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Acceleration of Digitization of Payments For Businesses Promises a More Connected Africa

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WhatsApp Launches Payments in Brazil to Push it to Other Countries 2

Cellulant, a leading Pan-African payments company,  unveils its new brand identity and affirms its commitment to partner with global, regional and local businesses to accelerate Payments’ digitisation across Africa.

Over the last couple of years, Cellulant has evolved to become more than just a business but an idea and belief that Africa should build Africa’s future.

“Refreshing our brand identity is both an acknowledgement of a new chapter as a business but also an affirmation that our mission and commitment to Africa still stands. Cellulant continues to be shaped by a belief that the success of people and businesses in Africa is the foundation of transforming the continent. This belief has seen us scale across multiple countries, evolve and innovate around the solutions we offer to the market and build a great digital payments ecosystem serving millions of Africa,” states Divine Muragijimana, Cellulant’s Head of Brand.

Cellulant believes that solving for the payments sector is not a novelty in Africa. Digital payments pose the most significant opportunity to bringing fundamental transformation for African economies at large. Only 38% of Africa’s 1.2 Billion population will have a bank account by 2022, and cash still commands 90% of all transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a shift towards digital payments driven by businesses’ need to stabilize their revenues and increased preference by consumers to use contactless payment solutions.

To respond to the emerging need for cashless payments, Cellulant is accelerating digital payments adoption by connecting digital money capabilities with the need for businesses to receive broader payment options and offer sophisticated payments experiences to their consumers.

“Over the years, we have learned that it is no longer a question whether digital payments will become ubiquitous across Africa but rather, how fast we can accelerate the adoption of local payment options. Therefore, by unifying the payment experiences for both businesses and their consumers, we can unlock hundreds of millions of consumers and allow them to transact digitally in their local context. We do this by removing layers of complexity to an already complex financial system- simplifying the way people pay and get paid,” said Akshay Grover, Cellulant’s acting Group CEO.

Cellulant has partnerships with global payments service provider such as Adyen, PayU and Smart2Pay; powers payments for global and regional businesses in several sectors such as Emirates, KLM, Ethiopia Airlines, Kenya Airways, Microsoft, Deezer, Bolt, Jumia, Kikuu, Glovo, Simbisa, Multichoice; and thousands of local businesses across Africa.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Waffarx, First-Ever Cashback Website in North Africa, Raises New Capital

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WaffarX, the first-ever cashback shopping service in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, announces it has completed a multi-million dollar financing round led by the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Lobby Capital – for whom it is their first investment in the MENA region.

The endorsement by San Francisco-based Lobby Capital is significant for WaffarX. Lobby Capital is experienced in investing in successful cashback platforms, having been an early investor in the US firm Ebates, which was successfully sold to Japanese company, Rakuten, in 2014 – in what was Japan’s largest ecommerce deal at the time.

WaffarX will use the proceeds to expand its platform, drive user acquisition and enter new markets in the MENA region.

Founded in 2018 by Ezz Fayek, Mahmoud Montasser and Ahmed Kamal, WaffarX uses cutting-edge technology to distribute cash back rewards, helping shoppers save on every dollar they spend. WaffarX’s secure channel helps brands shift advertising spend directly to consumers via cashback rewards. This creates deeper loyalty for brands, whilst customers monetize their own data, instead of third parties.

Consumers want seamless, personalized engagement rather than disruptive advertisements – with easy-to-achieve, tangible cash rewards – transforming everyday transactions into savings. Brands want cost-effective digital advertising solutions and loyalty programs which focus on customers first and resonate with them. Brands can then incentive customers without discounting or devaluing products.

WaffarX has grown exponentially, and now has over 260 merchant partners and over 450,000 members. The company’s cutting-edge technology provides what modern consumers and merchants/brands want, and benefit both groups.

Ezz Fayek, Co-Founder and CEO of WaffarX, said:

“We’re delighted to have completed this latest funding round. The support of an esteemed Silicon Valley firm such as Lobby Capital, and existing investors – A15, are a huge endorsement of WaffarX’s business model and strategy.

