[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: M-Pesa is now Africa’s largest fintech with 50 million active customers
This has been a very interesting week in tech in Africa. After finally receiving a go-ahead to start operations in Ethiopia, Safaricom Telecommunications launched a countrywide staff recruitment drive ahead of its commercial launch. The telco also introduced its leadership team as it affirmed its commitment to investing in Ethiopia’s digital future. More than 14 years after launching its mobile money service M-Pesa, the telco also this week announced that it reached 50 million monthly active customers strengthening its position as Africa’s largest fintech. M-Pesa is today available in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana, and Egypt.
MTN announced a mobile money partnership with Africa’s payments technology company, Flutterwave. This partnership will allow businesses integrating Flutterwave in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia to receive payments via MTN Mobile Money (MoMo). Mastercard also partnered with African fintech and Start Path company Paycode to provide both company’s offerings with one biometric smart card that will help increase access to critical services and advance economic inclusion for Africans living in remote communities. Still on matters fintech, Egypt’s fintech ecosystem MNT-Halan announced a circa $120 million investment by global and regional growth investors- Apis Growth Fund II, Development Partners International (DPI), and Lorax Capital Partners.
A report by Research and Markets released this week also revealed that the Global remittance and cross-border payments' transaction value is expected to grow from $37.15 trillion in 2020 to $39.9 trillion by 2026.
In Kenya, Naivas inked a partnership deal with e-commerce leader, Jumia, to give consumers a better shopping experience with access to a wide range of products. Delivery startup Glovo also entered into a similar partnership with Chandarana Foodplus supermarkets.
In Nigeria, auto financing firm Autochek announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire ROAM Africa's automotive marketplaces Cheki Kenya and Uganda. Endeavor Nigeria also unveiled the inaugural cohort of entrepreneurs for its new 10-week Endeavor ScaleUp Program that aims to support Nigeria’s most promising, high-impact business leaders.
Nigerian Exchange Limited, NGX, released an enhanced version of its mobile app, X-Mobile. X-Mobile – which was first launched in 2019 in its Beta state – is a dynamic and user-friendly mobile app, designed to enhance investors’ participation in the Nigerian capital market.
Pan-African technology group, Liquid Intelligent Technologies this week announced a strategic partnership with global managed network provider, Unitas Global, in a bid to meet the demands of rapid digital transformation across the continent. Kaspersky also released a new report on the challenges facing small and medium businesses at the beginning of the pandemic revealing that preserving jobs was a priority for almost half (43%) of organisations across the META region.
Other key highlights of the week include Afriwave Telecom becoming the latest private sector member of the Smart Africa Alliance, Accenture acquiring South Africa’s independent creative agency King James Group, Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions launching its million-dollar hub in Morocco, and Raxio Group a premier pan-African data centre developer and operator appointing Master Power Technologies to build and install its multiple data centres in Africa.