Fintech is the leading sector in Africa’s tech ecosystem today. In 2022, for example, fintech attracted more VC cash than any other sector.
But when you think of fintech in Africa, chances are that you think of mobile money & M-PESA Africa [https://www.linkedin.com/company/m-pesa-africa/]. Or perhaps payments unicorns like Flutterwave [https://www.linkedin.com/company/flutterwave/], Chipper Cash [https://www.linkedin.com/company/chippercash/], and Interswitch Group [https://www.linkedin.com/company/interswitch-limited/] come to mind. Or maybe you think of digital lending apps like Tala [https://www.linkedin.com/company/talamobile/], Branch International [https://www.linkedin.com/company/branch-co/], & the many others that have popped up.
But there’s one segment that seems to be flying somewhat under the radar despite its scale: asset financiers.
Two of the top five equity fundraising rounds that happened in fintech last year went to firms in this category: Kenya’s M-KOPA [https://www.linkedin.com/company/m-kopa/] and Nigeria’s Moove [https://www.linkedin.com/company/moove-io/].
M-KOPA, a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pioneer, today finances smartphones, home appliances, solar energy systems, and more, allowing customers to pay an initial deposit followed by flexible micro-payments.
And Moove, a so-called ‘mobility fintech,’ provides vehicle financing to ride-hailing drivers in partnership with platforms like Uber, allowing these drivers to access vehicles while directly deducting their earnings on the platforms for repayment.
I’ve said before that the appetite for credit is virtually unlimited across African markets and this manifestation asset financing is one that’s worth paying attention to.
Last year alone, Tugende [https://www.linkedin.com/company/tugende/], Asaak [https://www.linkedin.com/company/asaak/], Unchorlight Kenya [https://www.linkedi