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Executive Summary

Momentum around FinTech in Africa is building as business models are, proving to be highly successful and the long-term opportunity still looms large the world is taking notice.

Executive Summary

Momentum is building around FinTech in Africa as business models are proving to be investable, large financing rounds are taking place, unicorns are emerging, prominent global investors and strategist are taking notice, and exits are beginning to happen. As global best practices take hold in Africa, key risks of investing in the region are declining. And, perhaps taking notes from earlier entrants, the quality of first-time and repeat founders has improved, with many entrepreneurs on their second or third venture. Consequently, Africa is no longer a region that investors can ignore.

Africa has all the ingredients needed to develop a robust FinTech ecosystem including a massive, young, unbanked and underbanked, tech-savvy population, traditionally heavy cash usage, rapid shift from informal to formal sectors, increasing mobile penetration, and a generally favourable regulatory environment along with governments pushing for greater financial inclusion and digitization.

While Fin Tech has been building up a head of steam in Africa over the past few years, COVID-19 has served as an additional accelerant, as it has across the globe. With the increasing distaste for physical cash, FinTech has become the solution for many consumers and merchants in the region. Building on this momentum, merchants are increasingly adopting FinTech solutions to run their businesses and consumers are turning to mobile wallets, cards and other non-cash payment methods for the first time. FinTech is greasing the wheels of commerce in-country and across local and international borders.

Home to nearly half of the world’s mobile money customers, Africa is clearly a global leader in mobile money. Mobile wallets and the use of mobile money are often the first step in financial inclusion and Africa is clearly paving this path. As Africa’s mobile money scheme credentializes the unbanked, an entire FinTech ecosystem is forming to connect consumers, merchants, and other providers as new functionality and use cases are added.

The digital revolution is certain, but it will not happen overnight: successful African FinTech businesses take the best global know-how and adjust and apply the business models and products to the local ecosystems while catering to the pace of digital adoption of merchants and consumers as they gradually bridge the cash-to-digital divide.

The opportunity ahead for FinTech in Africa is clear. Today, roughly 90% of payments are still made using cash, more than half of all Africans are unbanked or underbanked, and only a small minority hold a debit or credit card. Whilst we recognize that Africa is still an emerging market and economic and political risks remain, the region offers one of the greatest long-term secular growth opportunities for FinTech globally.

In this report we discuss key opportunities and challenges for FinTech in Africa, review investor activity and M&A in the region, spotlight numerous companies, while providing detailed company landscapes across sectors and geographies.







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