Business

Top 10 Unicorns In Nigeria

Top 10 Unicorns In Nigeria

Unicorns: Starting up is the process of creating a company from scratch. A disruption occurs when they develop a new product or service that completely fixes a flaw in an existing one, adapting an unconventional approach. As a result, many startups fail, with a few succeeding.

At least 774 startups are based in Africa, according to Disrupt Africa. These startups raised a total of US$701,460,565 in 2020, an increase of 42.7% from US$491,623,400 raised in 2019. In 2005, only US$185,785,500 in funding was available to African startups.

Approximately one-third of Africa’s startups received funding that allowed them to achieve unicorn status, allowing them to represent the continent’s startup growth. The term refers to companies that reach a $1 billion valuation in fewer than ten years, although it is debatable. 

Sign Alliance founder, Collins Onuegbu, is opposed to using the term ‘unicorn’ for African startups. Instead, using Gazelle is a sleek, stable creature adapted to the harsh terrain of Africa. He suggests replacing that term with one more appropriate for our world. Despite its infancy, our financial system differs from a developed nation like the United States in the majority of the continent. So is Africa to follow America’s lead in searching for unicorns, or should we define our gazelles and seek them across continents? That is the question Onuegbu asks.

C.B. Insights reports that there are currently 900 unicorn companies worldwide, 4 of which were formed between January and September 2021 in Africa. In addition, during the first half of 2021, African startups collected more funds than they had collected between 2015 and 2018.

Across East Asia, the population is aging. As a result, African economies and cultures are expected to grow as the continent’s population rises.

Unicorn companies worldwide have reached 1,000 in the new Internet-driven economy. Although the United States continues to have the most unicorn companies, the Chinese unicorn companies have been supplanted by unicorns from other emerging countries, dropping from 24% to 18.6%.

With a value of US$2 billion, Opay became the first African company to raise US$400 million in 2021. Other African unicorns only achieved unicorn status after 2020.

Interswitch and Fawry, Africa’s most senior unicorn startups, were founded in 2002 and 2008. The other five African unicorns, on the other hand, took less than five years to achieve unicorn status, with four of them taking an average of 3.75 years by 2021, demonstrating that Africa’s unicorn-cultivation paradigm is maturing.

“Soonicorn” refers to a mini-unicorn business founded in the last five years with amassed funds of more than US$100 million that has a high potential to become a unicorn enterprise.

The average age of unicorn founders worldwide, according to Antler, is 34. However, the 114 African companies surveyed have an average age of 29, with only 20% over 35 years old and only 8% of them being female.

An entrepreneur’s experience working before starting a business is an average of eight years. Nevertheless, over 200 venture capital companies have been established in Africa amid optimism about business opportunities. For example, SoftBank’s Vision Fund invested in Nigerian startup Opay. Most world venture capital investment goes to finance, energy, e-commerce, and logistics, while Africa only receives 3%.

The business environment in Africa isn’t as good as in developed countries. Due to the use of the Internet, young African entrepreneurs started from scratch and have grown increasingly mature. While only two-thirds of 114 survey participants are African, the growing local presence indicates the importance of understanding the local market. Entrepreneurs in African startups have worked at well-known companies such as Google, Mckinney, IBM, and PayPal. They studied in famous universities in Europe and the United States after coming from Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa. Currently, their main task is to make use of the opportunities in Africa.

Initially, Reliance Jio was a poor telecommunications company in India. However, it established a leading position in India by bundling low-cost mobile phones with telecommunications services. African Internet companies should leverage their hardware business to demonstrate local values. Local value. The demographic dividends that emerging countries offer local companies allow them to explore successful business models despite many problems.

  1. Jumia 

Jumia offers a wide range of items for electronic devices and fashion, among other things, and targets several African countries. Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara founded it in 2012. Additionally, Jumia offers Jumia Logistics, an online logistics service that allows sellers to ship packages to consumers and Jumia Pay. This payment service facilitates transactions among active participants in some markets.

