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Top 10 fintech companies in Nigeria



It’s a digital age and people their technological development across all sectors which includes the way we transact. Over the years, there has been a lot of fintech that have been springing up from Africa and most especially, Nigeria which boasts about 250 fintech companies. These companies have also drawn in investors to themselves because between 2014 and 2019, Nigeria’s fintech companies raised more than $600million in funding, and that is 25 percent ($122million) of the $491.6million raised by African tech startups in 2019.

Now let’s look at the 10 top players in the Nigeria fintech industries.

Top 10 fintech companies in Nigeria

1. Flutterwave is a Nigerian and America-based payments company with offices in Lagos and San Francisco.

The fintech company was founded in 2016 by Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, and it works by providing payment infrastructure for merchants and payment services providers in Africa.

About 290,000 businesses according to Flutterwave use its payment platform to carry out transactions using diverse payment modes which include local and international cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers, Barter by Flutterwave with options in 150 currencies

During the pandemic lockdown last year, Flutterwave introduced Flutterwave Store for merchants and has helped over 20,000 merchants across 15 countries have online stores where they sell their products

In order to drive the US its expansion, Flutterwave appointed Silicon Valley veteran Jimmy Ku as head of US growth in August this year.

2. Abeg: If you are someone who grew up in Nigeria, you should be able to relate with the word ‘abeg’ which is a term commonly used in Nigeria to seek a favour.

The abeg app was launched in 2019 by, Muheez Akanni, Michael Okoh, and Dare Adekoya . The company CEO said the fintech was modeled after Cash App, an American mobile payment service developed by Square.

Through its peer-to-peer platform, users can request money and send money without using a bank account, all you need to send money to someone is their Abeg tag.

The company gained more popularity among Nigerians when the popular Nigeria reality show Big Brother Nigeria announced the fintech company as the lead sponsor of the Season 6 edition of the show.

3. Paystack was founded in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi. The payment platform has more than 60,000 businesses that use its API to process payments making it cover 50% of all online payments in Nigeria. The fintech startup has active operations in Nigeria and Ghana and in May this year, it launched in South Africa. In 2018, it raised $8 million in its Series A fund round and in October 2020, it was acquired by the US payment giant, Stripe for a whopping $200 million.

4. Kuda: Kuda as described by the company itself, is Nigeria’s first mobile-only bank licensed by the Central Bank. Kuda was founded in 2019 by Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha. It started out as Kudimoney (the bank of the free) in 2016 it was later rebranded as Kuda bank.

Kuda had 300,000 users in November 2020 and was processing an average transaction worth of $500 million every month. Kuda currently has 1.4 million users that are using the platform. The fintech startup started with $1.6 million pre-seed funding and was able to raise $25 million in its Series A funding. Kuda is currently valued at $500 million after its Series fund round.

5. PiggyVest: PiggyVest is a platform that helps individuals and businesses manage their finances through saving and investing. It was founded in 2016 by Somto Ifezue as the CEO, Odunayo Eweniyi and Joshua Chibueze as co-founders. The company was originally known as before it rebranded as PiggyVest. In 2016, Piggyvest closed $1.1M in seed funding in a round led by LeadPath Nigeria with a $1 million commitment, and $50,000 each from both Village Capital and Ventures Platform. In July 2021, it announced the acquisition of though the amount was not disclosed.

6. Cowrywise is a wealth management app that helps users get better at saving and investing their money, similar to how PiggyVest operates. Cowrywise was founded in 2017 by Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed. In January 2021, the fintech startup raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding round led by Quona capital. The CEO of Cowrywise, Razaq Ahmed, told TechCabal that the app has 220,000 registered users and aims to have 10 million registered users by 2025.

7. Carbon: Carbon (Formerly Paylater) was founded by two brothers, Chijioke Dozie and Ngozi Dozie in 2012. The company first started out as a digital lender and has over time grown to involve in many services ranging from savings to payments and investments.

According to Carbon’s 2018 report, it disbursed ₦3b ($8.3m) worth of loans in 2017. That increased by 333% to ₦13b ($36.1m) in 2018.

In 2020 Carbon hit 240m in payments processed up 89% from 2019.

8. Paga is an e-payment platform that allows its users to transfer money and make payments through their mobile devices and was founded in 2009 by Jay Alabraba and Tayo Oviosu. Six years after it was founded, the startup had hit a major milestone of 3 million users in 2015 and three years later, in 2018, the payment startup comfortably hit 11 million users.
By the time the company marked 10 years anniversary in 2019, it had completed N1.5 trillion worth of transactions.

9. Interswitch: Interswitch is an Africa-centered integrated digital payments and commerce company headquartered in Lagos. Interswitch was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe.
In November 2019, Visa invested $200 million in return for a 20% stake which valued the company at no less than $1 billion, making it one of Africa’s rare fintech unicorns.

10. eTranzact: eTranzact is Nigeria’s premier payment processing platform. It was launched in 2003 with the aim to simplify payments for individuals and businesses across Africa.
There was a significant drop in the company’s revenue in the second quarter of 2020. The company’s revenues declined by more than 10% – from N6.45 billion in Q2 2019 to N5.77 billion in Q2 2020.

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Top 8 fintech companies in Nigeria



Fintech took the lead in the 2020 funding with more startups securing funding than any other sector In all, 99 fintech startups raised investment over the course of the year, representing 24.9 percent of the overall total.

Fintech industry in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous growth over the years. Although it’s emerging yet one can’t deny the fact that it is a fast-moving sector. A lot of foreign investors have also shown interest in the sector by investing massively.