“We have always been pioneers in our industry and our solutions are a win-win for consumers and brands. This capital raise will help us maintain our market leadership, break new ground in our platform, increase our user base and expand our geographic presence.”

David Hornik, General Partner of Lobby Capital, commented:

At Lobby Capital, we know the power of the cash back shopping model to drive growth for merchants, savings for consumers, and positive returns for investors. We also know the benefit of working with great founders like Ezz Fayek. We are very excited that the right business model and right people can come together for Lobby’s first investment in the region.

Karim Beshara, General Partner of A15, commented:

As early investors in WaffarX we are excited to see their continued success. Ezz and the team have been thought leaders in the cash back space in MENA and we are excited to see how they continue to innovate and bring new, exciting products to market.”

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TradeDepot Raises $110 Million to Expand Across Africa

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TradeDepot, a Business-to-Business company that connects consumer goods brands to retailers and assists with distribution raised $110 Million in equity to expand its buy now pay later offering across Africa.

The latest round is a Series B and comes 18 months after the company raised $10 Million in a round led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Partech Africa.

The International Finance Corporation also led this round and investors such as Novastar, Sahel Capital, CDC Group, Endeavor Catalyst, and Partech Africa participated in the round.  Wale Ayeni, the head of Africa Venture Capital Investment for IFC, and Brian Odhiambo, the West Africa director of Novastar Ventures will join TradeDepot Board as part of the round.

TradeDepot operates a marketplace that connects small shops, kiosks, and retailers with wholesalers of global consumer brands. The company also helps with distribution by using its own warehouses and fleets of drivers to carry out distribution. TradeDepot offers buy now pay later services to merchants but instead of giving cash, it sends the products directly to them while they pay in installments. The monthly effective interest rate stands at almost 5%.

TradeDepot was founded in 2015 and is active across 12 cities in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa(10 cities in Nigeria, Accra, and Johannesburg), with the new funding TradeDepot, plans to double down active in these three countries and increase its footprint across Nigeria by trying to capture more than 5 million small and medium businesses it sees as its target market.

The IFC Managing director Makthar Diop said “The informal sector is a large and critical part of Africa’s economy, accounting for 80% of jobs in the region. We are excited to work with TradeDepot to leverage technology to help small businesses across the continent, particularly the many retailers led by women, access the resources they need to grow and scale.”

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Mobile Money Transaction Values to Exceed $870 Billion in Emerging Markets by 2026, as the Payments-as a Platform Model Accelerates

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A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total value of mobile money transactions in emerging markets will exceed $870 billion in 2026, up from $555 billion in 2021; respresenting growth of almost 60%. Mobile money in emerging markets includes microinsurance, microloans, microsavings and mobile money transfer.

This growth will be driven by the transition of mobile money vendors, such as M-PESA, to the PaaP (Payments-as-a-Platform) model. This model enables mobile money vendors to offer their users access to third-party services such as eCommerce; creating additional revenue streams. The research identified PaaP as critical to increasing revenue for mobile money vendors, as smartphone adoption and user expectations grow. The new research recommends that mobile money vendors focus on building their ecosystems now by agreeing merchant partnerships to correctly leverage this opportunity.

For more insights, download the free whitepaper: The New Wave of Fintech Innovation in Emerging Markets

Microloans Represent Fastest-growing Segment

The new research, Mobile Money in Emerging Markets: Segment Analysis, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, found that microloans will be the fastest-growing segment within mobile money, with growth of over 180% over the next five years. The research identified microloans as a key way in which mobile money service providers can increase their revenue by delivering banking-like services.

Research co-author Damla Sat explained: “While microloans are, by their very nature, small-scale, they are growing rapidly in significance, by enabling users to access credit as financial inclusion rises. By offering these services to users, mobile money services can pre empt competition from banks, while increasing their average revenue per user; creating a virtuous circle.”

Africa & Middle East Leading Mobile Money Development

The research found that Africa and the Middle East will dominate mobile money transaction values over the next 5 years; accounting for 56% of the global emerging markets value by 2026. It recommends that vendors in Africa focus on expanding sophisticated mobile money services, such as microinsurance and microsavings, in order to best address this rapidly growing opportunity.

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