According to Village Capital, Mobile money has transformed the financial landscape in sub-Saharan Africa.
Additionally, the 2017 GSMA Mobile Economy Report shows that forty-three percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa has access to mobile phones. Financial technology (fintech) services like peer-to-peer mobile payments have made financial services much more accessible and brought millions of unbanked and underbanked Africans closer to the formal economy. Moving beyond the initial success stories in major markets of fintech innovation like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, we’ve seen expansion of products and services in Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and beyond.
Still, major challenges remain to building financial health throughout the continent. Roughly six in ten adults in sub-Saharan Africa lack bank accounts, and thus lack access to financial services that facilitate financial health and productivity. While much progress has been made in the payments arena, access to critical services such as insurance and pensions remains lacking. Additionally, fintech companies face regulatory barriers and infrastructure challenges that prevent their growth and expansion.
In may last year, Village Capital together with PayPal launched the Fintech Africa 2018 program seeking for startups in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania that:
- Address financial health concerns including insurtech, pensions and savings, cooperative finance, and financial literacy;
- Leverage data for alternative means of credit scoring, identity verification and protection, and consumer insights;
- Integrate financial health services with other mobile services including social media, gaming, and online commerce;
- Apply Fintech solutions to drive innovation and business model improvement in our other sectors of interest: agriculture, energy, education, and health.
Of the 12 selected startups, Four (4) of them are from Uganda;
- Ensibuuko – which helps cooperative micro-finance organizations to automate how they manage customer and transaction data using a cloud-based software platform, Mobis.
- Mazima Retirement Plan – a platform helping Africa’s Informal Sector Save for Retirement.
- Numida, a FinTech startup that’s building the missing digital products that African small businesses need in order to thrive and
- Patasente which is is a supply chain financing platform that enables a business to undertake e-procurement, settle payments and receive working capital loans against orders and invoices.
From March through May, the startups will participate in three workshops to sharpen their case for investment and engage with potential customers, strategic partners, mentors, investors, sector experts, and PayPal employees.
The workshops will take place on the following dates:
Workshop 1: Mar 6 – 9, 2018 – Nairobi
Workshop 2: Apr 10 – 13, 2018 – Nairobi
Workshop 3: May 8- 11, 2018 – Nairobi
At the end of the Programme, Village Capital will offer US$50,000 in funding to each of the top two startups in the cohort, as selected by their peers.