5 African Microfinance Startups to Watch
Thursday, October 15, 2015
The African finance sector shot into the global limelight with the success of mobile money system M-PESA, which is heralded as proof of the continent’s capacity to lead the world in innovation in the payments space. Since then, the innovation has continued, and today a raft of mobile payments companies are active across the continent. Here Disrupt Africa showcases five of the top African m-finance startups to watch.
Where else to start but with Nigeria’s Paga, which recently closed a US$13 million Series B funding round.
Founded in 2009, Paga provides Nigerians with safe and convenient ways of making payments, allowing money to be sent to any phone number for the beneficiary to redeem at a Paga agent or at an ATM via a cardless withdrawal. Customers can also use Paga to deposit money to bank accounts in Nigeria, pay their bills, or top-up mobile phone airtime.
With the funding raised, the startup intends to expand its agent network significantly, while also continuing to innovate on its payment offerings for small and medium enterprises and consumers.
Nigerian-Finnish mobile payments startup IroFit enables small businesses to accept card payments and organise growing operations through a mobile app and an EMV-certified card reader.
The startup also provides support for small business management tools such as sales analytics, accounting, inventory management, CRM, loyalty management and payroll support, with the proprietary technology working even in areas with no internet connection.
In November last year, the startup secured US$600,000 in seed funding in order to finalise its product and launch in Nigeria; while it also signed a deal with a leading financial institution guaranteeing 100,000 payment devices will be available to the Nigerian market upon launch.