African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has raised a $30 million Series B funding spherical led by Ribbit Capital uz sudjelovanje Bezosove ekspedicije — the non-public VC fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Chipper Cash was based in San Francisco in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The firm provides mobile-based, no payment, P2P fee companies in seven international locations: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.
Parallel to its P2P app, the startup additionally runs Chipper Checkout — a merchant-focused, fee-based fee product that generates the income to assist Chipper Cash’s free mobile-money enterprise. The firm has scaled to three million customers on its platform and processes a median of 80,000 transactions every day. In June 2020, Chipper Cash reached a month-to-month funds worth of $100 million, based on CEO Ham Serunjogi .
As a part of the Series B increase, the startup plans to broaden its merchandise and geographic scope. On the product aspect, that entails providing extra enterprise fee options, crypto-currency buying and selling choices, and funding companies.
“We’ll always be a P2P financial transfer platform at our core. But we’ve had demand from our users to offer other value services…like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks,” Serunjogi advised TechCrunch on a name.
Chipper Cash has added beta dropdowns on its web site and app to purchase and promote Bitcoin and spend money on U.S. shares from Africa — the latter via a partnership with U.S. monetary companies firm DriveWealth.
“We’ll launch [the stock product] in Nigeria first so Nigerians have the option to buy fractional stocks — Tesla shares, Apple shares or Amazon shares and others — through our app. We’ll expand into other countries thereafter,” stated Serunjogi.
On the enterprise monetary companies aspect, the startup plans to supply extra API funds options. “We’ve been getting a lot of requests from people on our P2P platform, who also have business enterprises, to be able to collect payments for sale of goods,” defined Serunjogi.
Chipper Cash additionally plans to make use of its Series B financing for extra nation growth, which the corporate will announce by the tip of 2021.
Jeff Bezos’s backing of Chipper Cash follows a latest string of occasions that has elevated the visibility of Africa’s startup scene. Over the previous decade, the continent’s tech ecosystem has been one of many quickest rising on the earth by yr year-over-year growth in enterprise capital and startup formation, concentrated in international locations resembling Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
Bringing Africa’s giant unbanked inhabitants and pod bankama shoppers and SMEs on-line has factored prominently. Roughly 66% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 1 billion individuals don’t have a checking account, based on World Bank knowledge.
As such, fintech has change into Africa’s highest-funded tech sector, receiving the majority of an estimated $2 billion in VC that went to startups in 2019. Even with the speedy enterprise funding progress during the last decade, Africa’s tech scene had been efficiency mild, with just one identified unicorn (e-commerce enterprise Jumia) a handful of exits, and no main public share choices. That modified final yr.
In April 2019, Jumia — backed by buyers together with Goldman Sachs i MasterCard — went public in an NYSE IPO. Later within the yr, Nigerian fintech firm Interswitch achieved unicorn standing after a $200 million funding by Visa.
One of the extra vital liquidity occasions in African tech occurred final month, when Pruga acquired Nigerian fee gateway startup Paystack for a reported $200 million.
In an e mail to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for Bezosove ekspedicije confirmed the fund’s funding in Chipper Cash, however declined to touch upon additional plans to again African startups. Per Crunchbase knowledge, the funding can be the primary in Africa for the fund. It’s value noting Bezos Expeditions will not be linked to Jeff Bezo’s hallmark enterprise enterprise, Amazon.
For Chipper Cash, the $30 million Series B increase caps an event-filled two years for the San Francisco-based funds firm and founders Ham Serunjogi i Maijid Moujaled. The two got here to America for lecturers, met in Iowa whereas learning at Grinnell College and ventured out to Silicon Valley for stints in large tech: Facebook for Serunjogi and Flickr and Yahoo! for Moujaled.
The startup name beckoned and after launching Chipper Cash in 2018, the duo satisfied 500 Startups and Liquid 2 Ventures — co-founded by American soccer legend Joe Montana — to again their firm with seed funds. The startup expanded into Nigeria and Southern Africa in 2019, entered a funds partnership with Visa in April and raised a $13.8 million Series A in June.
Chipper Cash founder Ham Serunjogi believes the backing of his firm by a notable tech determine, resembling Jeff Bezos (the world’s richest particular person), has advantages past his enterprise.
“It’s a big deal when a world class investor like Bezos or Ribbit goes out of their sweet spot to a new area where they previously haven’t done investments,” he stated. “Ultimately, the winner of those things happening is the African tech ecosystem overall, as it will bring more investment from firms of that caliber to African startups.”