The first unicorn in the African startup ecosystem in 2016 after announcing a $435 million Series C funding. The company became the first African unicorn listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 

The corporation was valued at $3 billion at the time, and it operated in 14 African countries. However, following fraud claims in 2019, the company took a hit and began working in 11 countries with a $250 million valuation. According to TechCrunch, the company’s stock, which was trading between $2 and $4 in 2020, is now trading between $40 and $50. In the quarter of 2020, the business had 6.8 million active customers, up from 6.1 million in the same period the previous year, and it had collaborated with more than 110,000 active sellers.

Jumia, which began with a staff of ten in Nigeria, now employs over 5000 people.

In some cases, those who started with the foundation have held top management positions in their respective fields or built their businesses. The African Union’s Omobolanle Shodipo, ACE founders Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin, and music superstar Adekunle Gold are some of the others.

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Company overview

Legal Name

Jumia

Industries

E-commerce, Internet, Retail, Marketplace

Founder(s)

Jérémy Hodara, Sacha Poignonnec

Founded Date

Jan 01, 2012

Total Funding Amount

$1.2B

Investors

Pernod Ricard, Rocket Internet and MTN Group

  1. Flutterwave

Businesses and individuals have been impacted adversely by a series of unfortunate events that characterized 2020. The company has nevertheless risen to the challenge; of launching innovative products, launching thoughtful initiatives, and entering strategic collaborations to survive the year 2020 and emerge stronger in the year ahead.

As 2020 began with high hopes, it was disrupted by a series of catastrophic events, among them Covid-19. Individuals and businesses struggled as a result.

One of the brands that offer a helping hand to businesses and individuals facing a harsh reality in 2020 is Flutterwave, a payment technology company with over 200,000 businesses trusting it. Businesses and individuals can be well prepared to survive the tragedies of 2020 due to innovative business solutions, partnerships to increase community leverage and several initiatives that powered the brand’s community efforts.

Small businesses suffered damages due to the lockdowns imposed across various African cities worldwide. In addition, businesses were unable to operate due to the travel restrictions, causing a disruption in income for many workers and business owners. 

Flutterwave created the Flutterwave Store to aid with this. The Flutterwave store allowed businesses to upload their products and begin selling online while providing their customers with a smooth purchasing experience. In addition, the Flutterwave store removed the time-consuming shipping setup and payment processing for its consumers, as Flutterwave assisted company owners in dealing with these concerns.

The Flutterwave store is the brand’s and users’ success stories of 2020; the store received a warm welcome from users, quickly growing from 1,000 users in May to 5,000 in July, 17,000 in November, and over 20,000 transacting businesses now.

Businesses that utilize Flutterwave to stay afloat also show the success of the Flutterwave stores. Flutterwave, a small business on the site, recently sold 1000 bags in three days, thanks to businesses in the store. Additionally, other businesses generate income from home and generate daily sales.

In addition to payments collection, Flutterwave played a significant role in helping its community in 2020. Businesses and individuals could seamlessly receive payments through Flutterwave Donation links and Checkouts. As the pandemic spread and social protests expanded in 2020, these tools proved invaluable.

Business owners have been using Flutterwave Checkout to go digital – in the pandemic, for example, efficiently, Medplus, a pharmaceutical wholesale and retail company in Nigeria, used Flutterwave’s Checkout to carry out its digital transformation. As a result, Medplus’s customers could shop in-store without being exposed to the risks of pandemic shopping.

The Flutterwave Donation link, has become a popular choice among millennials and a popular crowdfunding tool for those in need of financial assistance. Moreover, it’s reasonable to say that the Flutterwave Donation link has become a symbol of selflessness and unity since it has assisted many well-intentioned individuals and corporations in donating to various important organizations.

Aside from launching and sustaining innovative solutions that helped businesses and individuals navigate through the problems of 2020, the brand also supported small businesses and the tech community via many philanthropic initiatives. For example, Flutterwave donated 5 million Naira to the Small Business Fund in Nigeria to aid in the rebuilding of robbed and vandalized enterprises.

In addition to offering cloud hosting worth $5,000 apiece, the brand also offered $5,000 worth of services to small businesses and startups affected by the pandemic.

