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Nigerian startup PiggyBank.ng and Kenyan startup Olivine Technology have each scored $50,000 in funding from investment firm Village Capital, following the conclusion of FinTech Africa 2017, a three-month investment readiness programme.
The programme was organised in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the DOEN Foundation with support from VC4A. The two companies were a part of a cohort of seven peer companies.
PiggyBank.ng allows Nigerians to save small sums of money through an automatic savings process by working directly with financial institutions, while Olivine Technology has created ASiM, a mobile app that serves as a point-of-sale and stock management solution that connects multiple distribution sites seamlessly with their respective head offices.
Participating entrepreneurs were involved in a peer-selected investment process which allowed them to evaluate one another across multiple investment readiness indicators, directing the investment award to the top two companies.
Olivine Technology co-founder Joseph Karanja said the funding would be ploughed back into the business.
He said the startup, launched in 2010 by Karanja, Mark Mwaura and Charles Muigai, has gained some traction with its smartphone app, and has picked up clients in the cosmetics, fuel lubricants, beverage and edible products sectors.
Karanja said the product would help business managers to replace handwritten sales receipts from sales people and distributors, while assisting managers to view where sales are being made geographically.
Village Capital CEO Ross Baird (pictured above) said in a press release that the company had seen growing financial access in Africa over the last several years, but that growing access did not necessarily translate to growing financial inclusion.
‘We’re excited about their potential to expand financial inclusion’
“There is a real lack of savings, credit, and investment solutions that work for women, youth, farmers, small businesses, and other underserved communities.
“After witnessing the progress of the FinTech Africa 2017 cohort companies over the past several months, we’re even more excited about their potential to expand financial inclusion in the communities they serve,” said Baird.
The remainder of the cohort included:
- IroFit — Developed a mobile card reader allowing small businesses to accept payments anywhere including areas with poor internet.
- LipaMobile — Created mPocket, a smart card allowing cashless transactions which allow students to purchase goods.
- MaTontine — Has digitised traditional peer-to-peer savings systems to offer financial services.
- Student Finance Africa — Utilises predictive analytics and other credit assessment tools to assist young people and families obtain financial support for education when they need it and pay it back when they can.
- TalentBase — Is a payroll software for SMEs utilising mobile.
“We have been proud to work with Village Capital to identify and support the next generation of FinTech entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Youssouf Sy, associate programme manager for the Mastercard Foundation.
Featured image: CEO of Village Capital Ross Baird.