With the potential for rapid growth and job creation, FinTech firms in Africa have caught the attention of global investors. According to the London Stock Exchange Group’s 2019 “Companies to Inspire Africa” report, which highlights these firms, the FinTech sector has the second highest growth rate representation of technology and telecoms as well as financial services. As it stands, companies in this space represent more than a quarter of 360 featured firms from 32 different countries. Pan-African payments firm Cellulant is among the companies that appeared in the first and second editions of the report.
Cellulant Chief Product Officer Faizal Mirza told PYMNTS in an interview that the firm “is in the business of building products that solve real problems in every sector in Africa. As Africa’s leading payments ecosystem, Cellulant is connecting merchants, banks, and mobile operators with their increasingly mobile customers through its electronic/digital payments services.”
The company allows consumers to use their preferred payment methods while enabling merchants to receive payments via their preferred stores of value. Moreover, the FinTech firm provides a single point of connection for banks as well as mobile wallets.
In the past four months, the FinTech firm says that over 600 trucks of trade were fulfilled on its platform, 300,000 households have been able to have a meal on the table and 12,000 households have been connected to trade. And, in the next five years, Cellulant is seeking to power 1.2 billion meals through its Agrikore marketplace, which would feed 10 percent of Africa. It is also looking to have one of every 10 Africans make payments through its platform, with 10 percent of merchants powering their businesses and 10 percent of farmers earning their incomes through the company’s technology.
While almost 90 percent of payments and transactions are still based on cash in most of sub-Saharan Africa, Mirza said that there is a “large opportunity to increase mobile-money penetration” as two-thirds of the region is adopting mobile phone technology. In response to potential growth and its mission to build the top payments technology business in Africa, the company has launched the third iteration of its business strategy. It is anchoring that plan on internet, consumer and marketplace payments. “This is aimed at fixing Africa’s payments problems by connecting mobile users to payments that power their daily lives,” Mirza said.
As it stands, Cellulant powered $1.5 billion worth of consumer payments across 48 million transactions in the last year. And, by 2021, the company seeks to reach $99 million in revenue as it eyes FinTech growth on the continent.