By Jonathan Ntege Lubwama
- Chipper Cash raised $100M to become Africa’s fifth unicorn
- More than 60% of people in Africa are under 25 years old and unbanked
Chipper Cash, a startup that facilitates cross border payments in Africa, has managed to raise a cool $152.2 million across 5 rounds of financing within three years according to Digest Africa. The company reached unicorn status earlier this year, after it raised a $100 million Series C round led by SVB Capital, the venture capital arm of Silicon Valley Bank, making it Africa’s most valuable startup. More than 60% of people in Africa are under 25 years old, unbanked, and heavily rely on mobile phones to do everything, which means that Chipper still has exponential growth ahead.
Why This Matters: In 2018, immigrants Ham Sserunjogi from Uganda and Majid Moujaled from Ghana founded Chipper Cash after meeting at Grinnell College in Iowa, and now they run Africa’s fifth unicorn. They are in great company with the likes of e-commerce giant, Jumia (JMIA +2.57%) and fintech platforms Interswitch, Fawry and Flutterwave. Jumia is the Amazon (AMZN +0.34%) of Africa, enabling customers in 11 African countries to purchase goods online. It was Africa’s first unicorn in 2016 after generating revenue of $234 million in 2015, and followed by Interswitch, a payment processing company in Nigeria, in 2019 when VISA (V +0.40%) took up a 20% stake in the startup at $200 million.
Egypt’s Fawry, which helps business owners to transact with customers via cash, credit cards and e-wallets, emerged as the continent’s third unicorn after its shares rose 21% on the Egyptian Exchange, pushing its valuation past the $1 billion mark. Then there’s Flutterwave, a fintech company that enables global and local merchants to receive payments from customers all over the world, claiming Africa’s fourth unicorn sport following its $170 million raise back in March.
What’s Next: In 2034, Africa is expected to have the world’s largest working-age population of 1.1 billion, according to the World Economic Forum Forum, which also projects that the continent’s consumers will spend $2 trillion by 2025. These people will need fintech solutions, as 350 million Africans do not have access to banking services. With a decrease in costs of data and smartphones, fintechs have a huge opportunity to capitalize across the continent.
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