Digital bank PaySika secures US$349,620 startup capital to begin its operations

AFRICA – PaySika, a digital bank focusing on Francophone Africa, has received startup capital of 300,000 euros (US$349,620).   The activity marks the neobank’s first fundraising effort since its inception in February 2020.  The company, which was co-founded by Cameroonian Roger Nengwe and his colleague Stezen Bisselou, intends to use this funding to “attract new additional profiles and continue its development by creating more fluid, safe services that fulfill user expectations.”  It hopes to begin operations in the first quarter of 2022, with the help of a consortium of French, British, and Nigerian investors. It will first deploy in…

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Prudential Insurance Plc appoints new team to spearhead its growth in East and Central Africa

KENYA – The United Kingdom headquartered insurance firm Prudential has appointed a new team to drive growth in East and Central Africa. In a press statement, the company said it has picked Arjun Mallik, formerly Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Uganda to oversee operations in the region that covers Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia. He is credited for steering the Prudential Insurance brand in Uganda for the past five years and was recently named the Most Innovative Life Insurer in Uganda by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda.  The firm which…

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Nigeria’s auto financing firm Autochek officially launches in Kenya

KENYA – Autochek, the automotive technology company that aims to facilitate auto finance across Africa, has officially spread its operations to Kenya as part of its pan-African expansion. To lead its Kenya operations, Autochek has appointed Bilhah Muriithi as the Country Manager. Having recently acquired automotive marketplaces Cheki Kenya and Cheki Uganda from Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM Africa), the move into the Kenyan market signals Autochek’s focus on building digital solutions that will increase market adoption for auto loan financing and drive partner prosperity for its core stakeholders, such as dealerships,…

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Nigeria’s Flutterwave seeks funding at US$3b valuation

NIGERIA – Flutterwave, a Nigerian payments firm, is seeking fresh funding at a valuation of US$3 billion or more, a figure that would roughly triple its last valuation, reports Bloomberg. The start-up, which has offices in Lagos in Nigeria and San Francisco in the US, recently held discussions with potential investors, the people said. Terms of the funding round haven’t been finalized, and it’s possible they may change. A Flutterwave spokeswoman declined to comment. Led by Chief Executive Officer Olugbenga Agboola, the company in March 2021 said it had achieved unicorn…

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US-based Kappa Pay raises US$2.1m to strengthen Africa presence

AFRICA – Kappa Pay, a US-based Fintech platform which leverages blockchain solutions to enable instant merchant and cross-border payments, has completed a pre-seed funding round with US$2.1-million to enable it to build infrastructure to facilitate the movement of money in and out of Africa for the benefit of back African businesses and consumers. The round, led by Morningside with participation from Lake Partners. Blaise Buma, Co-founder of Kappa Pay, said the P2P infrastructure they are setting out to build will be designed for ultra-low-cost, near-instant local and cross-border transfers. “We…

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Kuda partners with Network International to promote cashless payments

NIGERIA – In a move aimed at driving its independent payment cards offering, Kuda Technologies, the challenger bank for Africans, has partnered with Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce in Africa and the Middle East. Kuda’s proposition of zero fees on cards, account maintenance and transfers as well as its low-interest credit offering delivered conveniently through smartphones and the web have made it particularly attractive to millennials, and the bank now has well over a million customers in its launch country, Nigeria. As Kuda continues to grow significantly, switching…

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Bajabulile Tshabalala appointed as Senior Vice President of the AfDB Group

AFRICA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), has announced the appointment of Ms. Bajabulile “Swazi” Tshabalala as Senior Vice President effective 1 November 2021 Ms. Tshabalala, a South African national, has been Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the African Development Bank Group since joining the Bank Group in August 2018. She was appointed by President Adesina as Acting Senior Vice President in March 2020, following the retirement of the incumbent, Mr. Charles Boamah. Over the past three years, Swazi has served in several key leadership…

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Nigerian Digital Bank Sparkle closes US$3.1m Seed Round

NIGERIA – Sparkle, a mobile-first digital bank that provides financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians across the globe, has raised an oversubscribed seed round of US$3.1 million from an all-Nigerian group of investors including Leadway Assurance, Trium Networks and a number of Nigerian High Networth Individuals. This funding round follows a previous friends and family pre-Seed round totaling US$2 million, bringing Sparkle’s total funding to US$5.1 million. The new investment will be used to scale the platform’s talent teams across engineering, financial risk and marketing departments and investing…

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Digital lender Tala raises US$145m Series E Funding to facilitate its geographical expansion

KENYA – Emerging markets digital lender, Tala, has raised US$145 million in Series E funding led by Upstart which was founded by Dave Girouard, Anna Counselman and Paul Gu who previously worked with Google. Participants in the investment included Stellar Enterprise Foundation, a DeFi network, together with new investors J. Safra Group and Kindred Ventures. IVP, Lowercase Capital, and Revolution Growth which are existing investors also joined the investment, bringing the funding raised to about US$360 million. Tala plans to use the new investment to facilitate geographic expansion and grow its…

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Pay@ and FinChatBot partner to launch a first of its kind payment solution in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Pay@, South Africa’s leading payment solutions provider, has announced its partnership with FinChatBot, a global technology company specializing in conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to develop a first-of-its-kind payment solution for the South African market. The payment solution will be launched in the last quarter of 2021, with plans to expand it to other territories in the future. By combining conversational AI with the ability to process payments via a number of channels (including in-store, mobile payment processing apps, EFT and bank card payments over USSD, and…

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