Flutterwave explored several partnerships and collaborations with other brands to further enhance its services and empower its users. For example, a WorldPay merchant in Europe or the U.S. can now accept African payments through the brand’s partnership with WorldPay and Netflix in January 2020. Flutterwave has also partnered with Alipay, the digital payment system from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Together with Paga, it expanded payment solutions across Africa, including Nigeria.

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A digital marketing workshop for small-medium businesses hosted by Flutterwave was part of a collaborative effort with Google to facilitate business growth further. In addition to Ecobank and VISA, Flutterwave has other community-focused strategic partnerships.

2020 was about being there for the Flutterwave Brand’s community, facilitating progress, and ensuring that everyone is carried along despite their challenges. These actions have earned the company the title of “Small Business Hero.”

Flutterwave’s Founder and CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, says the company “understands the challenges of small enterprises and individuals in these trying times” and that “we are in a wonderful position to extend a helping hand.” That’s what we’ve done with the solutions we’ve released, our collaborations and partnerships, and the projects we’ve launched.

We hope that everyone will make it through 2020 with renewed hope and the assurance that we are a formidable force that can withstand any hardship.”

By demonstrating the value of community through its platforms, initiatives, and solutions, Flutterwave emphasizes the concept that we are stronger as a community. To carry this philosophy into the year 2021 and beyond, the brand has demonstrated great commitment in the past year of 2020.

Through its APIs, Flutterwave provides its customers with the opportunity to build customized payment applications. For example, Kwame in Ghana should have the capacity to transfer and receive funds to Aisha in Senegal, Mohammed in Algeria, Peter in Kenya, Ayo in Nigeria, etc. Kwame should have no bounds, and this is what Flutterwave aspires to.

Since 2016, Flutterwave has processed over $8 billion in transaction value. Customers include Uber, Booking.com, Wakanow, and Flywire, among others. Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa are among the 15 African nations where the company is active.

see the source imageCompany overview

Legal Name

Flutterwave

Industries

Payment infrastructure

Founder(s)

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Olugbenga Agboola , and Adeleke Adekoya

Founded Date

2016 

Total Funding Amount

$225 million

Investors

Avenir Growth Capital, B Capital Group and 47 others

  1. Interswitch 

Interswitch’s Founder and CEO, Mitchell Elegbe, stated that the market for payments in Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing company in the world, and the growth is due primarily to a young and dynamic population, rapid consumer behavior evolution, and increased desire for products and services that are accepted across the continent and abroad. As a result, Interswitch is delighted to announce a partnership with Visa, with whom we will transform the payment landscape in Africa.”

Visa’s Regional President of CEMEA, Mr. Andrew Torre, explained, “Africa is one of Visa’s priority regions. We are working to improve our position and the payments ecosystem on the continent.

Providing new consumer and merchant experiences and supporting the rapid growth of digital commerce in Africa, this partnership aligns with our global strategy of partnering with and investing in innovative partners.”

In the words of Babatunde Soyoye, Managing Partner of Helios, “Visa’s strategic investment is a substantial endorsement of Interswitch’s expertise in African payments.”

“We see tremendous opportunities in digitizing payments across the continent as an active investor in African payments businesses. We have collaborated with Interswitch’s management team to build an integrated and scalable platform for this purpose. We are looking  forward to work with Visa and the Company in the future.”

Interswitch invented electronic payments processing and switching in Nigeria in 2002, disrupting the traditional cash-based payments value chain.

In May 2019, Interswitch processed over 500 million transactions per month in Nigeria’s developing financial ecosystem and was the nation’s leading omnichannel payments company.

Only 12 percent of transactions in Africa were electronic in 2018 versus 54 percent in Europe and 79 percent in North America. Nevertheless, with estimated growth of approximately 35 percent from 2018 to 2023 in the region (excluding South Africa), Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing digital payments market globally. The notable factors driving progress are deepening payments infrastructure, population and urbanization growth, greater GDP growth than the global average, increased mobile and Internet penetration, and a more favorable regulatory environment.

Interswitch’s largest market in Africa, Nigeria, is a fast-growing market for electronic payments. A CAGR of 94 percent for POS transactions and 59 percent for ATM transactions per adult between 2013 and 2018.

