Hurray!! The Fintech Summit by Techpoint Africa is tomorrow. 🤗 Who is excited? Are you? Guys, I am very excited. 🤗
You should not miss this event because it is for you. I mean, no matter who you are or what you do, fintech affects everything. Or you don’t agree?
Well, I know you know this. So, does this mean I’ll be seeing you tomorrow?
You will not only learn from experts at the event, but you will also network with people. This, I assure you, is not something you should pass up.
So, join us tomorrow, Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 8 a.m. WAT at Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island Lagos. I can’t wait to meet you. 🤗🤗
Do have a fun weekend, guys!
Here’s what I’ve got for you today:
- Pivo's $2m seed
- Djamo's $14m funding
- ARA unfreezes Kandon technologies’ accounts
- Acorn TV to shut down in South Africa
Pivo’s $2m seed
Nigerian fintech startup, Pivo, has closed a $2 million seed round to upgrade existing and develop new products to improve supply chain transaction management and payment reconciliation.
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Precursor Ventures, Vested World, Y Combinator, FoundersX, and Mercy Corp Ventures participated in the round.
Nkiru Amadi-Emina (CEO) and Ijeoma Akwiwu (COO) founded the company in July 2021 to provide financial services to SMEs in Africa’s supply chain sector.
The decision to focus on businesses in the supply chain sector comes from the founders’ expertise working in the industry and an understanding that there’s a supply chain segment to most sectors of the African economy.
Pivo started with three main products. Pivo Capital, its flagship product, provides SMEs up to $50,000 in loans.
Meanwhile, Pivo Finance provides customers with a digital-only banking solution, whereas Pivo Plus provides insurance, corporate compliance, and tax regulation support.
Following its $550,000 pe-seed, the company launched Pivo Business, which it claims helps supply chain SMEs achieve better cash flow.
If you want to know more about the startup, now is a good time to revisit this story: How Pivo is providing fast and reliable financial services for Africa’s supply chain businesses
Pivo will use the funds to establish its presence outside its Lagos office, expand operations to East Africa, and expand its team.
For more information about the funding, please read Chimgozirim's story here: Nigerian fintech startup, Pivo, raises $2 million seed funding to provide banking services for African SMEs
Djamo's $14m funding
Ivorian fintech startup, Djamo, announced yesterday that it had raised $14 million in funding to aid its expansion into two other Francophone African countries before the end of 2023.
Y Combinator, Enza Capital, Oikocredit, and Partech Africa led the round, with Janngo Capital, P1 Ventures, Axian, and Launch Africa also participating.
The company was founded in 2021 by Régis Bamba and Hassan Bourgi to provide financial services to the underbanked and unbanked populations in French-speaking markets.
The startup says its app supports bank-to-mobile money interoperability, meaning customers in Ivory Coast can send money from their bank accounts to mobile money wallets and back.
With Djamo's Visa-powered debit cards, users can purchase online from companies such as Amazon, Alibaba, and Netflix.
Its other products include virtual accounts for peer-to-peer transactions, a product for receiving salaries, and an autosaving product that provides financial guidance to customers.
The startup will use the funds to expand the company's product offerings to include investments and lending.
Want more information? Read this article: Ivorian fintech startup, Djamo, gets $14 million to expand financial services product to Francophone Africa
ARA unfreezes Kandon technologies’ accounts
Nigerian liquidity management startup, Kandon Technologies, has been cleared of money laundering and card fraud allegations levelled against it in July 2022.
Kenya’s anti-money laundering agency, Asset Recovery Agency (ARA), petitioned the country’s High Court in July to freeze bank accounts belonging to Kandon and Kora Pay, another Nigerian fintech company, pending an investigation.
The companies were accused of smuggling $51 million (KSh6 million) into the East African country.
The court froze funds totaling $126,841 (KSh15 million) found in Kandon's two UBA accounts and $249,565 (KSh29.5 million) found in Kora Pay's Equity Bank account.
Kandon's accounts were to be frozen during the 6-month investigation period following the court ruling.
However, on October 19, 2022, four months into the investigation, the ARA withdrew its allegations.
In a letter to UBA, the ARA requested that Kandon be allowed access to its frozen funds, as “the Agency has completed its investigations and does not intend to proceed with the matter. In this respect, we request the Bank to allow access of the funds to the account holders.”
Acorn TV to shut down in South Africa
By the end of 2022, American video streaming platform, Acorn TV, will stop operations in South Africa.
Current customers can cancel their subscriptions by going to “My Acorn TV” before proceeding to “Manage Account.” Android or iOS subscribers can visit their account dashboard within the app store.
American entertainment company, AMC Networks, launched Arcon TV, a British-focused video streaming platform, in 2018 in South Africa.
When the company launched the service, it initially cost $4.99 per month (R71.51 at the time), but it later reduced it to a rand-denominated fee of R79 per month.
It also featured a small catalogue of 39 primarily lesser-known series, many of which were from the United Kingdom.
The arrival of BBC’s on-demand streaming service, BritBox, in South Africa may have significantly eroded Acorn's value proposition.
Britbox launched in 2021 with 141 titles, far more than Acorn TV, for a monthly fee of R99.99. Since then, the library has grown to 217 titles, while the monthly fee has remained constant.
Although both services offered many of the same titles, BritBox featured more recognisable classic British shows like Blackadder, Mr Bean, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders.
The platform has also added a steady stream of new original BritBox titles to its catalog, including The Cleaner, Hope Street, Hollywood Bulldogs, and Why Didn't They Ask Evans, thanks to support from the BBC and ITV.
Interestingly, Arcon did not provide more details as to why it was shutting down in South Africa.
What I’m reading and watching
- Netflix working on its first PC game
- LinkedIn’s new feature lets you schedule posts for later
- Why the job you apply for may not be the job you get
- This is Your Brain on God
- Finding Something to Live & Die For
- Hidden crime affecting hundreds of women
- The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a remote Senior Software Engineer to join its team. Apply here.
- Applications are open for the Village Capital Financial Solutions for Migrants Accelerator Programme 2023. It supports innovation across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia to increase migrant access to financial services and employment opportunities. Apply here.
- Applications for the CyberGirls Fellowship Programme 2023 are now open. Apply here.
- Startups in Kenya and Tanzania can get a chance to scale their impact-driven companies and receive a grant investment of up to €100K from the develoPPP Ventures. Apply here.
- Applications for the Metaverse Design Thinking Course are now open. Apply here.
Have a fun weekend.
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.