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Issue 96
Jun 28 - Jul 04, 2021

Hi there,

Last week at Paystack, we had our first physical event since the start of the lockdown in March 2020. It was a great time and words alone cannot do justice to the amount of fun I had so I'd share with you a picture of our wall of fame.

Finally, we are still hiring for a Product Marketing Lead, an experienced leader with a background in product-led growth to help us acquire, engage, and retain Africa's most ambitious businesses. You can apply and share with your network through this link.

Do enjoy the rest of the week and stay safe!

Osaro Aiwekhoe
Product Specialist, Paystack
NigeriaCowrywise secures fund/portfolio management license from the SEC. They became the first fintech company in Nigeria to get the fund/portfolio management license from the SEC. What this means is that they can confidently go about their portfolio management business without fear of the regulators releasing memos and advising users to desist from their platform. Disrupt Africa

In our last issue, we reported on Chaka's newly obtained digital sub-broker license from the Nigerian SEC. That together with this new fund management license issued to Cowrywise potentially shows some commitment from the SEC to not just regulate but also support digital innovation in the Nigerian investment space.
AfricaMo' CBDCs, No problems? Michael Kimani (@pesa_africa) speculates on the potential implications of the proposed launch of Central Bank-backed digital currencies on African fintech in this Twitter thread Twitter
NigeriaOn payments in Nigeria. The Open Africa Podcast dives into the Nigerian payments landscape and provides brilliant insight and context into the complex regulatory and technical operations in the industry in this podcast episode Podcast

It's an interesting reminder that much of fintech involves not just technical development and financial operations but also regulatory engineering. In fintech, coin intersects not just with code but also with compliance. Modern financial innovation is really dependent (and sometimes limited) by the right combination of if/else statements but also CBN licenses. So it is ultimately important that the regulators are very intentional about designing regulatory frameworks that mitigate risk and protect consumers but also drive (or at the very least don't block) innovation.
GlobalDoes Crypto matter? A couple of financial experts and operators review global cryptocurrency trends in the last 12 months and the path to mainstream adoption in this episode of The Fintech Insider Podcast. Podcast
AfricaBeyond MoMo: Telco fintech dreams. Eric Osiakwan (@eosiakwan) highlights how African mobile operators are successfully trying to advance their digital financial services offerings beyond mobile money in this essay.  Africa CAN
NigerFairMoney raises $42M Series B to consolidate their position in Nigeria and India. Having received an MFB banking license which enables them to open current accounts for their users, the credit-led Neo bank raised a Series B to enable them to do two major things — build out more banking services in Nigeria and build up a large credit book in India. TechCrunch

The round was led by Tiger Global and per publicly available information, this is the first time the VC giant will be investing in two African startups in a year. We reported Tiger Global's investment in Flutterwave, their first African investment for this year here.
NigeriaTeamApt completes undisclosed funding round. An undisclosed Series B led by Novastar Ventures was raised by TeamApt to add digital banking services to Moniepoint, their agency banking product.The CEO, Tosin Eniolorunda, also confirmed that the company is currently in the process of closing another round which will be their Series C. While that is in progress, he says the company is planning to expand to other African countries with strong economies and also make a few acquisitions TechCrunch
GhanaGhanaian Fintech Startup, Zeepay, raises $7.9m Series A. Zeepay is a fintech that enables digital remittances from the diaspora to mobile money wallets, bank accounts, and Visa cards across 20 markets in Africa. The new funding, led by I&P, is a hybrid of equity and debt financing which will be used to support Zeepay's operations. Finextra
MoroccoMoroccan fintech startup, Yalla Xash, raises $675k. Yalla Xcash powers remittance from Canada, and the United States to Morocco. This new fund will enable the company to extend their services to other countries. Disrupt Africa
NigeriaNigerian lending startup, Payhippo, raises $1m. Led by Ventures Platform, Future Africa, and Launch Africa, the $1m Pre-seed funding will be used to recruit key hires in their engineering and finance teams Techpoint
Did you know?

Leading Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Africa made more money from their fintech businesses than some of Nigeria's leading banks (with operations across Africa) made from their digital businesses. This is according to an independent report by Harvard Blog. The MNOs, such as M-Pesa, Airtel, and MTN, achieved this on the back of their mobile money businesses.

This underscores the huge potential of MoMo in Africa. For a majority of Africa's unbanked populace, MoMo appears to be the most easily accessible entry point to financial services in the continent. This can be traced to the reach of mobile networks and the low-cost requirements of just having a feature phone.

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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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