Compared to markets such as South Africa, Brazil, and the U.K., there were only 11 card transactions per adult per year in Nigeria in 2018. However, between 2018 and 2023, there is expected to be a CAGR of 63 percent in Nigeria in terms of POS card transactions.

As of May 2019, Interswitch has 19 million cards activated on its network, which is the largest domestic debit card scheme in Africa in terms of volumes.

Moreover, with over 270,000 access points in Nigeria as of 2018, Quickteller is driving financial inclusion with e-commerce as well as peer-to-peer transfers, bill payments, and other e-commerce transactions, processing over 42 million transactions per month as of July 31, 2019 (resulting in over N560 billion through direct, indirect, and Paypoint channels).

In addition to delivering consecutive years of sustainable, profitable growth, Interswitch provides unique market capabilities and a powerful consumer proposition.

startups

Company overview

Legal Name

Interswitch

Industries

Payment

Founder(s)

Mitchell Elegbe

Founded Date

2002

Total Funding Amount

$10M

Investors

Visa, TA Associates and 2 others

  1. Wave

Durbin Drew (CEO) and Lincoln Quirk (CTO) founded Wave as an offshoot of Sendwave. The team established Sendwave in 2014 to eliminate the inconveniences of international money transfers and exorbitant transaction fees. World Remit formally bought Sendwave this year, although the two had already started working on Wave in 2016. When it started the wave in Senegal was aimed at the underbanked African people and aimed to minimize the cost of mobile money transactions.

Wave is a peer-to-peer money transfer business that uses mobile money accounts rather than bank accounts to send money. Customers can make deposits and withdrawals without paying a fee at physical agent locations or utilize a smartphone app that takes a flat 1% share of the money.

In September, the company confirmed a $200 million Series A round of funding. This helps the industry become the first Francophone African startup to do so and only the third in 2021. With a $1.7 billion value, the investment marks the region’s largest-ever Series A round, achieving unicorn status for the company.

Although Senegal is the company’s largest market, Wave recently started in Cote d’Ivoire and has aspirations to grow to Uganda, Mali, and other African countries. The fintech software has received five million downloads in Senegal since its inception in 2017, making it the country’s largest mobile money provider.

Company overview

Legal Name

Wave

Industries

Payment

Founder(s)

Durbin Drew (CEO) and Lincoln Quirk (CTO)

Founded Date

Feb 01, 2018

Total Funding Amount

NA

Investors

NA

  1. Opay

OPay grew into a $2 billion financial services firm in three years from a quirky startup based in Lagos, Nigeria. After the company secured $400 million in funding from SoftBank, a Japanese investment firm, and other major investors like Sequoia Capital China, they achieved this value.

There has never been a business on the continent that has raised this much money in a single round. Flutterwave was valued at $1 billion after securing $170 million in financing this year.

Although Chinese billionaire Yahui Zhou owns oPay through Norwegian software giant Opera, it has become the fastest African startup to reach $1 billion in valuation.

According to Zhou, OPay aims to help emerging markets accelerate their economic development.

It began operating in August 2018 and is now based in Nigeria, where it specializes in agent banking. People can use OPay’s point-of-sale machine and underlying software to operate like banks and ATMs (The only difference is that it is open every day and every night). They open bank accounts, accept deposits, and process withdrawals.

As of May 2020, the firm claims to have over 300,000 agents across the nation and to execute $3 billion in transactions each month. Additionally to agent banking, OPay specializes in commercial payments processing, including Q.R. codes, among other formats.

Venture capital has fueled the company’s rapid development. In 2019, OPay raised $50 million in funding, followed by $120 million in six months, laying the groundwork for dominating Africa’s fintech sector.

In a single app, peer-to-peer payments are made, meals are bought, assets are managed, and even instant messaging is offered.

OPay chose to focus on payments in both Nigeria and Egypt after the ban on motorbikes was introduced in Lagos last year, along with the epidemic’s effects.

Several massive funding rounds (Flutterwave) for African fintech, led by Jeff Bezos (whose firm invested in Chipper Cash). SoftBank’s first investment in Africa is OPay. It is part of SoftBank’s $40 billion Vision 2 Fund.

