By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The Pan-African bank Ecobank Group has made public the top five finalists of the 2021 Ecobank Fintech Challenge, a competition designed to help Fintechs with Africa focused products join forces with the leading pan-African Group to provide Africans with groundbreaking financial services.
The announcement was done this Thursday, November 11, 2021, through the Zoom platform featuring Dr Tomisin Fashina, Group Executive O&T, Ecobank Group; Ms Djiba Diallo, Senior Fintech Advisor, Ecobank Group; Kiiru Muhoya, CEO and Co-Founder Fingo, Itumeleng Tumi, Co-Founder Growth Factor and moderated by Henry Bonsu. The online announcement also featured the five finalists of the Econbank Fintech challenge.
The finalists, who emerged from a competitive pool of nearly 900 Fintechs that entered the 2021 Fintech Challenge will participate in a virtual Finale to be held next month. The Ecobank Fintech Challenge is designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by partners across Africa and the globe and the 2021 edition marked the fourth year after it was launched back in 2017.
Tomisin Fashina, Group Executive, Operations & Technology, Ecobank Group, said: “The five finalists in this year’s edition have shown impressive products from a competitive group of nearly 900 applicants. I would like to personally congratulate them and express my excitement at the opportunity to work with them to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.”
“… So much access to opportunities and the environment Ecobank provides is outstanding. It gives wider access to us and being an alumnus means recognition and shows that there is stability in what you are doing,” Itumeleng Tumi, Co-Founder Growth Factor said about the opportunities Ecobank provides.
The finalists are expected to pitch their products to a jury that will select the top three products, which will earn a cash prize of 15,000$, 12,000$ and 10,000$ (all in US dollars) respectively. In addition to the cash benefit, all the finalists will be enrolled into Ecobank’s Fintech Fellowship for six months.
They are expected to gain opportunities in Multinational Product Roll Out: An opportunity for eligible Fintechs to pursue collaboration with Ecobank and possibly launch products in Ecobank’s 33 African markets; Service Provider Partnerships: A chance to partner with Ecobank on pan-African products and services roll out and undertake other joint ventures.
Mentoring and Networking Support: Access to networking and mentoring opportunities within the Ecobank Group and its vast network of global and African partners and Digital Offering integration: An opportunity for Fintechs to potentially integrate with Ecobank’s existing digital offerings.
“This is exciting for us at Anadata. We are happy to have made it to this point so far because this platform will provide us with a tremendous opportunity to implement our technology and our ideas within the African space. I am looking forward to an exciting and lovely partnership,” Uzoechina Chuma from Anadata said after the announcement.
Tobi Martins from Motito said: “It is exciting to be part of this challenge and we believe with Ecobank we can propel our business in promoting financial inclusion. We have three different consumer segments and it is very exciting for us.”
Top 5 finalists
Anadata Limited Nigeria: This Company developed Chota, an automated Address Verification System that uses Big Data Analysis to accelerate the process while improving security.
Motito from Ghana – promotes financial inclusion in Africa through their “buy now pay later” platform which allows small businesses to offer interest-free credit at the point of sale.
OKO FINANCE from Mali – offers new generation index insurance to smallholder farmers that are mobile-based and include access to affordable loans, weather alerts and farming tips.
Fourthline Limited, Kenya – developed “Pollen” which is designed to be a USSD ecosystem for conducting cross-telecom payments and savings for the unbanked.
Trove Finance, Nigeria – built software (APIs and Tools) that allows African individuals and financial institutions (Banks, Brokers, and Fund Managers) access and trade US and Global stocks.
About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Ecobank Group’)
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs about 14,000 people and serves over 29 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking licence in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan. For further information please visit www.ecobank.com