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COVA Africa, a cutting-edge insurtech firm from Douala, Cameroon, emerged triumphant at the sixth edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa – Togo Edition. The event, held recently in Lomé, Togo, witnessed ten leading African fintech companies converging for an intense accelerator programme focused on financial inclusion.
Organised by the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) and supported by Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation, this marked the inaugural programme in Africa and the first session conducted entirely in French, showcasing a significant leap in inclusivity for French-speaking fintech entities.
The climax of the event unfolded during a riveting pitch session. Each participant was given a brief five-minute window to present their innovative solutions, followed by a dynamic two-minute interactive Q&A session with a distinguished jury comprising industry stalwarts such as Laura Foschi, executive director of ADA asbl, and other luminaries from the finance and microfinance sectors.
COVA Africa’s ground-breaking solutions impressed the jury, securing them the coveted prize, presented by Geneviève Hengen, deputy director of Bilateral Development Cooperation.
“Alone we go faster, together we go further,” quoted Virginie Pouna Ngomi, CEO and co-Founder of COVA Africa, expressing gratitude for the opportunity provided by the Luxembourg House of Technology.
The company’s victory not only highlights their exceptional work but also underscores the collaborative spirit of the African fintech ecosystem.
Fostering financial innovation and collaboration
CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa has emerged as a beacon of financial inclusivity, propelling numerous companies towards success and bridging the gap between Africa and Europe in the fintech landscape.
This week-long boot camp, rich in sessions and mentorship opportunities, has served as a crucible for fintechs, enabling them to refine strategies, enhance operational efficiencies, and amplify their social impact. Since its inception, it has accelerated 70 companies from over 25 countries. This year, amid 140 applications, ten fintechs from seven countries were selected, participating in 26 sessions facilitated by 28 experts and 38 mentors.
The CATAPULT: Financial Inclusion Africa programme received substantial support from key strategic partners such as LFF (Luxembourg For Finance), ADA asbl (Appui au Développement Autonome), EIB (European Investment Bank), and many others.
The programme covered a diverse array of topics, including business model mapping, scaling strategies, peer due diligence processes, sales strategies, operational and risk management, funding and capital raising, and social impact initiatives.
“CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa’s latest edition marked a significant milestone – our inaugural programme in Africa, hosted at SAM, and the first conducted in French. This signifies our commitment to inclusivity and localisation in fostering African fintech innovations,” remarked Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT Foundation.
Innovative solutions shaping the future of finance
The ten fintech startups that competed in the 2023 edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa Togo Edition showcased a diverse array of solutions.
- Amira Global Technologies from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, focused on digital transformation and social impact solutions based on their online payment solution, Paiement Pro.
- CA Pay from Libreville, Gabon, offered a web-based payment platform to facilitate financial transactions for the unbanked population in remote areas.
- COVA Africa, the triumphant winner, specialises in insurtech solutions for French-speaking Africa, fostering partnerships and using technology to distribute insurance products.
- Dreamcash from Yaounde, Cameroon, introduced MiQo, a neo-microfinance platform providing digital banking solutions to unbanked and underbanked populations.
- Kola Group, also from Yaounde, focused on digital microfinance, enabling individuals and small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa to access credit and manage finances through digital platforms.
- Microfinance Pro Sarl from Lomé, Togo, developed a SAAS solution addressing money collection challenges for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and empowering MFI customers with easy mobile access to their accounts and money transfers.
- Orya technologies from Dakar, Senegal, positioned itself as an API provider for financial services, offering secure and inclusive technology for financial professionals in Africa.
- Rubyx, also from Dakar, developed a data-driven fintech platform offering MSME credit solutions for service providers in emerging markets.
- Toumai Analytics from Rabat, Morocco, presented a SaaS Data Analytics platform that collects and analyses local data in Africa, giving voice and economic weight to local communities and providing international investors with granular and robust data.
- Wajenzi, based in Luxembourg, introduced a digital marketplace connecting African SMEs with individual and institutional investors in the EU and the US, promoting financial inclusion by enabling funding for African businesses.