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Issue 176
Jul 24 - Aug 06, 2023

Hi there,

I’m happy to be back writing the newsletter this week! It was a very restful leave, spent catching up with family and friends and bingeing Deadloch, a brilliant and hilarious Australian crime mystery.

We’re still taking responses for our Startup Sentiment Survey. Please take a moment to fill out this survey →

Your responses will offer valuable insights into the experiences of startups in the African tech ecosystem. Once you’ve completed the survey, we’d appreciate it if you could share it within your network.

This issue of the newsletter was written to Ludwig Göransson’s masterful score for Oppenheimer.

Tochukwu Ironsi
Market Intelligence Specialist
Grow your business with Paystack Catalyst

NigeriaMTN Nigeria reports reduced number of active fintech customers. MTN’s half-year report attributes this decline to Nigeria's initial 2023 cash scarcity. Despite this setback, the fintech segment reported a 7.8% year-on-year increase in revenue. Nairametrics
AfricaIdentity Verification in Africa. Smile ID, a leading identity verification provider, released an in-depth report on KYC and fraud detection trends in various African markets. Smile Identity
AfricaB2B payments in Africa. Duplo, an enterprise payments and automation fintech, released a new report surveying preferences and trends in B2B payments in Africa. TechCabal

According to the report, finance teams still prefer bank transfers for vendor/supplier payments. This is followed by checks and mobile money. Interestingly cards are not so widely used and are mostly favoured by smaller companies.
NigeriaImproving remittance inflows into Nigeria. Stears published a new report on the cross-border pipeline between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, with recommendations on how to improve flows. Stears
KenyaKenyan government suspends Worldcoin operations. Worldcoin, a new blockchain-based solution that offers users digital wallets and identity verification, has been suspended by the Kenyan government following data privacy concerns raised about their onboarding process. TechCabal

To get onboarded into the Worldcoin ecosystem, users must scan their irises using an Orb — a sphere-like physical device. Verified users also get access to WLD tokens worth about $54.

Examining the iris scanning process and the attached monetary reward, it’s easy to see why regulators are concerned. There are already reports of black market dealing for scanned irises in China and long queues in Kenya where users are selling their tokens on exchanges.

Identity verification is a central step in digital payments but existing systems are still constrained in their reach and integration with modern use cases. Solutions that exist have to solve all these problems while ensuring the trust and safety of user data.  
NamibiaNamibia passes new law regulating virtual assets. The Namibian government has passed new regulations governing the activities of virtual asset providers, including cryptocurrencies. The new act provides a framework for licensing, penalties, and guidance on permissible activities.  TechCabal
NigeriaTraction raises $6 million in seed funding. Traction, a Nigerian payments startup, has completed a $6 million seed round. Ventures Platform and Multiply Partners led the round which will be used to capture market share in Nigeria, hire new talent, and expand to other markets.  TechCrunch
AfricaEmtech raises $4 million to transform central banks. Emtech, a fintech that builds payment infrastructure for central banks, has raised $4 million in seed funding. The round was led by Matrix Partners India and will be used to develop Emtech’s digital currency and compliance products. WeeTracker
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