I listened to the new Little Simz album this weekend and was blown away. In a year filled with filler uninspired rap, the British-Nigerian rapper has made a refreshing body of work filled with confident, introspective bars and dynamic production. If you're reading this, there's a chance I'm listening to it right now and you should join me.
As always, get vaccinated if you haven't and continue to wear a mask.
Product Specialist, Paystack
MTN partners with Ugandan Stock Exchange, launches mobile stock trading application. MoMo Uganda users can now use the new mobile platform to open a Securities Central Depository (SCD) account with the Ugandan Stock Exchange (USE). The SCD account is required to engage in securities trading. Previously, investors could only open these securities accounts through an agent or the USE online portal. According to USE CEO, Paul Bwiso, the ability to actually trade securities on the mobile platform will be implemented in a couple of months. The East African
In spite of a population of about 44 million Ugandans, there are roughly only 39,000 listed investors in the USE. MTN Uganda has an estimated user base of about 15 million subscribers; the USE will be looking to leverage this large distribution to get more Ugandans to become investors in the local stock exchange.
Improving card payments. In this essay, Ayo Omojola (@ay_o) explores interesting initiatives to reduce friction in card payments. Blog
The proposed idea of a protocol for exchanging payment instrument credentials (card, bank account, mobile wallet, etc.) is intriguing. The process of card tokenization turns sensitive card details into tokens that be used for one-tap recurring payments in the future. Payment providers like Paystack have been able to unlock significant value and new business models through these existing card tokenization mechanisms. There's still some work to be done and value to be accrued in reducing payment steps, however marginal the improvement is.
Diem is a decentralized open-source payments protocol that is being proposed by Facebook. Novi is a digital wallet owned by Facebook that will be built on the Diem network.
Dopay raises $18m in Series A funding. The round was led by Force Over Mass Capital, FMO, and NN group. The Egyptian payroll and disbursement platform will use the new funding to deepen market penetration in Egypt and develop new financial products. The funding comes after a $2.4m pre-Series A in 2016 and a newly obtained banking agent license earlier this month. Afrikan Heroes
Finclusion completes a $20m debt round. The fintech which provides microloans to customers in East and Southern Africa has raised $20m in debt funding from Lendable. The funding will be used to drive expansion into new regions and provide more loans to customers. Tech Economy
Jumuisha raises undisclosed seed funding. The Kenyan fintech startup enables churches and non-profits to manage payments, donations, and disbursements to partners and vendors. The seed round was solely provided by SprintX Venture Studio and will help the startup drive product development, recruitment, and sales. Disrupt Africa
It's interesting to see fintechs building specialized solutions for certain verticals. General fintech applications are better than their analog equivalents but one way to differentiate in a saturated market is to solve problems for a specific set of users. And given the current prevalence and projected growth of Christianity in Kenya and the larger continent, this might prove to be a very lucrative opportunity.
Did You Know?
It's important to note that the data for 2021 is only for the first 9 months of the year. We expect to see even more deals completed before the end of 2021.
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Do you have an announcement, event, or job posting you'd like to share, or have you come across an interesting bit of African fintech news recently?Hit reply and let me know! I might be able to include it in next week's newsletter.