A new report on the Nigerian fintech space, which was sponsored by MasterCard and MTN Group, has revealed how Nigerian fintech companies are steadily exploring new opportunities. Some of the new areas they are venturing into include micro-investment, insurance (insur-tech), peer-to-peer transfers, and even wealth management.
The report specifically mentioned companies like Cowrywise and Farmcrowdy as two prime examples of fintechs that have developed wealth management platforms. Cowrywise, on one hand, targets Nigeria’s middle class with online investment products, while Farmcrowdy makes it possible for investors to co-own farms by providing the needful capital for farmers.
Other fintech companies are offering digital insurance coverages that encompass auto, education, health, and funeral costs. The prices for the services are said to be as low as $0.50 per month. The report, however, noted that the growth of insur-tech services in Nigeria are quite slow when compared to what obtains in other African countries such as Kenya and Ghana. According to a senior manager at GSMA Intelligence (Kenechi Okeleke) who was also quoted in the report, the reason for the slow pace in Nigeria is due to the country’s lack of enthusiasm for insurance in general. He said:
“Insurance has always been a small sector in financial services in Nigeria. Individuals tend not to do insurance. For big players, their main market has been the corporate sector.”
The 20-paged report titled— State of play: Fintech in Nigeria —was unveiled yesterday during a webinar that was organised by The Economist Intelligence Unit, an arm of The Economist which carried out the research. Nairametrics participated in the webinar.
Presenting the report, a Senior Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit, Melanie Noronha, disclosed that payments and remittances remain the two most developed subsectors in the Nigerian fintech space. However, the fintech firms are playing heavily in the loan business. They have a wide range of digital lending products targeted at SMEs and individuals.
“There’s a new wave of start-ups in the lending space which are lending to both consumers and small businesses. The payment services have built up data that allow these start-ups to develop models of creditworthiness, for either people or companies, in a continent where there is very little data about people’s credit ratings because they never had formal access to the financial sector,” said Khaled Ben, a senior partner at Lagos-based AfricInvest
In the meantime, traditional banks are said to be increasingly jumping aboard the digital train, as they quickly adapt by offering digital products focused on loans. In the same vein, telecom companies are also playing a huge role in the Nigerian fintech ecosystem.
You may read the full report by clicking here.
Twitter acquires newsletter service, Revue
Twitter has acquired Revue, an email service that lets writers publish newsletters.
Twitter has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that makes it free and easy for anyone to start and publish editorial newsletters. This is coming after a failed attempt to acquire Revue’s competition Substack.
Twitter has made massive moves over the past two months to acquire start-ups as it tries to expand beyond its core timeline product.
What they are saying
- According to a blog post by Twitter VP of Publisher Products, Mike Park and Product Lead, Kayvon Beykpour, “Many established writers and publishers have built their brand on Twitter, amassing an audience that’s hungry for the next article or perspective they Tweet. Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their subscribers, while also helping readers better discover writers and their content. We’re imagining a lot of ways to do this, from allowing people to sign up for newsletters from their favorite follows on Twitter, to new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers. It will all work seamlessly within Twitter.
They added that Twitter will continue to operate Revue as a standalone product, with its team remaining “focused on improving the ways writers create their newsletters, build their audience and get paid for their work.”
- “Revue will accelerate our work to help people stay informed about their interests while giving all types of writers a way to monetize their audience – whether it’s through the one they built at a publication, their website, on Twitter, or elsewhere,” the Twitter executives said.
They also said that bringing Revue to Twitter will supercharge this offering, helping writers grow their paid subscribers while also incentivizing them to produce engaging and relevant content that drives conversations on Twitter.
Twitter will make Revue’s Pro features free for all accounts and lower the paid newsletter fee to 5%, a competitive rate that lets writers keep more of the revenue generated from subscriptions.
What you should know:
- In December, Twitter bought Squad, a multi-participant video chat app, and this month it acquired the social broadcasting service, Breaker to create audio conversations for Twitter users. And now, they have added Revue to the collection of startups.