SoftBank is now free to invest in other African companies, except that, given this round’s size, new startups must develop at a fast pace compared to OPay’s. There might be challenges associated with that, and to many people, SoftBank’s WeWork experience is still fresh. 

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If more proof were ever required, SoftBank’s involvement demonstrates that African fintech is mature and has the world’s attention.

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Company overview

Legal Name

OPay

Industries

One-stop mobile-based platform

Founder(s)

Zhou Yahui

Founded Date

2018

Total Funding Amount

$170 M 

Investors

Bertelsmann Asia Investments, Gaorong Capital, Redpoint Ventures China, Longzhu Capital, Softbank Ventures Asia, GSR Ventures, Meituan, and one other

  1. Andela

Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan’s social-issues-focused fund hopes to help startups Andela train more engineers in Africa for tech careers as its first lead investment.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is leading a fresh $24 million Series B round of fundraising into Andela, the fund founded by Facebook’s billionaire creator and his wife, a certified pediatrician, last year. Along with current investors Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital, and CRE Ventures, GV joined the round.

In its two years, Andela has trained slightly under 200 engineers, selecting them from a pool of 40,000 candidates and providing them with six months of training before spending weeks at technology partners.

After that, Andela developers become full-time employees of those organizations, operating out of Andela campuses in Lagos and Nairobi.

“Our goal is to bring a new generation of exceptional company founders and CTOs across Africa,” says CEO Jeremy Johnson, who was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2012 for a prior firm, 2U, and co-founded Andela with Iyin Aboyeji, who is still based in Nigeria, in 2014.

Zuckerberg met directly with Johnson, the Mandela CEO, after meeting the CZI team at an event hosted by the startup’s previous investors at Learn Capital. According to Johnson, Mandela was not looking for an investment at the time. I immediately thought of, “How serious is he taking this? How much does Priscilla care?” Johnson asks.

Chan and Zuckerberg genuinely cared. In May, they appointed former deputy secretary of the U.S. Education Department James Shelton. Facebook’s mission is to close the gap between talent and opportunity globally, Zuckerberg said in a statement. I believe in supporting innovative learning models wherever they are found worldwide. What Andela is doing is pretty amazing. As a result, companies benefit from access to great developers, and developers in Africa can use their skills and support their communities.

Zuckerberg is arguably the most prominent software developer globally, which makes Andela’s access to him invaluable, says Johnson. Meanwhile, new investor GV impressed the startup more than any of the companies that met with it.

In addition to opening an office in San Francisco last month, Andela plans to open a presence in another African nation later this year. In addition, the company plans to double its developer training by the end of next year.

Google, among others, is one of its tech partners and Microsoft, 6Sense, and the Muse bring “real” revenue. Still, Johnson says Andela isn’t profitable and isn’t trying to be; it focuses on growing its presence.

After overcoming some initial skepticism from 6Sense’s cofounder and CTO Viral Bajaria, two Andela fellows have been hired as full-time staff members. The fellows ramped up only after they spent time onsite with 6Sense. Having the guys take a vague idea of ‘make this javascript robust’ and figure out what libraries to use, why, and pros and cons of each, I knew they would do great,” Bajaria says. “I trust their judgment.”

Keeping the quality of its graduates at an expanding number is the company’s greatest challenge. Companies think that Andela developers today are amazing when they interact with them, says Johnson. New investor Mark Zuckerberg may understand how to sustain engineering quality at scale.

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Company overview

Legal Name

Andela

Industries

Designing and manufacturing of glass

Founder(s)

Jeremy Johnson

Founded Date

May 21, 2014

Total Funding Amount

$381M

Investors

Generation Investment Management, Spark Capital and 43 others

  1. Chipper Cash

FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange platform of Sam Bankman-Fried, led a Series C extension round for Chipper Cash, an African cross-border payments company.

SVB Capital, a corporate venture capital arm of SVB Financial Group, led Chipper Cash’s first Series C round of $100 million six months ago.

The extension round included investments from SVB, Deciens Capital, Ribbit Capital, Bezos Expeditions, One Way Ventures, and Tribe Capital, in addition to the existing investors.

