This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
The nearly-$400 million poured into fintech companies in Nigeria alone this week is being remarked upon as a testament to the growing investor interest in sub-Saharan Africa. The three recipients of the new capital in recent days are OPay ($120 million), Interswitch ($200 million), and PalmPay ($40 million). The investors include Sequoia Capital China and SoftBank Ventures Asia, as well as China’s Transsion and Visa.
For comparison, African fintechs raised $357 million in all of 2018, according to a 2019 report from the GSM Association, The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa. Quoted in the Financial Times on the week’s funding news, Guaranty Trust Bank chief executive Segun Agbaje credited the payments industry for the surge in investment, calling the growth in the sector “probably like no other on the continent.”
Finovate made its African debut last year in Cape Town, South Africa. For an in-depth look at recent trends in African fintech, check out Jonathan Gregson’s “Africa’s Fintech Makeover.”
China’s impact on international fintech is also evident in the news that Ant Financial is considering applying for a virtual banking license in Singapore. Successfully securing such a license would enable Ant Financial to compete against Chinese incumbents like DBS Group Holdings and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Ant Financial secured a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong last year.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Brazil’s digital bank Neon raises $94 million in round led by General Atlantic and Brazil Banco Votorantim.
Biz Latin Hub’s Craig Dempsey makes the case for Mexico as the fintech sector to watch in 2020.
Mexican non-bank wallet service Todito Cash inks partnerships with four financial payment solutions companies.
Ant Financial may be one the hunt for a Singaporean virtual banking license, reports Bloomberg, following the online finance titan’s recent scoring of a license to operate a digital wallet in Hong Kong.
InstaReM rebrands as Nium, announces cross border payments partnership with Cambodian banking group, PhillipBank.
Indonesia’s biggest banking group, Bank Mandiri will use the Avaloq’sBanking Suite to run its wealth management division, which has $14 billion in assets under management.
Nigeria’s OPay raises $120 million in new funding. The investment adds to the $50 million the mobile payments service raised in June.
Asilimia, a Kenya-based fintech that helps SMEs access more efficient mobile payment solutions, secures $350,000 in funding.
South African digital commerce fintech Vectra wins Seedstars Cape Town competition.
Central and Eastern Europe
Revolutreaches 250,000 users in Hungary and reports an 8x gain in monthly transaction volume since the beginning of the year.
Enterprise blockchain solution company Rippleteamed up with Finastra this week. The two are collaborating to enable Finastra clients to transact with RippleNet partners and make international money transfers.
RippleNet is Ripple’s global payment network that works across 40+ currencies and consists of more than 200 financial institutions. Because RippleNet leverages the blockchain, users are able to track funds, delivery time, and status.
“This partnership will enable Ripple to expand the reach and solutions for our partners, and the footprint of RippleNet while allowing customers to transact directly with each other,” said Marcus Treacher, SVP of Customer Success at Ripple.
Riteesh Singh, Senior Vice President, FMS, Finastra said that the partnership will prove “particularly beneficial” to Finastra’s clients that rely on correspondent banks. That’s because, since RippleNet runs completely on the blockchain, transaction fees are lower than the industry average.
Ripple has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, and, as of July, Brazil. At FinovateSpring 2013, company co-founder Chris Larsen debuted Ripple (originally known as OpenCoin). Ripple started this year by surpassing 200 customers and, in June, the company formed a strategic partnership with MoneyGram.
Finastra formed in 2017 from the combination of Misys and D+H after Vista Equity Partners acquired Misys in 2012 and bought D+H in 2017. Misys demonstrated its FusionFabric.cloud technology at FinovateEurope 2017.