Welcome to Fintech Founders Monthly for May 2022!
Summer is around the corner and the Fintech and Web3 Founders Series welcomed one of the most visionary thought leaders and entrepreneurs in the global Fintech and Web3 ecosystem.
Specifically this month, we:
- Deep dived into the Web3 world with Fiat Republic’s founders, Adam Bialy and Sophie Guibaud who explained how their company is helping to connect the Web3 and Banking worlds by creating a common language between traditional finance and crypto.
- Gained insight into the African Fintech market and the impact of massive internet adoption in the region, by inviting Chipper Cash’s VP of Global Developer Relations, Wiza Jalakasi, to understand how his company is helping to facilitate cross-border payment across Africa.
- Learned more about UAE’s vision of making the region a global crypto hub with Nadeem Ladki, Executive Director, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at Binance who elaborated how governments should get ready to be on the Web3 stage.
- Went through the most significant funding news.
Quotable Quotes from our FinTech & Web3 Founders
How to Bridge Web3 and Banking?
The untold story of with Adam Bialy and Sophie Guibaud, Fiat Republic’s founders
The annual global spending on blockchain solutions is projected to reach $11.7 billion by 2022. Fiat Republic is one of the UK-based Banking-as-a-Service companies which helps to help crypto break into the mainstream.
Adam and Sophie realised that banks cannot understand the reason behind the transaction that customers are making due to lack of knowledge in the space. In the market, there is an obvious need for someone to come in and really make peace between those two worlds and make them talk to one another. That is how they set up a mission of connecting Web3 and the banking world as Fiat Republic.
Listen to Adam & Sophie podcast to understand: What is a Web2.5 business model? How will banks get into crypto?… and many more! 👇
What Makes Fintech Grow So Fast in Africa?
The untold story of Wiza Jalakasi, VP of Global Developer Relations at Chipper Cash
Fintech is the hottest sector in the African tech ecosystem, and TeamApt supports the ecosystem as one of
Fintech in Africa has grown faster than any other regions globally in 2021, reaching $5.2 billion total capital investment, and African fintechs will climb further in 2022. In episode seventeenth of the Fintech Founders Series, Wiza Jalakasi shared how massive internet adoption is changing Africa and creating more opportunities in the region.
He mentioned that Nigeria now has a lot of angel investors due to Facebook that pays tax strike acquisition. This incident created an advantage for the African ecosystem since that contextually aware capital can unlock a lot of doors in the market. As a result, international investors helped to invest local capital into the ecosystem.
Listen to Wiza podcast to understand: How did the Internet disrupt and help the African Fintech market? Why do VC fundings for African Fintechs come mainly from international investors… and many more! 👇
How to Make the Middle East a Global Crypto Hub?
The untold story of Nadeem Ladki, Executive Director, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at Binance
The Middle East cryptocurrency market has grown by 1500% since 2020 and is one of the fastest-growing regions worldwide. This exponential growth shows that the Middle East region is pushing boundaries to become the crypto trading hub. Nadeem Ladki, Executive Director, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships at Binance shared more about Binance, discussed UAE’s vision of making the region a global crypto hub and the latest innovative incentives in the Middle East.
During the session, Nadeem underlined the importance of Web3, which is the next level of ownership in the digital world even if some people misunderstand or misrepresent Web3 as just cryptocurrency or blockchain. In regional perspective, the UAE is one of the leading countries where they are not afraid of innovation, they know what they want to be and how they want to do it, and this shows that the UAE has a strong foundational stage on Web3.
At the end of the session, Nadeem also mentioned that no matter how volatile the crypto market is, blockchain will stay as the latest technology in the ecosystem and trading opportunities will be rebuilt again.
Listen to Nadeem podcast to understand: How did the Middle East region set a vision to become a global crypto hub? What does it take to learn more about not only trading but also education?… and many more! 👇
What happened in Fintech last month in the MEASA region
In case you missed it, here are some of the must-read news pieces in the FinTech MEASA World. Egypt, UAE, Nigeria and Israel have witnessed various funding rounds and regulatory acts which highlight the promising growth plans for the region and Fintech hubs.