At the moment, no names have been released regarding the new investors. While the company has raised $250 million in its Series C round, it has raised over $305 million in total funding.

At the company’s Series C announcement, Ham Serunjogi called Chipper Cash “the most valuable private startup in Africa” without specifying the amount.

The issue of not to ban firearms has been debated several times Chipper Cash is a unicorn since the statement was left open for interpretation. However, Chipper Cash is now a unicorn since its valuation has crossed $2 billion with this extension round. Serunjogi confirms this now, as well.

Founded in 2018, Chipper Cash provides a no-fee peer-to-peer cross-border payment service in Africa under the direction of Serunjogi and Moujaled. Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya are among the countries that use its services.

The company began expanding outside of the continent this year. With its expansion to the U.K. this May, Chipper Cash’s African markets are now accessible from the European country.

Over the last month, Chipper Cash has entered the U.S.-Africa remittance market. Established players like Wise, MoneyGram, Sendwave, and Remitly are already active; 56% of international remittances are sent from the U.S. to sub-Saharan Africa.

Global remittances account for 40 percent of the world’s economy, according to the World Bank has experienced exponential growth over the past year, except for the past year when it fell from $48 billion in 2020 to $42 billion last year.

Given the high cost of sending money to Sub-Saharan Africa (the most expensive location), Chipper Cash’s strategy is to give the “best prices” while simultaneously facilitating money transfers from Africa to the United States.

“Chipper Cash offers remittances at a significantly lower cost than anyone else,” Serunjogi told TechCrunch. “More importantly, we are now the only people I know who can support Africa in transferring money to the United States.”

Chipper Cash isn’t the first to try to offer such a service; platforms like WorldRemit already allow certain African countries like South Africa to send money to the United States.

Serunjogi claims that peer-to-peer money transfers from the United States to Nigeria and Uganda are now available to customers in those countries. In addition, before the end of the year, the service will be available to users in Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya.

According to the CEO, users in Uganda, South Africa, and Kenya would be the first to receive access to outflow payment services – moving money from Africa to the United States.

Chipper Cash has also tried social payment systems.

Earlier this year, Twitter released its Tips feature, also known as Tip Jar, to allow authors to earn money on the network. The social networking firm partnered with a few payment platforms to make it available in various countries.

To offer the African creators via its payments link, they selected chipper Cash since creators in developed markets can choose from PayPal, Patreon, GoFundMe, Cash App, and Venmo.

Twitter and ourselves will offer several payment options to help creators be compensated for their contributions online, Serunjogi said.

We worked with Twitter on this due to our status as the largest cross-border payment platform in Africa, which could support multiple countries for Twitter users from Africa.”

Next year, Chipper Cash plans to make Tip Jars integrated with its services available in the U.S., said Serunjogi.

FTX’s funding only emphasizes the potential growth opportunity of Chipper Cash, as evidenced by its partnership with Twitter and its expansion to the U.S. 

A cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, FTX is one of the biggest in the world. They raised a $420 million round last month at a valuation of $25 billion.

Alameda Research, a quantitative trading platform and its CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, is also a founder of the company. His investments through FTX include blockchain startups Sky Mavis and Circle, as well as a brokerage trading platform named DriveWealth.

FTX’s investment in Chipper Cash is the company’s first on the continent, and the deal is the latest indication that crypto adoption is becoming more serious on the continent. Global peer-to-peer transactions for crypto in 2015 totaled $105 billion, according to Chainalysis.

Chipper Cash’s Network API is another example of how the relationship is useful. It enables developers to collect and disburse payments into Chipper wallets using the company’s infrastructure. In other words, FTX users in Africa will be able to “Pay using Chipper Cash” on the crypto trading platform.

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Company overview

Legal Name

Chipper Cash

Industries

financial services company

Founder(s)

2017 

Founded Date

Maijid Moujaled, Ham Serunjogi

Total Funding Amount

$302.2M

Investors

Nevcaut Ventures, SVB Capital, and 22 others.

  1. Fawry

As part of its ongoing capital raising program, Fawry for Banking and Payment Technology Services S.A.E announced that it would raise EGP800 million ($50.8 million) through a rights issue to existing shareholders. It will launch a new chapter of financial service expansions with the proceeds.

