The FinTech sector in Africa has been growing steadily over the last 6 years with more startups sprouting on every corner of this continent. This growth has been further asserted by the increase in funding pumped in the sector from both local and international investors; More than US$320 million has been raised by Fintech companies since 2015. And according to FSD Africa, the contribution of the FinTech sector to sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output will increase by at least US$40 billion to US$150 billion by 2022.
In this new series, we highlight rising startups that are doing exemplary acts behind the spotlight; Today we look at six rising financial technology companies from East Africa that are providing crucial solutions across some sub-sectors:
PesaKit – Kenya
PesaKit is an AI-powered digital assistant (chatbot) for mobile money agents that enables agents to know, manage, and control their float (cash).
Founded in 2018 by Andrew Mutua, the app platform enables agents to borrow float (money) enabling effective service to customers who want to deposit or withdraw money.
Through predictive analytics by forecasting their inventory needs for the next hour, day, week or month, the app assesses an agent’s creditworthiness and creates a score, where it previously didn’t exist enabling the agent to borrow float (money) when it is required or based on recommendations and insights.
In addition to winning the DFS Chatbot Challenge Africa, PesaKit was selected in the recent cohort of the BFA Global Catalyst Fund.
Kwara – Kenya
Kwara is a platform that aims to digitize cooperative financial institutions by offering a Banking Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and credit scoring capabilities to SACCOs, and access to banks and ATMs for cooperative members.
In a country where 30% of savings takes place via SACCOs, or Savings and Credit Cooperatives that serve low-income, underbanked populations, operations are usually inefficiently manual with tight regulations coupled with lack of fraud prevention, Kwara online software system connects SACCOs to the formal financial system providing a safer, faster, and more diverse services to underserved populations.
Founded in 2018 by Cynthia Wandia, Kwara won the 2019 Global Fintech Hackcelerator in Kenya and was selected in the recent cohort of the BFA Global Catalyst Fund.
Nala is a FinTech startup that allows users to make transfers, payments, and transactions without data connectivity. Nala lets users pay bills, do P2P payments and purchase cell phone minutes without an internet connection.
Founded in 2017 by Benjamin Fernandes, the startup provides a unified user experience in which multiple financial services can be connected to one application with multiple SIMs, enabling users to manage their spending and take control of their finances.
Nala won the Ecobank Fintech Challenge in 2018 and got accepted into the Y-Combinator in 2019 securing US$150,000.
A-Trader is Africa’s first trading platform powered with Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), allowing beginner and expert traders alike to buy and sell shares on the Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE)
Founded by Andrew Tesha in 2016, the intelligent platforms uses data science and artificial intelligence in building a micro-investment proprietary engine, to provide savings and investment options for Africa’s growing middle class, the unbanked and the ones that are financially excluded, enabling them to reach their financial and investment goals.
Users can access trading and investment options through the internet, any mobile device or smartphone, and even a USSD-enabled mobile phone.
A-Trader was recently accepted into the CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa 2019, a program targets companies focusing on financial inclusion in Africa, aiming to build bridges between Africa and Europe, highlighting their initiatives and very much aligned with the sustainability goals of Luxembourg’s finance centre.
Exuus is a FinTech startup that aims to leverage the power of informal collective saving schemes through a digital and decentralized collective wallet for saving groups.
Founded in 2014 by Shema Steve, Exuus has developed two products, SAVE, a digital platform that financially empowers savings groups sustainably through a comprehensive, adequate, open and user-friendly saving groups ledger handling; and Cartix, a decentralised credit scoring algorithm for both saving groups and individual.
In 2018, Exuus received US$50,000 investment from Samurai Incubate Africa and thereafter won Seedstars Kigali pitching event in 2019. And just like A-Trader. Exuus was recently accepted into the CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa 2019.
DusuPay is an online payment platform that allows global businesses and customers to accept and make payments to businesses in Africa.
The company provides an API for companies to seamlessly accept and make payments within their apps and websites. Companies in Africa using the DusuPay platform can accept payments from various countries and operators, opening up wider markets and making more services accessible to more consumers.
Founded in 2015 by Ntende Kenneth and John Kigonya, the startup works with businesses and companies in more than 20 countries mostly in Africa/EU that are in betting, E-commerce, tours and travel, forex trading and remittances.
The company claims to have processed more than US$100 million in its platform since its inception.
Cover Image: Noor Khamis / Reuters