FEBRUARY 03, 2023

3 min Read

Investors update: February 3, 2023

Nigeria ranks top in crypto usage, ownership globally


  • A new study by Trading Browser has ranked Nigeria first by the number of users and owners of cryptocurrencies in the world.
  • The study ranks countries based on the proportion of the population that reported that they used or owned cryptocurrency each year from 2019 to 2022.
  • Nigeria tops the list with 45% of the population—over 90 million people—using or owning cryptocurrency in 2022. That’s almost 1.5x the population of the United Kingdom.

Source: Nairametrics

Our Takeaway

Despite African governments’ mostly hostile stance on cryptocurrencies, Africa has been the world’s third fastest-growing crypto market—adoption increased by over 1,200% between 2020 and 2022—and is home to a large number of crypto and blockchain startups; (from new upstarts in the web3 space to exchanges and remittance platforms). With the time under review, Nigeria saw a 17% total increase in ownership and use from 28% to 45%, equating to over 34 million people adopting cryptocurrency over the three years.

SunFi gets $2.3m seed for its solar financing service


  • SunFi, a Nigerian clean tech startup that connects people and businesses who want solar energy access to payment plans that match their needs, has raised $2.325 million in seed funding.
  • The platform received backing from lead investors Factor[e] and SCM Capital Asset Management with participating investors such as Voltron Capital, Norrsken Impact Accelerator, Ventures Platform, and Sovereign Capital.
  • The investment will help SunFi grow its operations and improve its capabilities to recommend the best systems at the lowest cost to customers. 

Source: TechCrunch

Our Takeaway

Most households and businesses in Africa are without access to electricity and those who do grapple with expensive electricity tariffs, frequent power outages, and load shedding. But the decreasing costs of solar systems, relative to either grid or diesel generators, have helped solar solutions—provided by companies like SunFi—become economically viable alternatives for commercial and industrial use. Since its official launch last February, the startup claims to have onboarded over 40 solar system vendors to its platform while deploying more than $600,000 to its customers via its partnerships with financial institutions.  

Ghana’s Zeepay expands remittance business to Zambia


  • Ghanaian remittance fintech company, Zeepay, has been granted a license by the Central Bank of Zambia to operate in the country. 
  • The company will operate a new remittance outbound service directly from its Zeepay Mobile Money Wallet, allowing Zambians to transfer money from their mobile money wallets to over 150 countries around the world.
  • The new service by the cross-border payment platform was made possible by its partnership with MoneyGram International.

Source: ABC

Our Takeaway

In Africa, there’s a major market opportunity in the massive diaspora remittances business. For context, remittances accounted for nearly 4% of Nigeria’s GDP as of 2020. Yet, sending money from places like the US and the UK to the continent remains invariably expensive. Although most of the traditional players that charge high commission rates still dominate the space, fintech startups like NALA, Zeepay, Chipper Cash, and Sendwave, hope to wrestle market share from incumbents with lower rates.

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