BusinessDay

8 Nigeria-based fintech companies attract $500m in 9 months

Eight Nigeria-based fintech companies have attracted about $500 million in nine months, according to Akeem Lawal, divisional chief executive officer, Interswitch Group.

Lawal who disclosed this to BusinessDay on the sidelines of the ongoing seminar for finance correspondents and business editors in Enugu state said from January 2021 till date, the payment industry attracted $500 million, driven by eight companies.

The companies included Flutterwave, which raised $170 million in March 2021, Opay raised $400 million in May 2021, of which half or two-third was for Nigeria and the rest for African business.

Also, Kuda Bank raised $25 million in March and $55 million in August 2021, Prosper fintech Limited raised $3.8 million in March this year, Bankly raised $2 million in September 2021, CapitalSage Technology Limited raised $4 million in August 2021 and another two companies that the information was not available at press time.

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Earlier in his keynote speech, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the high level of confidence in Nigeria’s payment system, between 2015 and 2020, has attracted the investment of about $500m in firms run by Nigerian founders.

“our robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria”, Emefiele said.

In spite of these gains, he said about 36 percent of adult Nigerians still do not have access to financial services. Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to businesses.

Hassan Mahmud, director of, Monetary policy department, said Nigeria recorded high growth in digital financial utilization, approximately 35 percent growth in the total population who carried out digital transactions.

Speaking on ‘implications of trends in the digital ecosystem for Monetary policy implementation’, Mahmud said it is estimated that Nigeria’s FinTech landscape consists of around 250 FinTechs.

On the issue of social media platforms, panellists who spoke on ‘creating a secure cyber environment for financial transactions’, urged the regulators to integrate social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media platforms into Nigerian payments systems.

Uche Uwaleke, professor of the department of banking and finance, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, who spoke during the colloquium said the idea to integrate social media platforms is good.
He said it is good to introduce social media platforms where there are many actors in one space such that when something happens to one, people can migrate and so that disruption does not become pervasive.

“A lot of businesses were affected due to the outage, security, markets were affected, including the oil market, but why the disruption was not so much was due to the fact that other actors quickly found an alternative especially in Telegram,” he said.

Musa Jimoh, director of, payments system management department, CBN, said the regulators would oversee the infrastructure when fully integrated so as to withstand difficult conditions.

Represented by Rakiya Yusuf, assistant director, payment system management department, CBN, he said, “for us as regulators, we use social media to reach a larger portion of the public and it has come to stay.

“We use this tool to sensitise the public as well as using it to play a significant role in financial inclusion”.

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