African fintech startups should be happy with the trend that is taking place on their investment. Sincerely, there is high penetration in the investment into the African fintech startups. Again, this trend is not expected to stop soon. Cellulant is a digital solution firm with operations in 11 countries in Africa. Cellulant startup has secured $47.5 million in its Series C round of funding. The funding round was led by The Rise Fund. The Rise Fund is an impact investment fund operated by TPG Growth private equity group based in the US. Other startups that participated in the round include Velocity Capital & Progression Africa, Endeavor Catalyst, and Satya Capital.
Cellulant was first founded in 2004 in Kenya and Nigeria. It has so far expanded its operations into nine more countries. Almost 12% of mobile consumers from Africa are able to make payments via its solutions. This has been made possible through a partnership with more than 90 banks and various payment solutions within Africa. It is also planning to expand to two more African countries this is after the last series of investment.
This is Rise Fund’s first ever investment into the continent after securing $2 billion in October 2017. The funds were backed by the Washington State Investment Board and Swedish based pension fund called Andra AP-fonden. Rise Fund has also listed billionaire and music star Bono Richard Branson as one of its board members. Cellulant’s investment is the latest indication of the important role played by African fintech companies in narrowing the financial and payment inclusion gaps in Africa. In the last three years, the fintech sector has been on the rise and it has attracted more investors in Africa.
Records have it that a third of funding secured by African companies in 2017 came from fintech sector. Furthermore, only 17% of the population in the continent is banked. Investors believe that more individuals are going to join the modern financial services. African startup’s venture funding increased to $195 million in 2017 which is 51% increment. Kenyan based mobile money technology M-Pesa’s success in the East African region has shown that there are under-served markets in the continent. The success is attributed to the increasing inroads of mobile networks in the African financial industry. The African fintech companies have managed to raise investment worth over $100 million since 2015. Flutterwave, an infrastructure and payment processing company based in Lagos raised $10 million in August 2017. This was during its Series A funding round. This was recorded as one of the highest Series A round by startups in the continent. Founders have also directed much of their focus to fintech sector with the continent currently having more than 300 fintech companies. More than a half of the totals were founded between 2015 and 2016.