Below, we look at the list of the top 8 fintech companies in Nigeria in no particular order:

1. Paystack

Paystack, founded in 2015 by Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade, is an online payment solution that provides a quick way to integrate payments services into an online or offline transaction by way of an API, serving Nigeria and some other Africa countries. Paystack has played a critical role not just in Nigeria’s fintech sector but also in Africa and their customers include small businesses, larger corporates, fintech, and educational institutions. It made a  big announcement last year October when it announced that it has been acquired by Stripe the same company that led its Series A funding at a whopping amount of $200M making it the biggest startup acquisition to date to have ever come out of Nigeria.

2. Flutterwave

Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji co-founded Flutterwave in 2018. The headquarter is based in San Francisco with offices in Lagos. Flutterwave provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers

Flutterwave helps businesses build customizable payments applications through its APIs. Flutterwave says more than 290,000 businesses use its platform to carry out payments.

3. Paga

Paga was Founded in 2012 by Tayo Oviosu and Jay Alibaba, and is a leading payment and mobile money business and it allows people to receive international money transfers directly on their mobile devices through the use of Paga mobile money wallet. Paga currently has 17,379,708 customers and 27,623 agents.

4. Interswitch

Interswitch is an integrated payment and transaction processing company headquartered in Lagos. Interswitch was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe.

In 2019, Interswitch confirmed that it has reached unicorn status after Visa acquired a minority of the firm’s stake making the company one of the most valuable African fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion

Interswitch also offers a number of personal and business finance products such as its Verve payment cards and Quickteller payment app when it launched in February 2021.

5. Paylater (Carbon)

Paylater was founded by Chijioke Dozie, Ngozi Dozie, and launched in March 2016  when it first introduced instant loans without criteria. Four years later, it rebranded as Carbon. Carbon operates a loan app that gives short loans through its mobile app, making the process paperless and quick.

One Finance (OneFi) which is the company’s parent company secured a $5 million debt facility from Lendable in March 2019. A month after, the company transitioned to a fully-fledged digital financial services platform that now offers bill payments, fund transfers, and savings products, in addition to loans. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Chijioke Dozie, described the decision to transit as deliberate.

6. Kuda Bank

Kuda Bank was founded by Babs Ogundeyi and Mustapha Musty in 2016 and it started out as Kudimoney (“the bank of the free”). In June 2019, it rebranded as Kuda and received a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch a full-service digital bank.

The founder Babs said in 2019 Kuda is the first digital-only bank in Nigeria with a standalone license and that it is not a mobile wallet or simply a mobile app piggybacking on an existing bank.

In March 2021, the fintech startup secured a US$25 million Series A funding round led by New York-based venture capital firm Valar Ventures.


7. PiggyVest

PiggyVest, formerly known as a is the largest online savings and investing platform in Nigeria. They rebranded to become PiggyVest in 2019 and also began to offer investment opportunities to users besides savings.

8. Cowrywise

Cowrywise was founded in the year 2017 by Edward Popoola and Razaq Ahmed. It is quite similar Piggyvest in operation and it is used for saving and investing. In January 2021, the fintech startup raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding round led by Quona capital. The app boasts of having 220,000 registered users and with the aim to have 10 million registered users by 2025.





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CBN partners global fintech for its digital currency



The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has announced an international fintech startup, Bitt Inc. as the Technical Partner for its digital currency. named eNaira, which is billed for unveiling October 1, this year.

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, disclosed the development in Abuja on Monday.
The governor listed the benefits of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) which include increased cross-border trade, accelerated financial inclusion, cheaper and faster remittance inflows, and easier targeted social interventions.

CBN selected Bitt Inc among other highly competitive bidders, based on the company’s technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience.

In its decision for selecting Bitt Inc, the CBN’s spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, said in a statement that it relied on the company’s tested and proven digital currency experience, which is already in circulation in several Eastern Caribbean Countries.
Nwanisobi also said the decision of the CBN has now become a global trend with over 85 percent of Central Banks are currently exploring the adaptation of digital currencies in their countries.

The apex bank stated that Bitt Inc. was instrumental in the development and successful launch of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.

The apex bank had on July 22 during a private webinar with stakeholders outlined a digital currency initiative.
If the pilot scheme is eventually launched, Nigeria will join other countries across the globe and Africa racing to develop its CBDC.

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India’s Central Bank Set to Launch Digital Currency by December



The Reserve Bank of India could  launch its first digital currency pilot programs by December.

The development was disclosed to CNBC by India’s Central Bank governor, Shaktikanta Das.

According to him, he said, “We are being extremely careful about it because it’s completely a new product, not just for RBI, but globally,”

He said further “I think by the end of the year, we should be able to — we would be in a position, perhaps — to start our first trials,”
T Rabi Shankar which is his deputy had earlier announced in July that the apex bank was working toward a “phased implemental strategy” for a digital currency.

According to the governor, the RBI is planning to explore many aspects of a digital currency, which includes its security, influence on India’s financial industry, and how it would affect monetary policy and cash in circulation.

Das went on to say that the central bank is weighing the pros and cons of using a centralized ledger for digital money against using so-called distributed ledger technology (DLT).

A distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a digital database that allows a good number of users to access, share, and record transactions at the same time. The database is owned and managed by a single entity, and in this case, the central bank — in a centralized ledger.

Central bank digital currencies or CBDCs are essentially the online versions of their respective fiat currencies. That would be known as the digital rupee in India’s scenario.

Some central banks including those in Nigeria, China, Europe, and the U.K. are all exploring digital currencies that would be issued by them, either to commercial lenders or to the general public.

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