Welcome to Fintech Founders Monthly for February 2022!
In the second month of 2022 we focused on founder stories of BNPL companies in Nigeria and Pakistan. Both of the countries have rewritten the rules of providing easy access to credit with their companies’ initiatives and increased the number of BNPL companies in the region.
So what’s the main reason behind this unstoppable BNPL growth in Nigeria and Pakistan? Gain insight the main highlights of our latest Fintech Founders episode hosted by Ronit & Gaurav and the latest funding-related news from the MEASA region. Let’s get started!
Quotable Quotes from our FinTech Founders
Helping underbanked households in Nigeria
The untold story of Carbon’s Co-Founder and CEO, Chijioke Dozie
In Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, the innovators and entrepreneurs are constantly developing Fintech solutions. Nigeria’s fintech scene is booming, from free payments solutions for users, to easy-to-access short-term loans, and Carbon, a leading consumer lending business, is part of this revolution. Chijioke Dozie, our guest on episode ninth of the Fintech Founders Series, dived into how his entrepreneurship journey started from lending to payments.
During the session, Chijioke stressed the high level of underbanked customers in the global market, and this problem can be solved only by the Fintech companies focusing on this issue. Furthermore, VC fund inflows in Nigeria is increasing significantly day by day in African Fintech hub, however Chijioke mentioned his concerns that various companies are not as lean as they should be to solve customers’ problems and allocate resources wisely.
You can find the recording of session, podcasts and many more here.
The untold story of Co-Founder & CEO of QisstPay, Jordan Olivas
The Pakistani market lacks an easy way to access credit, and various entrepreneurs are working to provide new payment solutions for customers in the region. QisstPay is one of the leading Fintech companies in Pakistan, notably with their recent launch of their BNPL product and 1-Click Checkout product in the US to offer customers the world’s fastest online checkout experience. On episode tenth of the Fintech Founders Series, Jordan Olivas shared how a startup can move from Pakistan to the most competitive fintech hub: the United-States.
During the session Jordan underlined the importance of execution when entering a new market especially in emerging countries such as Pakistan. In that point of view, he advised that you need to consider having the best product and communication. Also, along with bringing the right people in and building an ecosystem in the region can help to mitigate the risk of frustration in the market. In addition to the importance of finding talented people and establishing an ecosystem, Jordan mentioned that he started by building trust and the platform with retailers before launching its 1-click checkout product in the US market this year. Jordan had the chance to experience both the US and Pakistan, and left saying that in geographical perspective Pakistan in tech is phenomenal, and in the region there is great engineering talent, and the Pakistani market has various opportunities.
You can find the recording of session, podcasts and many more here.
What happened in Fintech last month in the MEASA region
In case you missed it, here are some of the must-read news in the FinTech MEASA World. Pakistan, Nigeria, UAE and Uzbekistan have witnessed various seed funding rounds which highlights the promising expansion plans for the region and Fintech hubs.
Zindigi – Pakistan’s first customizable digital experience powered by JS – was introduced with launch events in 13 cities across Pakistan. The company offers to their users to access all financial services from funds transfer to international remittances along with all kinds of local and international payments.
Pakistan’s Askari Bank has partnered with fintech firm Hysab Kytab and plans to integrate the latter’s personal finance management (PFM) solution into its digital banking offering. The solution will enable Askari Bank customers to view all their accounts in one place, track their expenses, create budgets in various categories, set savings goals and glean insights through charts and graphics that track their spending.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in Pakistan has selected Temenos’ flagship core banking solution, Transact, and auxiliary products “to transform its banking services across Pakistan and internationally”, the bank has announced on LinkedIn. The new software will support conventional and Islamic banking business lines at HBL, underpinning “a full suite of client-friendly products and services”.
Pakistan’s QisstPay is entering the U.S. by launching its online shopping tool that will be used by retailers, marking its expansion from South Asia to North America. “The plan will bring hundreds of jobs to Pakistan and the goal is to become one of the first unicorns in Pakistan,” said Olivas by phone. QisstPay has also opened an office in Bangladesh ahead of launching in the market.
Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, has joined forces with Fintech Saudi as a strategic partner to launch a 12-week Fintech Accelerator to support the growth and development of promising Fintech companies in Saudi Arabia.
South Africa-headquartered API fintech firm Stitch has raised $21 million in a Series A round. The announcement comes four months after it secured a $2 million seed extension to its $4 million seed funding raised in February 2021.
Hubpay, the Cross-Border Wallet in MENAP, Becomes First Fintech to Hold EMI License in UAE and Pakistan, as It Raises $20 Million Series A, Led by Signal Peak Ventures
MENAP-focused fintech Hubpay raises $20 million in Series A round. Hubpay has launched a cross-border digital wallet to drive financial inclusion across the region, offering zero-cost remittances. The company, founded in September 2019 holds the title of being the first startup to be licensed in the UAE for digital money services in 2020.
Nigerian fintech startup Earnipay, which provides flexible and on-demand salary access to income-earners, has closed a seed round of US$4 million to scale its offering. Earnipay will use the investment to accelerate the development of its technology platform to serve large enterprise employers. It plans to offer its on-demand salary solution to 200,000 employees by the end of 2022.
Tingo, a Nigerian FinTech focusing on agriculture, is looking to raise $500 million to expand across Africa. The new financing will allow the company to create a fund with $100 million to increase credit to mostly women farmers, and the company also has plans to add operations in at least 19 African countries in the next few years.
Uzbekistan-based Iman, an investment platform, has raised US$1 million in a seed round backed by Battery Road Digital Holdings, Tesla Capital, and Uzcard Ventures. Iman’s seed fund will go toward integrating retail partners, partnering with merchants, and expanding in its market with certification of having Sharia-compliant Islamic finance operations.
Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has approved a debt financing deal with Postpay, an omnichannel buy now, pay later (BPNL) provider in the Middle East. This strategic partnership will support Postpay on several fronts, including transaction banking, debt funding and e-commerce solutions, allowing it to focus on growth and support to its customers and merchant partners, a statement said. It will also enable Postpay’s planned expansion in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other GCC countries.
You can find all of the sessions of Fintech Founders Series here.