|Hormuud Telecom launches WAAFI, Somalia's first licensed mobile money application. This comes after Hormuud obtained the first mobile money license issued by the Central Bank of Somalia in February. The application expands the functionality of the basic USSD-based MoMo service and allows customers to access bank accounts and perform online transactions. Afrikan Heroes
|While this is the first licensed mobile money service, it's important to note that Somalia already had a booming mobile money industry. According to the World Bank, over 70% of Somali adults engage in 155 million mobile money transactions worth $2.7 billion every month. Most of the existing mobile money services are unregulated and USSD-based, allowing for basic financial services like P2P transfer and international remittance. Somalia has been affected by political stability and a weakened monetary system for a long time. But low costs of internet data, steady rising internet penetration, and an existing strong mobile money culture is what Somalia's biggest telco is riding on to close the gap in digital financial services for millions of Somalis.
|Ghana's Vice President announces the launch of central mobile money anti-fraud platform. The platform, which will be called the Fraud Control Dashboard (FCD), is a multi-stakeholder initiative involving the mobile money operators, the Central Bank of Ghana, and the Ghanian police. The platform is expected to harmonise fraud mitigation efforts across all the telcos and block bad actors from accessing the system. Business 24
|Just as payment interoperability expands user optionality and hence revenue upside, consolidation of back office efforts like fraud mitigation can be very critical in reducing costs. If a bad agent has already been identified and blocked on one platform in an integrated system, that is a potential cost averted for other players in the system.
|In Issue 53, we reported on Okra's $1m pre-seed funding led by TLcom Capital. We have also previously written about the opportunity in embedded fintech on the continent. This funding is a significant validation of the growth to expect from that space.
|Atlantica Ventures raises $50m to invest in African tech startups. The venture capital firm, which already has startups like One Pipe and Migo in their portfolio, will use these funds to invest in seed stage companies across Africa. Disrupt Africa
|OKO completes $1.2m pre-seed funding. The Malian insurtech uses satellite data on farms to create low-cost insurance products for farmers. The funding round was led by Newfund and ResiliAnce, with Mercy Corps Venture, Techstars, ImpactAssets, and RaSa also participating. Techcabal
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