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African Unicorn Jumia Opens on NYSE; UAE’s Finablr Eyes $200M IPO

Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • UAE-based payments company Finablr prepares for a $200 million IPO.
  • Emirates NBD launches its WhatsApp Business Solution.
  •, a mass market ecommerce platform based in the UAE, raised $30 million in Series A funding.

Central and South Asia

  • Indian fintech BharatPe secures $15.5 million in Series A round to help provide UPI QR codes to merchants.
  • TechCrunch: PayU’s $70 million acquisition of Wibmo signals the company’s interest in the Indian market.
  • Entrepreneur India takes a look at what investors like about Indian fintech.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian SME lender Weel raises $30 million courtesy of investment from Franklin Templeton.
  • Mexico’s Banco BASE partners with Volante Technologies for end-to-end payment processing solutions.
  • PaymentsJournal reviews the surge in the number of new unicorns among Latin American fintech startups.


  • TurnKey Lender receives accreditation from the Singapore government’s IMDA, a certification that enables companies to expand into international markets easier.
  • WeLab, a Hong Kong based mobile lender, earns virtual banking license.
  • Fintech Singapore features its list of the top 10 fintech firms in Thailand for 2019.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • The ecommerce marketplace known as the “African Amazon,” Jumia, begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Top African finance app Branch lands $170 million in financing led by Foundation Capital and Visa.
  • Nigeria-based bank agent network Kudi raises $5 million in Series A.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Microblink introduces new document scanning app, BlinkCard.
  • Estonia to bid for developing national ID system, PhilSys, in the Philippines.
  • Fiserv helps Hellenic Bank streamline payments.

Top image designed by Freepik