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Issue 111
Oct 11 - Oct 17, 2021

Hi there,

We had a chat with the PiggyVest team on how they leverage Paystack to power savings for over 2 million Nigerians. You can watch the video here.

Also, Paystack is hiring! We are looking to fill the roles of Product Managers, Key Accounts Managers, and many more in Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana. If you're interested or know anyone who is, kindly check out our careers page.

Please stay safe and see you next week

Osaro Aiwekhoe
Product Specialist, Paystack
NigeriaShago Payments joins Alerzo. Alerzo, a platform that helps informal retailers manage the operations of their outlets, has acquired Shago Payments. The acquisition will enable Alerzo's payment arm, AlerzoPay, to offer their primary customers (informal retail stores) a portfolio of digital financial services e.g. airtime top-up, bill payments, and P2P transfers. PYMNTS

With Alerzo, retailers are able to order stock, receive and make cashless payments, manage inventory and do some booking keeping on the platform. The acquisition of a payment company seems quite strategic as it is no news that over 60% of Nigerian agency banking outlets are mom-and-pop stalls that run the agency banking business alongside their regular business. Given the over 100k informal retailers Alerzo currently works with, leveraging Shago to spin up an agency banking business that will be upsold to these already "acquired agents" looks like an obvious way to go.
NigeriaCBN releases new guidelines for BVN Operations. The Central Bank of Nigeria has released revised regulatory guidelines for the operations of the bank verification number (BVN). Musa Jimoh, the CBN's director for the payments system department, said the new guidelines are to define the operations of the BVN as well as the establishment and operations of a watch-list to address the issue of increasing fraud cases. A highlight from the guideline is that customers who breach the BVN regulations and are subsequently placed on the watchlist will not be allowed to enter a new relationship with any regulated financial institution.

You can find the circular from the CBN and the referred guideline here
GlobalThe partner bank boom Anish Acharya and Rex Salisbury, both Partners at Andreessen Horowitz, shed some light on an emerging global trend that is seeing fintechs partner with banks to offer banking services Andreessen Horowitz

In Africa, banks are leveraging fintech to distribute their products and services. In 2020, CIH Bank (a Morrocan bank) partnered with Finastra (a banking-as-a-service platform) to expand the distribution of CIH's corporate banking services through digital channels. This trend is most developed in Nigeria where fintechs partner with banks like Sterling Bank, Wema Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to name a few. These partnerships have enabled fintech to extend banking services to their customers. For instance, Brass (another banking as a service platform) in partnership with FCMB is democratising access to corporate banking services for Nigerian SMEs.

Thanks to the growing popularity of NIBSS Instant payment (an instant p2p bank transfer service) in Nigeria and the introduction of Bank Verification Number (a unique identifier for all bank account holders in Nigeria), businesses are now able to create bank accounts for their different users within their respective platform and get paid when their users make deposits into these accounts.
NigeriaMono raises $15m series A. The Nigeria-based fintech that helps connect consumers’ bank accounts to financial applications, has raised a $15 million Series A. The round was led by Tiger Global with participation from other new investors and existing ones.

Recall that we reported Mono's $2 million seed raise in issue 91. The comments of the CEO, Abdul Hassan, suggest that the funding will further shore up Mono's capital base thereby ensuring the company is able to very quickly open up new verticals and/or expand to other African countries as required. According to Abdul, the Nigerian market is capped in terms of businesses they can target hence their goal is to be in five African countries by the end of next year. 
KenyaTala raises $145M in capital. The Kenyan-based digital lender raised a total of $145 million in Series E funding. This capital injection brings the company's valuation to over $800 million which they plan to use to offer more financial services in emerging markets. Popular for its expansion across emerging markets globally, not just Africa, Tala is said to take a credit-led approach to digital banking thereby providing their customers a platform to spend, save, and grow their money better. TechCrunch
NigeriaSparkle raises a $3.1m seed round. The Nigerian neo-bank led by former Diamond Bank's CEO, Uzoma Dozie, has raised a $3.1 million seed from a local group of investors. The fund will be used to scale various teams in the company and also to build a more robust infrastructure. Disrupt Africa
CameroonPaySika secures pre-seed funding. The Cameroon-based fintech company raised $348k to build out the product. Though not officially launched yet, the francophone Africa neo-bank says they already have over 20k pre-registrations most of which are from Cameroon and Gabon. TechCabal
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