The Fintech players in the Nigerian tech space had a big year. Fintech startups grew exponentially with varying digital innovation to provide banking solutions, all of which created a huge market for the sector.
The year also saw a few major players with huge funds enter the market and major telecommunications companies like MTN launch Fintech verticals that pushed financial inclusion.
In 2018, the Nigerian Fintech space garnered one of the largest funding in the sector raising about $39.57 billion in over 1,000 deals. And 2019 is no different, as Fintechs were one of the biggest winners in funding.
With the high influx of funds and the emergence of more startups together with the growing technological innovation, Fintechs became the leading force driving financial inclusion.
Based on Technext’s research, here are the top 5 Fintech startups in 2019 that delivered innovative financial services, garnering market traction and raising high amount of funds.
Interswitch, a Nigerian-based Fintech company owned by Helios Investment Partners has become a major player in Fintech since its launch in 2002. Interswitch offers different financial products including point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms and its ATM card, Verve, to customers across 23 countries.
Currently, Interswitch’s sophisticated payment platform caters to the electronic banking and financial transactions of over 32 million consumers. In May, the company disclosed that it was processing over 500 million transactions per month.
Recently, Interswitch added a new vertical by acquiring a 60% stake in eClat, a healthtech company that aims to improve healthcare delivery. The company also raised $200 million dollars from Visa as a pre-listing investment as they plan a dual listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange in 2020.
Flutterwave is payment startup helping banks and businesses provide seamless and secure payment experiences for their customers. Founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, the startup is a leading player in the Fintech space with over 60,000 merchants in 6 African countries and the United Kingdom.
This year, Flutterwave has been connecting African businesses with the world with its powerful partnerships. Flutterwave went into partnership with Visa to launch a consumer payment product for Africa called GetBarter, as well as Alipay to allow Flutterwave handle payments between businesses in Africa and the over 1 billion Alipay users abroad.
They also partnered with Binance, to allow Nigerians buy bitcoin in naira. The company was granted a super agent licence by CBN to drive financial inclusion.In 2018, Flutterwave processed $1 billion worth of transactions
In recognition for Flutterwave’s many accomplishments this year, AppsAfrica awarded them the Changing Africa Award.
Branch International is a leading mobile loan app that uses data science to give Nigerians access to financial services. Founded in 2015, Branch provides quick loans that help its over 2 million users achieve their business and personal needs.
This year, Branch recorded a major milestone of crossing its 1 millionth loan disbursed worth over N9 billion after two years in the country. The company also raised an enormous $170 million in a Series C funding round led by Foundation Capital and Visa.
The fund raised was one of the largest ever recorded by a startup operating in Africa and it also brings the total funds raised by the company to over $254.7 million. In 2018, Branch made the #Fintech250 list of fastest growing fintech startups in the World.
Carbon formerly Paylater is a digital bank and online lending platform that provides access to quick loans and allows users to save through its Payvest feature. Founded in 2016 by Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie of One Finance (One-fi), Carbon allows its over 1 million users request for a loan without need for collateral, or a guarantor.
This year, Carbon secured a $5 million loan from Lendable, after which it acquired AmplifyPay which allowed it to introduce some new banking features.
Carbon has disbursed more than $35.6 million in loans and boasts of a registered revenue of about $10.4 million. They recently won best ‘Digital Loan Provider of the Year’ and the ‘Best Loan App’ at the 5th Nigerian Finance Innovation Award 2019 and was also awarded Best Fintech Solution in Africa at the AppsAfrica awards
OPay is a mobile payment platform that is becoming a commercial multi-service internet provider in Nigeria. Founded by Opera in 2018, OPay is a Fintech startup that is known more commonly for its verticals like ORide, OBus, OCar and OTrike in the logistics industry.
2019 has been a good year for OPay as it raised a huge amount of funding and market traction. In May, the startup announced that it now has over 20,000 agents in Nigeria after which $50 million was raised in a funding round led by Chinese VC investors.
Recently, the startup added to its fund stash by raising another $120 Million in a Series B Funding also led by Chinese VC investors. The startup has revealed that the new influx of funds will be used to scale and expand into Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.
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