African cross-border fintech, Chipper Cash has raised a $6 million seed round led by Deciens Capital. The development is to expand its footprint across the African continent, with the Southern African region marked as the next hunting ground.
The San Francisco-based firm offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in six countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya.
The company expanded into Nigeria three months ago, a year after its establishment, and has raised $6 million from previous investors like Deciens Capital and new backers like Boston-based Raptor Group.
It had previously raised $2.4 million in May 2019 from capital ventures like 500 Startups and Liquid 2 Ventures, which was co-founded by American football legend, Joe Montana.
Essence of recent fundraising: Chipper Cash plans to expand its operation across Africa, and intends to set up camp in Southern Africa. Although the company didn’t disclose the country it aims in the region, with South Africa being the second-largest economy in Africa and boosting of a ripe tech market, one won’t be surprised if Chipper Cash set base there.
While speaking about the ambition of the startup, its Chief Executive Officer, Ham Serunjogi told Tech Crunch, “Southern Africa is an area we’re looking to expand to in 2020.” South Africa will make more sense as the country has the highest mobile penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa with 61%, well ahead of Nigeria that accounts for 32%, according to Geopoll’s report.
Chipper Cash makes an inroad into a new market once it raises funds. It did the same in September when it expanded its services into Nigeria’s tech space after securing the $2.4 million.
The San Francisco-based startup appointed co-founder of Gokada (Lagos-based ride-hailing startup), Abiodun Animashaun to run its operation in Nigeria as the Country Manager.
Meanwhile, Fintech’s popularity in Nigeria is growing beyond control. The market is becoming saturated with the likes of Paga, Flutterwave, OPay, Palmplay and other unpopular fintech platforms competing for the same market to service about 40 million smartphone users, according to Statista.
So, movement across Africa’s tech space is expected to expand revenue opportunities for Chipper Cash. The continent offers a customer base of about 123.7 million (inclusive of Middle East population) smartphone users. The startup already has offices in Ghana and Kenya, both of which accounts for 35% and 30% mobile penetration in Africa. Senegal records 34% behind South Africa.
Speaking on how the company intends to compete, Serunjogi said, “Money doesn’t buy product-market fit. It doesn’t buy ultimate success in this space. By offering our product for free, we’re not in a pricing war or competing on a dollar-to-dollar basis. We’re in a pure utility war on who can provide the most value to our users. We’re quite comfortable with our position, and our long-term value proposition will speak for itself over time.”
Just in: UK High Commission shuts down visa centres in Nigeria due to #EndSARS protests
The UK High Commission in Nigeria has announced the shutdown of its VISA application centers in Nigeria.
The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, announced the shutdown of its VISA application centers in Nigeria for the next 48 hours, with effect from today (Wednesday), due to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the country.
This comes barely a day after the US shut down its Lagos consulate, following the outbreak of violence from the #EndSARS protests in major parts of the country including Lagos State and the FCT.
The disclosure was contained in a statement issued by the UK High Commission in Nigeria on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
The High Commission in a brief statement, also asked applicants with appointments for Wednesday and Thursday, to reschedule their appointments from Monday, October 26th.
“Due to the ongoing protest in Nigeria and for the safety of both staff and applicants, our Nigeria centres will be closed for 48 hours at a minimum. For applicants with booked appointments within this period, please you will need to reschedule your appointment for next week, from 26th October 2020.
“We will continue to post regular updates on this page, so please keep checking back for the latest information on reopening. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”
Update on UK Visa Application Centres:
Our TLS contact Visa Application Centres in Nigeria are currently closed.
For further updates on the closures please visit:
Victoria Island: https://t.co/B17AtE4kqv
— UK in Nigeria🇬🇧 (@UKinNigeria) October 21, 2020
#EndSARS: Archbishop of Canterbury condemns Lekki shootings
The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined his voice to the condemnation of the shooting of protesters in Lagos.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby says he condemns the shooting of unarmed protesters in Lekki and urges President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that lives are protected.
The Archbishop, who is the Chief of the Anglican Church globally disclosed this on Wednesday morning, as the International Community reacted to videos of protesters getting shot at the Lekki tollgate.
I have urged President @MBuhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now.
I mourn for Nigeria. May God save Nigeria.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) October 21, 2020
Recall Nairametrics reported that several social media accounts revealed peaceful protesters were being shot at by the military at the Lekki toll gate holdout for the #EndSars protest.
The Nigerian Army, however, denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who assembled at the Lekki Toll Plaza.
The Archbishop earlier said in his statement, “I condemn in the strongest terms the reported deliberate shooting of unarmed protesters in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria.
“I have urged President Muhammadu Buhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now.
“I mourn for Nigeria. May God save Nigeria.
JUST IN: #EndSARS: NPA headquarters set on fire by hoodlums
The headquarters of the NPA in Lagos has been allegedly set on fire by hoodlums.
The headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority in Marina, Lagos has been reportedly set on fire by hoodlums involved in the #EndSARS protests.
According to some social media reports, the hoodlums who seem to be protesting the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Tollgate set ablaze the NPA building on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.