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African Fintech Startup Chipper Cash Considers Sell-Off Amid Silicon Valley Bank Collapse

Following the shutdown of FTX last year, Chipper Cash saw its valuation slashed from $2 billion to $1.25 billion.

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African cross-border payments startup, Chipper Cash, is reportedly considering a possible sell-off amid the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse.

Although the startup has been faced with some challenges of late, with the most recent being the financial implosion of SVB. In a recent response to Bloomberg, it disclosed that it has never sought to be acquired.

The company said, “It’s a fairly common practice for us to receive various M&A proposals from different parties, which we evaluate to varying degrees. That being said, we have never sought to be acquired”.

Meanwhile, following the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Chipper Cash CEO Ham Serunjogi put out a statement claiming that the slump of both Silicon Valley Bank and Silvergate Bank, while chaotic, had an insignificant effect on the payments company.

He added that the startup customer operations were not interrupted by SVB’s failure, noting that the firm has multiple other banking partners in the United States. Nevertheless, he said SVB played a special role in supporting the company, particularly in its early days.

In 2021, Chipper Cash raised $250 million in a round led by SVB and FTX which saw its valuation reach $2 billion at that time. Since then, it has been negatively impacted by events related to two of its strong investors, FTX and Silicon Valley bank.

Following the shutdown of FTX last year, Chipper Cash saw its valuation slashed from $2 billion to $1.25 billion. The company has since conducted several layoff rounds. 

Chipper Cash, which has Afro beats Nigerian Grammy award winner Burna Boy and Ex-French professional football player Patrice Evra as celebrity endorsers, went into the market this year to raise more money, most likely as a cushion to weather the current macroeconomic situation. 

Founded in 2018 to provide a no-fee peer-to-peer cross-border payment service for Africans, the startup has established itself as a prominent player in payments.

Investors King understands that last year November, the African cross-border payment app announced that it would acquire Zambian fintech company Zoona in a bid to expand into the Southern African country. This acquisition will allow Chipper Cash, which has a self-reported user count of 5 million, to add new online services and a new agent network to its offerings.

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Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations

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Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.

In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.

Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.

According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”

Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.

About Leatherback

Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.

For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co

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Carbon Acquires Vella Finance to Enhance SME Offerings

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Carbon - Investors King

Digital financial services provider Carbon has completed the acquisition of Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech company specializing in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The acquisition, announced through an official statement on Wednesday, signifies Carbon’s strategic move to bolster its SME offerings.

Although the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Carbon’s acquisition of Vella Finance, founded two years ago under its parent company, One Credit Limited, underscores its commitment to expanding its footprint in the fintech space.

Vella Finance’s expertise in AI-powered SME banking solutions particularly caught the attention of Carbon.

Through this acquisition, Carbon aims to leverage Vella Finance’s innovative technology to provide actionable insights from financial transactions to its SME customers.

Tolu Adedayo, co-founder and COO of Vella Finance, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, noting that several team members from Vella Finance have joined Carbon following the acquisition.

Adedayo further revealed that Vella Finance’s 8,000 SME customers would be transitioned to Carbon Business in the near future.

Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, emphasized the alignment of values and vision between Carbon and Vella Finance, highlighting the potential for synergies and growth in the SME banking segment.

The acquisition marks a significant milestone for both companies as they aim to revolutionize financial services for SMEs in Nigeria.

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Flutterwave Set to Recover ₦19 Billion Illegally Transferred by POS Merchants

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Flutterwave - Investors King

Flutterwave, one of Africa’s leading fintech companies, is poised to undertake a substantial recovery effort following a High Court ruling granting it the authority to recover ₦19 billion illegally transferred by Point of Sale (POS) merchants.

The company plans to contact over 6,000 account holders across 35 banks and financial institutions to reclaim the funds.

The dispute arose in 2023 when Flutterwave discovered unauthorized transactions conducted by certain POS device merchants, prompting the temporary suspension of implicated accounts to prevent further irregularities.

While the incident didn’t result in the loss of customer funds, it exposed the vulnerability of the system to abuse.

A recent court ruling, known as a Mareva injunction, empowers Flutterwave to initiate the recovery process, targeting account holders who may have received funds from the unauthorized transactions.

This move is critical as the recipients may have already utilized the funds received.

In response to the court order, Flutterwave intends to engage with the relevant authorities to address the situation comprehensively.

It plans to communicate with the affected account holders through email, SMS, and WhatsApp messages, leveraging their respective contact information provided by the financial institutions involved.

The recovery effort underscores Flutterwave’s commitment to upholding financial integrity and protecting the interests of its customers.

The company’s proactive stance reflects the evolving challenges faced by fintech firms in ensuring secure and transparent transactions amidst the dynamic landscape of digital finance in Africa.

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