Besides enabling the Company to expand its offerings on MyFawry, the offer will allow it to become one of the industry’s leaders in the Super App space. The Company will also continue investing in supply chain solutions and merchant acquiring. 

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Additionally, proceeds from the offering will execute the Company’s investment strategy, ensure rapid innovation, and support the budding ecosystem of startups and fintech, to complement Fawry’s offerings in e-commerce, logistics, fintech, and insurance technology.

If the shareholder and regulatory support are received, the Company’s board of directors, including the directors representing the primary shareholders, has approved the proposal to increase capital to finance the Company’s growth plans.

Also approved by the board of directors was the establishment of the American Depositary Shares programme. SEC-registered secondary offerings are being investigated by the Company in the United States. The timing, number of ADSs, and price of the proposed offering still need to be determined.  The proposed offering is subject to market circumstances and shareholder and regulatory approvals. Accordingly, it can give no assurance as to whether or when it will complete the offering or the size or terms.

These materials do not constitute an offer to sell securities in the United States. They cannot sell the securities in the United States unless they have been registered or have received an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Any public offering of securities will be conducted through the use of a prospectus, which can be obtained from the Company and will include full information about the Company and its management and financial statements.

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Company overview

Legal Name

Fawry

Industries

Payment Solutions 

Founder(s)

Mohamed Okasha

Founded Date

2008

Total Funding Amount

$122M

Investors

Brimore, Alsoug, elmenus, and Bosta 

  1. MTN

Over 10 million monthly active users have been reached with the partnership between MTN and Ayoba, Africa’s super application. In May 2021, Ayoba celebrated its second anniversary as an organization.

Platforms like Ayoba are a way for Africa to harness its digital economy by eliminating obstacles like a lack of internet access, a low smartphone penetration rate, a lack of locally relevant content, and an affordable price point.

Serigne Dioum, MTN Group Digital and Fintech Officer, said, “We celebrate this milestone and are happy Ayoba allows millions of people across our markets to access a modern connected life at an affordable price.

By 2025, MTN’s Ambition 2025 strategy aims to reach 100 million monthly active users through Ayoba and ensure that people reap the benefits of being online on a social, economic, and developmental level, concludes Serigne.

Ayoba has grown in the past two years and continues to be recognized by a wide variety of entities. For example, Ayoba was recently awarded the Best Mobile App from the Bonteh Digital Awards and received the Best OTT Brand of the Year award at the Marketing World Awards 2021. In addition to the hackathons, Ayoba has hosted two micro-app development workshops this year to teach young developers the basics.

Ayoba CEO Burak Akinci commented: “Our growth in 2021 has been considerable, exceeding 4 million users. We are here to stay, which is a testament to the real popularity of Ayoba in the African market. As well as our team’s efforts, our users’ loyalty, and enthusiasm are also major factors in our growth. Our users’ interests are always our top priority. As we launch new features, content, and general improvements throughout the year, we anticipate even bigger growth in 2022.”

Through channels, micro-apps, and payment solutions interwoven within a single African Super App, Ayoba provides users with access to digital and rich media services. Sports, News, Music & Artists, Health & Wellness, Careers, Fashion & Beauty, Education, and Travel, are among the 180 content channels available, up from 128 at the start of the year.

Users now have access to 35 micro-apps, including MTN Online School (South Africa) and MTN MoMo (Ghana), which bring even more content to a deep and hyper-localized offering.

We’ve also identified market gaps exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly subscribers’ literacy. Through our education micro-app, available in Ayoba, we’ve launched many channels with key strategic partners focused on specific areas of education, ranging from entrepreneurial education to country-specific curriculum content for students, including educational explainer videos on topics like math, science, and the art of storytelling, which include educational explainer videos on topics like math, science, and the art of storytelling.

In addition to encrypted message sharing in 22 languages, Ayoba users can also share pictures, videos, files, voice notes, and their location and subscribe to live channels. These channels provide localized content to entertain, educate, and empower communities.

