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Issue 170
May 08 - May 21, 2023

Hi there,

I really enjoyed Guardians of The Galaxy 3. It was a beautiful, emotional end to a great trilogy. Especially because this is the last movie James Gunn will make for Marvel before he shifts his focus to DC. While it’s been a fun ride with this ragtag group of heroes/bandits/amateur dancers, I can’t wait to see what James does on the other side!

We recently announced the Paystack Service Partner Program — enabling digital agencies to partner with Paystack to provide seamless experiences for clients and get new client leads from Paystack ✨

If you’d like to learn how you can partner with Paystack to delight your clients and grow your business, set a reminder for our live session happening next week Wednesday.

Have a great week!

Tochukwu Ironsi
Market Intelligence Specialist
2022 in African fintech: Exploring the biggest African fintech stories that shaped the year

Article Feature Image

We’re delighted to share our first long-form piece of the year — a review of 2022 in African fintech.

In this article, we explore the most important stories, trends, and themes in 2022 and what they might mean for the ecosystem in 2023.

EgyptAxis launches in Egypt. Axis, an Egyptian fintech, has launched AxisPay, a digital payments platform for businesses and their employees. This comes after obtaining a license from the Central Bank of Egypt and raising an $8.25 million seed round 18 months ago. TechCrunch
EthiopiaUNCDF launches a new program for agency banking networks in Ethiopia. The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has commenced its agency banking improvement initiative in Ethiopia. With this new project, UNCDF aims to bolster agency banking networks through boot camps, new technology products, and a measurement dashboard. Afrikan Heroes
KenyaShara acquires a majority stake in Maisha Microfinance. Shara, an SME digital lender based in Nigeria and Kenya, has acquired 55.8% of Maisha Microfinance in Kenya. This acquisition enables Shara to provide a range of credit and banking solutions to its customers, ensuring full compliance with regulatory requirements. Kenyan Wallstreet

In Issue 154, we wrote about the underlying strategy and limitations behind acquiring an MFB. Building a credit product requires both regulatory cover and access to cheap capital. MFBs offer both and more to fintechs. However, there are other limitations for fintechs to consider, like administrative and regulatory overhead, and increased competition.
KenyaM-Pesa obtains a license in Ethiopia. Safaricom has received a payment instrument issuer license from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) for M-Pesa, their mobile money product. M-Pesa, which has found great success in Kenya, can now officially expand its offerings to Ethiopia. This follows initial approvals from the NBE and a $150 million license fee. Benjamin Dada
EgyptExits MENA obtains securities license from FRA. Exits MENA, an Egyptian investment platform, has obtained a securities promotion and underwriting license from the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA). This license enables Exits MENA to play a pivotal role in facilitating companies' access to the capital markets through listings and initial public offerings (IPOs), providing them with compliant and regulated services. Disrupt Africa
AfricaJia raises $3.4 million in seed funding. Jia, a blockchain-based MSME lender, has raised $3.4 million in seed funding. The round was led by TCG Crypto and will be used to deepen penetration in existing markets and drive expansion into new ones. WeeTracker
EgyptBalad raises undisclosed pre-seed funding. Egypt’s Balad, which offers cross-border payment solutions, has completed its pre-seed funding. The round was led by Acasia Angels and will be used for product development, hiring, and obtaining necessary licenses. Disrupt Africa
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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.
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