good chance that some of these names will make the headlines with bold moves. Buoyed by the financial and technical support they’ve recently secured, they should make a mark over the coming eleven-plus months.
BambooFounded by Richmond Bassey and Yanmo Omorogbe, Bamboo is a startup that provides its customers with the opportunity to invest in US stocks via its mobile application. Since launching in 2020, it has gained traction among Nigerians who seek to grow their wealth in a relatively stable currency (the US dollar). Last year, it raised a total of $32.4 million in two funding rounds. The startup has set up a presence in Ghana and is looking to expand into Kenya and South Africa.
UmbaUmba is one of several neo-banks that have sprung up in recent years to offer digital banking services to an increasingly tech-savvy African populace. Set up in 2018, it has the aim of becoming the continent’s biggest digital bank by 2027. It’s recently gotten a boost that’ll help it on this journey—a $15 million Series A fundraise it reported last year. With this wind in its sails, it aims to expand into Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt over the coming months.
Yellow CardThe explosion of the crypto industry in Africa has been a marvel. Initially led by global exchange platforms, this segment now has a large and growing number of indigenous crypto-trading spaces. One of them, Yellow Card, caters to over a million customers across more than a dozen African countries. In 2022, it closed a $40 million Series B funding round. We can expect it to broaden its reach this year, as it competes with other crypto exchanges for a share of the thriving market for digital assets.
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PivoPivo promises “banking without borders” for supply chain businesses. And its services seem to live up to the hype. Its clients can apply for and receive a loan in 24 hours or less, get a local or international bank account that supports up to ten different currencies, and generate and manage invoices. 2022 was a good year for this new venture; it secured $550,000 in pre-seed funding and (later) $2 million in seed funding. The experience of its founders (Nkiru Amadi-Emina and Ijeoma Akwiwu) in the manufacturing and logistics industries could prove crucial to its success.
GreyLast year, FinTech startup Grey raised $2 million to enable it to expand into new markets. The Y Combinator-backed venture provides virtual international bank accounts (in US dollars, pounds, and Euros) to Nigerians—a solution that persons working remotely for foreign businesses appreciate. In just over a year, it has grown its users to more than 100,000 individuals. The financial backing it’s gotten is enabling it to reach East Africa.
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Moniepoint (Formerly TeamApt)Moniepoint offers business payments and banking platform solutions to clients in Nigeria. Founded in 2015 by Tosin Eniolorunda, the company has served SMEs, banks, and individuals with products that power their financial transactions. It raised $50 million in a pre-Series C funding round last year. Communication from Moneipoint suggests that it’ll channel this funding into broadening its credit offerings.
Final WordsIt will be interesting to see how 2023 will unfold for the FinTech industry. Some of the names we’ve put forward here could be major movers and shakers, judging from the momentum they’ve gained recently. Time will tell. Featured Image Source: Forbes
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