Focus Africa News Roundup- Issue #35
Every fortnight we compile a list of important news updates and events covering the East African FINTECH, MFGTECH, CLNTECH, and AGRTECH sectors.
Kenyan startup Koa launches to digitise the asset management industry
Kenyan fintech startup Koa has launched a mobile app that aims to digitise the asset management industry by giving users the ability to save and invest their money in local mutual funds from their phones.
Delila Kidanu is the Co-Founder and COO at Koa Technology
Alexis Roman is the Co-Founder & CEO at Koa Technology
Uganda’s Eversend app to issue Virtual Cards
The app has since registered tremendous growth, becoming the first Ugandan neo-bank to raise $739k for 9.05% equity, in a recent crowdfunding campaign with plans to extend to Nigeria and Europe. The virtual cards have security measure set to protect the card from fraud by allowing users to freeze their cards temporarily when not using them.
Stone Atwine is the Founder at Eversend
Vodacom CEO discusses plans for South African super app
Last year, South African communications company Vodacom announced it was partnering with Alipay, part of China’s Alibaba group, to create a super app that will provide multiple financial services. Integrating with its VodaPay app, Vodacom says the new service will let users pay utility bills and transfer money, as well as connecting them with online merchants and suppliers.
Shameel Joosub is the Group CEO at Vodacom
Payments Firm Dash Promises To Integrate 200 Mobile Money Wallets in Africa
It is a payments app by design, but with a different approach based on the features it brings to the table. Dash’s main focus is the development of a unified alternative payment network for people in Africa and it plans to do this by taking advantage of the continent’s Mobile Money network.
Prince Boakye is the Founder and CEO at Dash
MTN’s Mobile Money Valuation Surpass that of Airtel, Plans IPO to Evade Debt
MTN has announced it will separate the company’s mobile money business from that of telecoms. The y’ello network is planning to separate its mobile money business from its core venture through public listing which will allow raise funds and reduce the parent company’s debt.
Ralph Mupita is the Group CEO at MTN
Kenyan fintech tech startup secures funding to regionally expand
Nairobi-based fintech startup Tanda has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Cape Town-based venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC, Zedcrest Capital, DFS Lab, Victor Asemota, and three other investors.
Geoffrey Mulei is the CEO at Tanda
Nigerian Fintechs Cut Off From Government Verification Service
Nigerian fintech companies were on Friday suddenly cut off from a government service they need to perform mandatory identity checks on their customers. While they wait for the government to install a revamped identity system, fintech companies can’t legally onboard new customers or must switch to services that don’t require identity checks, such as peer-to-peer services.
South Africa Telco MTN Targets $5 Billion For Mobile Money Expansion
South Africa-based MTN, the mobile phone company, has plans to value its mobile money arm at over $5 billion, a report from Financial Times (FT) says. The company is preparing to sell or list a minority stake in order to draw more global investors, who are seeking to capitalize on quickly growing FinTech assets.
Ralph Mupita is the President & CEO at MTN Group
Nigerian banks deny owing MTN Nigeria and other telcos
Nigerian banks are not indebted to MTN Nigeria and other phone companies for using telecommunication platforms to provide payment services. This was after MTN, the West African nation’s biggest telecom services provider, reduced a commission charged on airtime purchases through banking channels by almost half to 2.5%.
MTN Nigeria mulls pricing change after bank row
MTN Nigeria started consulting with domestic banks to secure a long-term agreement on a sustainable pricing structure for selling products, seeking to avoid further disruption after a spat over commission halted airtime sales last week.
Michael Ikpoki is the CEO at MTN Nigeria
Apple launches its contactless payment service in S.Africa
Apple Inc. introduced its contactless payment service in South Africa on this March, as the global tech giant looks tocash in on the mobile payments boom in the country. The use of digital finance and payments systems has surged in South Africa and elsewhere as the coronavirus crisis has prompted a shift towards e-commerce and contactless payments.
SA agritech launches innovative commodities trading platform.
South Africa-based agritech startup TonnUp has launched an online trading platform that assists farmers in marketing and selling their agricultural produce in a structured and transparent environment. The new platforms also aims to disrupt the local commodities market.
Zimbabwe agritechstartup wins US$100,000 funding
Zimbabwean agritech startup, Farmhut just secured a US$100,000 worth of grant funding after being from this year’s annual Hult Prize competition. As an AI-powered marketplace, Farmhut platform links farmers to markets helping them earn the best prices for their produce.
Ryan Katayi is the Founder of Farmhut
Farm4Me Awarded West African Best World Class Digital Agricultural Investment Platform Brand of the Year 2021
Fast-growing Nigerian Agritech company, Farm4Me has been awarded the West Africa’s Best World Class Digital Agricultural Investment Platform Brand of The Year 2021. Farm4Me is a contract farming company with distinction and the largest farm equipment rental service in Nigeria.
Adama J Adama is the Founder and CEO at Farm4Me
Naspers backs SA agritech with investment in Aerobotics
Aerobotics is a subscription-based platform that provides tree crop health and yield intelligence data to the agricultural industry using drone and satellite-enabled AI technology. The company uses aerial imagery from satellites and drone flights together with machine learning algorithms to collect crucial data for farmers.
James Paterson is the CEO at Aerobotics