African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has successfully closed a $100 million #SeriesC led by SVB Capital. TechCrunch revealed that the new round will help Chipper Cash introduce more products and grow its own team in what seems to the continent’s third private unicorn startup, should we factor the China-backed African fintech OPay that’s working on a $400 million raise summing to a $1.5 billion valuation. Launched in 2018 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled, the two attribute their success to favorable central bank policies across its operating markets like Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, etc alongside a 4 million-plus user base, over 200 employees, and the recent expansion to the U.K market.
Chipper Cash offers P2P payment services at no charge across 7 African markets, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, and Uganda. In 2019, the startup raised a total of $8.4 million in two seed rounds. In June 2020, we covered Chipper Cash complete a $13.8 million Serie A round led by Deciens Capital. In December the same year, they raised a $30 million Series B raise led by Ribbit Capital and Bezos Expeditions.
Africa’s fintech sector has seen a sharp increase in companies raising more capital in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. In reality, the shift to cashless payments and the adoption of tech-driven alternatives to receiving, sending, lending, and saving money, has seen fintech companies report increased revenues and user numbers.
‘The State of Fintech in Emerging Markets Report‘ released by BFA Global’s Catalyst Fund and Briter Bridges, sums the growth in Africa’s fintech funding in 2020 to $1.35 billion up from $1 billion in 2019. Increased smartphone usage and a growing population of over 1.2 billion have seen in an investor rush towards investments targeting the continent’s unbanked 350 million.
Interswitch was Africa’s first fintech unicorn. After raising a $170m Serie C round, Flutterwave, the Nigeria fintech startup made it to ‘unicorn status’ with a valuation of over $1 billion. In 2019, Jumia (e-commerce) became Africa’s first unicorn and brand to register at the NYSE. In October last year, Fawry, Egypt’s e-payment fintech became the continent’s third unicorn after its share price rose exponentially past the billion-dollar valuation mark. The entry of Chipper Cash into the fold brings the total number of unicorn companies in the continent to six, of which five are in fintech.