According to McKinsey & Co, revenues for African financial technology companies could rise to $30.3 billion by 2025 - eight times higher than in 2020 - as a growing, young, underbanked population gains more access to the Internet. Financial services revenues in Ghana and Francophone West Africa will grow fastest, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.
The Saudi Central Bank announced Sunday that it had granted licenses to two new financial technology companies to provide payment services in the kingdom. Enjaz Payments Services Co. received a license to provide electronic wallets, while Marta Financial Co. received a grant to offer payment services through points of sale.
Umba, a U.S.-based digital bank focused on emerging markets, has acquired a majority stake in Daraja, a Kenyan deposit-taking microfinance bank, for an undisclosed amount. Kenya's monetary authority, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), said Umba had acquired a 66.6% stake, which is expected to accelerate Daraja's digitization.
Bloom (website), a Sudan-based fintech company that offers a high-interest savings account and digital banking services, has secured a $6.5 million seed round funding. That funding round included fintech giant Visa, Y Combinator, U.S.-based VCs Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Goodwater Capital, and UAE-based early-stage venture firm VentureSouq.
Magnati, a MENA payment solutions provider, joins the Mastercard Fintech Express program, which helps FinTech companies issue cards and credentials. Mastercard connects startups with financial institutions such as banks to provide customized solutions, customizable licensing frameworks and a single point of contact for provincial FinTechs to accelerate the adoption of card programs.
Ghanaian fintech Fido (website) has secured $30 million in Series A funding led by Fortissimo Capital and Yard Ventures to enable new products and future expansion. The investment will support the Accra-based company as it aims to launch new products and prepare for future expansion across Africa.
Backbase (website) already has some important partners, including the National Bank of Bahrain, ila Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Kuwait International Bank and Société Générale. Recently, Backbase raised €120 million in growth equity funding from Motive Partners. The banking platform provider also announced a partnership with the MENA fintech hub Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) to accelerate the adoption of digital banking in the MENA region.
MFS Africa, a digital payments company, will acquire Oklahoma-based Global Technology Partners in a rare instance of an African group closing a technology deal in the US. The acquisition, which will allow MFS to issue prepaid cards to customers, marks another development in Africa's fast-growing fintech scene. MFS had paid $34 million for GTP in a combination of cash and stock.
Nigerian PayTech Grey (https://grey.co)is expanding into Kenya, making it easier for locals to accept payments in one of the three supported currencies. The PayTech has teamed up with payment company Cellulant to expand the availability of its platform to Kenya. Grey, a startup backed by Y-Combinator, allows users to get paid in U.S. dollars, euros, or British pounds before transferring the amount to their local bank or M-Pesa mobile payment account. The app is particularly popular with freelancers and remote workers, who can use the app to bill U.S. or European customers in their local currency.