You can use Ayoba whether or not you have an MTN line. As part of the MTN Ayoba service, MTN customers receive free data to use the messaging, browsing, gaming, and music features. You can download the free app data at www.ayoba.me. Users who need to save space on their devices can also use Ayoba lite online via web access web.ayoba.me. Free data does not include voice or video calls.

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Company overview

Legal Name

MTN Group Limited

Industries

Multinational mobile telecommunications company

Founder(s)

 

Founded Date

1994

Total Funding Amount

$121.1M 

Investors

NA

  1. Esusu 

 With this round of funding, Esusu, the leading provider of rent reporting and credit analysis solutions, raised $10 million and was led by Motley Fool Ventures. The Equity Alliance, Predictive VC, and prominent angel investors joined the round through Williams’ Serena Ventures. In addition, Esusu has raised $14 million from previously invested firms such as Impact America Fund, Next Play Ventures, Concrete Rose Capital, Global Impact Fund, and Zeal Capital Partners.

The innovative fintech company Esusu focuses on delivering scalable and much-needed financial solutions for underserved populations, said Motley Fool Ventures Managing Director Ollen Douglass. Their credit-building offerings aim to expand credit access to low-to-medium income households across the country, from reliable rent reporting to zero-interest housing stability funds.”

The average American does not have a credit score. Esusu’s rent reporting capability can overcome this problem because it captures and reports rental payments to the three largest credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. As a result, it allows renters to build credit and enhances the rental income generated by property owners, reducing evictions and filling vacancies. Renters facing financial hardship may also be able to apply for the zero-interest Housing Stability Fund.

In addition to helping working families gain access to financial inclusion, Esusu is also first and foremost focused on creating pathways for individuals, said Serena Williams, founder of Serena Ventures. Rent reporting is seamless through their services – finally allowing renters to get credit for what is often their largest monthly expense. COVID-19, of course, was widespread last year. Renters were often facing eviction because of the unemployment and housing crisis. Esusu has created zero-interest loans to address rent relief efforts immediately to address this problem.

A zero-interest housing stability fund by Esusu, introduced in the Spring of 2020, saw a rise in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a decline in financial stability and unemployment. Esusu’s zero-interest rent relief efforts helped keep over 70% of households in their homes. Families also benefitted from credit building and rent reporting.

Serena Williams said she was confident in the potential of the Esusu mission: “We invested in this mission.” She added: “The tech-enabled model offers a real win-win solution for tenants and landlords alike.” We will invest heavily in Esusu to help it grow and unlock more financial opportunities.

There are currently 2 million Esusu homes in the United States, representing a Gross Lease Value of over $2.4 billion. Esusu partners with 30% of the nation’s largest landlords. The company has partnered with Related Companies, Goldman Sachs, Winn Residential, L+M Development Partners, Camden Property Trust, etc. On Forbes’ Fintech 50 List, along with Stripe, Robinhood, and other innovative companies, Esusu was named one of the world’s most innovative companies for 2015.

The Co-CEOs of Esusu, Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel strongly believe that your origin, skin color, or financial status should not dictate your success. As a result of industry adoption, regulatory initiatives, and partnerships with the country’s largest property owners and operators, Esusu has experienced tremendous growth over the past year. “Esusu will continue to expand by enhancing product innovation, recruiting top talents, and building the most comprehensive financial health platform available for low-income families.”

The Esusu platform provides tenants with data solutions to empower them and improve property performance. Esusu’s rent reporting platform provides credit bureaus with rental payment data so they can boost credit scores.

By leveraging differentiated data and insights, it assists tenants in establishing and building credit scores and helps property owners increase revenue, lower evictions, and fill vacancies. Since Esusu launched in 2018, it has included over 2 million rentals in all 50 states. You can follow them on Facebook @myesusu and Twitter @getesusu. Visit www.esusurent.com for more information.

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Company overview

Legal Name

Esusu

Industries

Rental payment

Founder(s)

Samir Goel, Robert Henning, Jeph Acheampong, Abbey Wemimo

Founded Date

01/01/2016

Total Funding Amount

$145M

Investors

Hagop Hagopian, Next Play Ventures and 25 others.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma


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