Jeff Bezos just became the latest big tech name to invest in an African fintech startup

Over the past five years, high-profile visits to African tech ecosystems by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Alibaba founder Jack Ma have been signposted as marks of validation.

MÁS INFORMACIÓN →

Now, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and the world’s richest man, can be added to the list of global tech leaders drawn to the promise of African technology startups.

Chipper Cash, a cross-border, peer to peer payments service, has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation from Bezos Expeditions, Jeff Bezos’s personal venture capital fund. It’s the first investment in an African startup for Bezos’ fund which has also backed global tech brands including Uber, Twitter, and AirBnB.

The company, which was founded by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled in 2018, has since deployed its payments service in seven  African countries—Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya—and reached $100 million in monthly payments processed last June. Chipper Cash’s latest funding comes after it raised $13.8 million in a Series A round six months ago.

Having already notched 3 million users and an average of 80,000 daily transactions, Chipper Cash is now looking to expand to more countries and also widen its products suite. In response to demand, CEO Serunjogi says Chipper Cash’s new products will include allowing users buy and sell cryptocurrency as well as invest in US stocks. Cryptocurrency trading is booming across the continent despite a lack of regulation as users utilize digital currencies like bitcoin to facilitate trade as a workaround for stifling economic policies. Facilitating investment in US stocks also follows a visible trend as young Africans with a longer-term investment outlook are increasingly seeking opportunities to invest in dollar-priced assets.

Bezos’ investment in Chipper Cash sees him join a list of high-profile individuals that have bet on an African tech startup. Former US vice-president Al Gore and 23-time tennis Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams as well as Mark Zuckerberg, through the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, have all invested in Andela, a developer outsourcing firm that connects African software engineers to global clients.

For Bezos this is a tiny investment relative to his recent outlays. This month he became the world’s biggest donor to climate activism from with $10 billion “Earth Fund” backing climate change-related causes and groups. But this could signal Bezos going a step further beyond dipping his toes in the waters in Africa’s fast-growing tech hubs.

Even small investments like Bezos’ are likely to drive global interest even higher as Africa’s tech startups showed resilience with a wave of multimillion-dollar exits recorded so far this year, despite initial fears of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last month, Nigerian payments startup Paystack was acquired by US giant Stripe in a deal reportedly worth $200 million.

Puntuación
Posición en Iberoamérica
1
Juan Esteban Saldarriaga
Vice President at Alianza FinTech Iberoamerica | Co-Founder Rapicredit | ColombiaFinTech.co
24.4
5
3
Diego Molano
Consultor internacional en temas de TIC e innovación
19.4
18
4
David Velez
Founder and CEO at Nubank
17.0
27
5
Martin Schrimpff
Co-Founder of Zinobe | Founder of PayU | Founder Pagosonline.net
15.6
32
6
Ángel Sierra
Director Ejecutivo en Asociación FinTech e InsurTech de Chile | Member of Alianza FinTech Iberoamerica
14.8
39
7
Paula Cardenas
Business Manager at AEFI | Founder Member FinTech IberoAmérica
14.5
42
8
Clementina Giraldo
FinTech & AgTech in Latin America
11.8
60
9
Juan Francisco Schultze-Kraft
Board Member – Vicepresident at Colombia FinTech | PayU Legal
11.4
63
10
Daniel Rojas
CEO & Co-Founder at Rocket.la
10.1
69
11
Alan Colmenares
Digital Transformation Enablement – Latam at Microsoft
7.3
89
12
Laura Gaviria Halaby
Global Head FinTech Acceleration at Citi | Chief Acceleration Officer at TheVentureCity
6.3
101
13
Diego Alejandro Guzman Guevara
CEO and Co Founder at Bankity
6.2
104
14
Andres Ramirez Sierra
CEO at Banlinea LATAM
6.2
105
15
Daniel Navarro
CEO & CoFounder at NIMMÖK
6.1
109
16
Fernando Sucre
CEO at ComparaMejor
5.9
110
17
Andres Villaquiran
Founder & CEO Alkanza
5.3
119
18
Carlos Castañeda Olaya
Open innovation leader at Accenture | Country Manager at Wayra
5.2
123
19
Marisol Camacho
Director of Corporate Relations at Bancóldex | Director of Mindset at iNNpulsa Colombia
4.6
131
20
Felipe Valencia
Partner at Veronorte
3.7
143
Conoce más de estas Fintechs
Las empresas Fintech mencionadas en este artículo ya no hacen parte de la Asociación. Por lo tanto, Colombia Fintech no puede dar una recomendación positiva o negativa de la calidad de sus ex miembros, ni asume ninguna responsabilidad por ello.
Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y de ellas son responsables sus autores. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento u opinión de Colombia Fintech, por lo cual no pueden ser interpretadas como recomendaciones emitidas por la Asociación. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista sobre el ecosistema Fintech.