- Revue was originally founded in 2015 in the Netherlands.
- Twitter’s acquisition of Revue also places it in direct competition with Substack, a rival email newsletter service that has been growing in popularity recently.
High demand for Azure, homework tools boost Microsoft earnings
Microsoft disclosed Azure revenue grew 50% as more businesses integrated into the cloud.
The world’s most valuable software maker, Microsoft, announced impressive earnings results for the quarter that ended on December 31, 2020, as data retrieved showed that the $1.75 trillion company saw increased demand on its work-at-home tools triggered by the reduced human mobility presently in play.
- Microsoft disclosed that Azure’s revenue grew by 50% as more businesses integrated into the cloud.
- Stock experts had expected around 42% growth, although the software giant didn’t reveal Azure’s revenue in dollars.
- The COVID-19 pandemic caused many businesses to speed up moves to the cloud and upgrades to internet-based collaboration software.
The Productivity and Business Processes segment, including LinkedIn, Office, and Dynamics, printed $13.35 billion in revenue, which was up 13% and more than the $12.89 billion anticipated by wall street experts.
“What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of the second wave of the digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” said Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft.
“Building their own digital capability is the new currency driving every organization’s resilience and growth. Microsoft is powering this shift with the world’s largest and most comprehensive cloud platform.”
Microsoft Corp. announced its earnings results for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year:
- Revenue was $43.1 billion, increasing by 17%.
- Operating income was $17.9 billion, increasing by 29%.
- Net income was $15.5 billion, increasing by 33%.
- Diluted earnings per share were $2.03, increasing by 34%.
Earnings: $2.03 per share, adjusted, vs. $1.64 per share as expected by Wall Street analysts, according to Refinitiv.
“Accelerating demand for our differentiated offerings drove commercial cloud revenue to $16.7 billion, up 34% year over year,” said Amy Hood, Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft. “We continue to benefit from our investments in strategic, high-growth areas.”
Nigeria’s Sparkle partners with Network International for virtual and physical payment cards
Nigeria’s Sparkle signs with payment experts Network International for virtual and physical payment cards.
Nigerian fintech startup Sparkle, a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle, and business support services, has partnered with Network International, to power its recently launched payment card offering.
This is coming months after collaborating with Visa to enable them to issue Visa cards to its users.
Founded by former Diamond Bank chief executive officer (CEO) and tech entrepreneur, Uzoma Dozie with the aim of providing seamless solutions to Nigerian individuals, SMEs, and retailers. Sparkle’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are targeted at SMEs and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Nigeria, bringing them the convenience, flexibility, safety, and security of cashless payments across various channels.
What they are saying
- According to Uzoma Dozie, “Digital adoption and customer experience are going to be dependent on the people, platform, and partnership. In the area of payment processing and data insights, Network International brings that to our platform, and we are truly excited about the future of the partnership and what it means for the enablement and transformational impact for Nigerians anywhere in the world who are connected to the Sparkle platform.”
- Also speaking on this new partnership, Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International, said, “We are delighted to strengthen our strategic alliance with Sparkle as it seeks to further disrupt the payments offering to consumers and retailers in Nigeria. Building on our two decades of experience within payments and deep insight of the African market, we look forward to deploying our trusted platform and best-in-class technology towards supporting digital and financial inclusion of Nigerian consumers and businesses.”
Sparkles’ collaboration with Network International is based on their shared commitment to further the adoption of digital payments among emerging markets across Africa and the Middle East. Its users can make in-app payments with the new virtual card, and also make e-commerce transactions with the cards attached to their Sparkle profile.
This collaboration will offer Sparkle access to the Network’s years of experience and expertise in creating card solutions for emerging markets. The company can also benefit from Network’s advanced digital infrastructure and robust security protocols, avoiding the need to invest in expensive card management infrastructure.