BY Busola Aro
The fintech association of Nigeria says the sector accounted for 63 percent of the funding raised by startups in Africa in 2021.
Ade Bajomo, president of the association, said this on Saturday at the fintech platinum awards and dinner ceremony held in Lagos.
Bajomo said Nigeria had been well-positioned in Africa and the global fintech ecosystem.
He added that Africa could currently boast of 10 unicorns out of which seven; (Jumia, Fluttwerwave, Andela, Chipper Cash, Airtel Africa, OPay and Interswitch) are Nigerian.
“Nigerian startups raised $1.37 billion of the $4 billion raised in Africa in 2021,” he said.
“Of these, the fintech space alone accounted for about 63 percent of all total funding, compared with just 25 percent in 2020.
“The growing investor confidence in African fintech reflects the continent’s huge potential due to deepening mobile and internet penetration, a youthful population, and increasing consumer sophistication and income, amongst many other factors.
“When you think about how far fintech in Nigeria has come, you should thank the incredible entrepreneurs who envisioned, pioneered and executed strategic moves that have now crystallised into strong and growing companies.”
Bajemo said despite the enormous achievements, there is a need to look back and appreciate how far the fintech ecosystem has come in the country.
According to him, fintech in Nigeria raised about $600 million in funding between 2014 and 2019, compared to more than one billion dollars raised in one year alone.
“Before now, real-time payments and digital (quick) loans were almost impossible,” he said.
“However, Nigeria is now home to about 250 fintech companies, in spite of huge infrastructural, regulatory and financial challenges.”
The association’s president further said the trajectory was not set to slow down by any means as, by 2025, Africa would be home to 1.5 billion people, most of who would have grown up with the internet.
He said that the continent’s demographics would include a vast group of digitally literate but under-banked customers, who could be tapped by home-grown and foreign fintechs.
Regarding the awards, Bajomo said the Fintech Platinum Awards were to create a world-class award ceremony which would raise the standard of the top global awards within the sector.
He added that the association was strongly positioned to play strategic, critical and unbiased roles in creating an enabling environment for fintech to continue to thrive in Nigeria, thereby, providing leadership for the fintech ecosystem evolution in the country and across the continent.