FinTech

Nigerian Fintech Startups Raise Over $15m in First Half 2019

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ADEWUMI OJO

The Nigerian fintech startups in the first half of 2019 have received $15m as the ecosystem continues to show its relevance.

The funding rounds, which ranged from pre-seed, seed stage, Series A to C funding, debt financing, grants to angel investment, were used by most of the start-ups to expand their operations to other markets and, in some cases, develop new products.

Just like other parts of the world, fintech startups now constitute and contribute largely to the Nigeria financial sector with various innovative solutions and activities aimed at improving the financial experience of the large populate.

Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya are regarded as the African fintech power-houses as a result of the high number of tech startups that continue to dominate the space.

Industry data gathered by Fintech Africa indicated that the fintech ecosystem in the country in the first half of 2019 received over $15m to boost and expand their operation as they continue to compete with traditional financial institutions and deepen the national financial inclusion strategy.

In February, TeamApt, a financial technology company that provides digital solutions and payment infrastructure to financial institutions, received $5.5m Series A fund from a number of investors led by a Nigerian venture capital company, Quantum Capital Partners.

ARM

Tosin Eniolorunda, founder and CEO of TeamApt after receiving the angel funding promised that the company will expand more aggressively into additional markets, whilst deploying investment into product development, talent acquisition and expansion of its internal operations.

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“Banking on the continent is changing at a rate never seen before by Africa’s financial institutions. Innovation and technology are no longer nice-to-haves, but must-haves, as both businesses and customers demand convenient, quick, and easy services from their banks,”

EazyChange, a transport payment solution start-up, got $10,000 at a Wema Bank-sponsored hackathons in March.

The solution was programmed to ease the problem of scarcity of lower denominations of the naira for transport fare within Lagos and other states.

Carbon former Paylater a lending platform that offers loans to Nigerians also early in March got $5m debt facility.

The debt facility, received from a New York and Nairobi-based Lendable, would be used to deploy more loans to Carbon customers, specifically through a suite of innovative new products.

Lendable, backed by Omidyar Network, KawiSafi Ventures, FMO, and other leading institutions, provides credit facilities to consumers and SME credit providers operating in digital lending, microfinance, and a range of pay-as-you-go services.

In the same month, findings show that Kudi, a digital payment start-up, got $5m Series A investment from French venture capital, Partech.

Similarly, in June, fintech firms, Asusu, Fint, Trove, Tsaron and Ogaranya received a total of N18m ($50,072) from ARM Labs in Nigeria.

The ARM Labs accelerator is a programme managed by Ventures Platform and designed to help idea and growth-stage fintech companies commercialise and distribute their innovations.

Companies believed to have received significant funding to boost their operation but did not disclose the amount include Cowrywise, Riby, Smart Teller, and Social Lender.