According to the pan-African banking group Ecobank, the FinTech space in Africa is set to grow by $3 billion in the next two years. The space has also proven the potential to churn out digital payments solutions that will bridge the financial inclusion gap for millions of people across sub-Saharan Africa.
In the spirit to promote and fast-track the development of FinTech space in Africa, the leading global online payment system PayPal has partnered with Village Capital to identify the most promising startups in this space, whom they can accelerate their development.
The two companies have selected 12 startups in the FinTech space, out of a cohort of 165 applicants, who have come up with innovative technology or business models that furthers financial inclusion to consumers and businesses. This cohort of the applicants were FinTech startups from Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda.
The applicants were judged based on how their technology product or business model addressed matters such as pensions and savings, insurtech, financial literacy, leverage on big data for credit scoring and consumer insights, and cooperative finance. The judges were particularly keen on how the FinTech startup addresses challenges in the following sectors; agriculture, health, education, and energy.
The 12 FinTech Startups selected
|Annona (Kenya) – a leading FinTech solutions provider to small-scale producers in the global supply chains. The startup’s product helps the producers fulfill their contracts and make their payments digitally.|
|CredPal (Nigeria) – this startup enables consumers to make purchases from merchants both online and offline and make the payments in installments.|
|Ensibuuko (Uganda) – has come up with a solution that enables cooperative microfinance to automate customers and transactions management via Mobis, a software program running in the cloud|
|Finance Life Technologies Ltd. (Riby Finance) (Nigeria) – this startup provide software tools to cooperatives, associations, and trade groups that automates and manages their financial transactions.|
|FPESA® (Kenya) – has come up with a FinTech solution for firms transacting in foreign exchange discover, book, negotiate, and settle the foreign currency transactions|
|GrassRoots Bima (Kenya) – takes insurance cover close to the people by enabling them access insurance services simply and transparently. Customers can access the insurance services via both an online and offline platforms.|
|Maziwa Retirement Plan (Uganda) – this startup is helping the informal sectors to save for retirement|
|Numida Technologies (Uganda) – they dedicate their talent to building digital products needed by small businesses in Africa.|
|Patasente Inc (Uganda) – give financing to purchase orders for the SMEs in Uganda|
|Social Lender (Nigeria) – is a leading credit lending solution that vets its applicants based on their social reputations on social media, mobile, and online|
|Tulaa (Kenya and Ghana) – a mCommerce platform (mobile-based marketplace) helping smallholder farmers across Africa access affordable financing to get quality inputs for their farms and markets for their produce|
|Youverify (Nigeria) – provides an API for address and identity verification in Africa|
Starting March through to May, the 12 chosen startups will be taken through four-day workshops to help them make a pitch that will knock off the socks from investors. They will also be exposed to potential customers, industry experts, strategic partners, mentors, and PayPal employees.
The incubation program will end with the best two startups out of the 12 being awarded $50,000 worth of investment into their business. Their own peers will select the two startups; for more information on that, click here.
“There are many high potential financial health entrepreneurs in Africa, but too many fail because they lack access to funding and the right networks,” said Adedana Ashebir, the Regional Manager, Africa at Village Capital.
“PayPal is Village Capital’s global partner for FinTech, and this is the first time we’re collaborating on a program on the continent. We look forward leveraging the PayPal global team’s insights, expertise, and engagement to help entrepreneurs scale.”