In February, Nigerian technology startup CrowdForce announced a big break: it received $ 3.6 million from investors to expand its financial services operations to many other non-service communities.
Co-founder and CEO Tommy Ajorinde said the new funding will increase the network of mobile agents from 7,000 to 21,000 this year.
“We were trying to scale faster and really gain market share,” Ayorind said. “And what we do is also very much about impact, because we create jobs, opportunities to generate extra income in our communities. So it was very exciting for investors to be a part of what we’re trying to do.”
When Ayorinde helped launch CrowdForce seven years ago, he assumed it would be a data collection campaign. But about two years later, the company revised its business model when Ayorin realized it could meet the need for bank accounts.
“When we collected data on 4.5 million traders, many of them did not have bank accounts, and those who have bank accounts found it very difficult to access the cash that was sent to them,” Ayorind said. Then we seemed to understand that we need to solve a bigger problem here. “
Experts say about 60% of Africa’s 1.2 billion people do not have access to banks or financial services. Technology startups in Africa are trying to fix this, said the African Private and Venture Capital Association, known as AVCA.
In a recent report, the industry group said that last year African startups raised $ 5.2 billion in venture capital, and that West Africa, led by Nigeria, accounted for the largest share of investment.
AVCA research manager Alexei Alexandroupou said investors are looking to engage large numbers of young people in Africa.
“Africa is the world’s youngest population, so as the share of skilled labor increases, there will be more human capital to provide food for African businesses as well as industrial development on the continent,” said Alexandropoulov.
The AVCA report also cites increased Internet penetration in Africa and more favorable government policies that are boosting investment in knwoFintech’s financial technology services.
But Fintech digital marketing expert Luis Dyke said obstacles such as weak currencies and policies need to be overcome.
“Africa is not an ideal place because it still consists of primary markets,” Dyke said. “The standard of living is quite low, our regulations are inconsistent, the government will say it today, and tomorrow it will change the law and restrict some startups.”
But with the advent of new talent in technology, Nigeria and other African countries are seeing more and more startups with big dreams.