Egyptian fintech Paymob raises $50M led by PayPal Ventures and Kora Capital
Egyptian fintech Paymob, which enables merchants to accept digital payments online and in-store, announced today it has raised $50 million in Series B funding. PayPal Ventures, the global corporate venture arm of PayPal, New-York-based venture capital Kora Capital, and London-based Clay Point led the round.The round, which is one of the largest at this stage in Egypt and MENA, brings Paymob’s total funding to over $68.5 million.
MDI aims to become Egypt’s first fully digital bank
A new banking challenger, Misr Digital Innovation (MDI), is gearing up for launch in Egypt as the country’s first fully digital bank, with the aim of giving Egyptians instant access to their finances and improved customer experience. Created in 2020 by Banque Misr, one of Egypt’s leading banks, the new digital bank aims to provide banking solutions, access to the digital economy and drive financial inclusion within the Egyptian community.
LeapFrog and Tana Africa invest in Nigerian paytech Interswitch
LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital have made a strategic investment in African paytech Interswitch. The undisclosed amount of funding will support Interswitch in its mission to digitise payments across the African continent.A portion of the investment has been acquired from existing shareholders, with Ignite Holdco Limited, made up of Helios Investment Partners and TA Associates, remaining the largest shareholder in the business following the deal.
Dubai-Based FinTech Pemo Snags $12M in Seed Funding
Dubai-based FinTech Pemo has raised $12 million in a seed funding round that it will use for continued product development and expansion across the Middle East and North Africa. Cherry Ventures and Shorooq Partners co-led Pemo’s seed round, with participation from FinTech Collective, Speedinvest, BY Venture Partners, Antler and several angel investors. Pemo has also announced the debut of its all-in-one spend management platform for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.
BaaS start-up Unit raises $100m Series C, reaches $1.2bn valuation
Israeli Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) start-up Unit has raised a $100 million Series C round, valuing the company at $1.2 billion. The round, led by Jeff Horing of Insight Partners, saw participation from existing investors Accel, Better Tomorrow Ventures, and Flourish as well as new investors Stepstone, Moving Capital and a host of fintech angels.The company intends to use the capital raised to develop and rollout new products “and make it even easier for companies to launch and succeed with banking products”.
Nigerian fintech start-up Bridgecard has raised $440,000 in a pre-seed round with multiple investors
Bridgecard merges all cards, bank accounts and fintech wallets into one card and an app, enabling online transactions, bill payments and withdrawal from any linked account in one app. Bridgecard says it will use the money to increase the number of bank accounts that can be linked on Bridgecard, expand to support crypto wallets in supported countries, get the product in the hands of more people and solve online and card payment issues better.
YAP expands into Pakistan with EMI licence approval
United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based start-up YAP has been granted an in-principle approval from the State Bank of Pakistan for an electronic money institute (EMI) licence. Following the launch of its digital banking platform in the UAE last year, YAP has set its sights on Pakistan’s fast-growing fintech landscape with the aim of serving the country’s underbanked population. YAP Pakistan CEO Meharyab Niazi says the firm is “dedicated” to expanding into the underserved Pakistani fintech arena to increase financial inclusion.
FOO Launches in Saudi Arabia
B2B FinTech provider FOO said it is expanding its operations into Saudi Arabia in an effort to help that country with its digital transformation. FOO works with banks and retailers in the Middle East and North Africa to create digital products to boost business models and customer experience, such as remittances, digital wallets, tokenized transactions and buy now, pay later. FOO’s efforts will target digital banking, blockchain-based central bank digital currencies, virtual cards, and tokenization.
ADCB Egypt partners Temenos to deliver digital payments
ADCB Egypt, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), will deploy Temenos’ payments solution as it looks to tap into growing customer demand for cross-border payments. ADCB, the third largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, is expanding its partnership with the Swiss core banking vendor to adopt new global payment standards such as ISO20022 and Swift GPI. ADCB Egypt managing director and CEO Ihab El Sewerky says the “technological upgrades” provided by Temenos will allow the bank to expand its offering and comply with regulatory directives.
Kenyan fintech startup FlexPay secures funding from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund
Kenyan fintech startup FlexPay has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund as it looks to supercharge its growth and help more people avoid debt. FlexPay is an online and offline payment gateway that allows merchants to offer interest-free targeted savings to their customers in Africa. The startup has now raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro venture capital fund that invests in early-stage startups in the Middle East and Africa.
You can find all of the sessions of Fintech and Web3 Founders Series here.