The number of startups worth $1 billion and above in Africa is increasing. The latest to join the exclusive African unicorn club is Chipper Cash. The cross-border payment startup has just raised a $100 million Series C investment led by SVB Capital Ventures. It becomes the sixth African $billion company alongside Interswitch, Fawry, Flutterwave, Jumia, and OPay.
Others who participated in this round include existing investors — Deciens Capital, Ribbit Capital, Bezos Expeditions, One Way Ventures, 500 Startups, Tribe Capital, and Brue2 Ventures.
Chipper Cash will use the new investment to introduce more products and grow its team
Founded in San Francisco in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled, Chipper Cash offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya. It is also present in the United Kingdom (UK) where it recently expanded to. It currently has 4 million users, up 33% from last year.
Beyond sending and receiving money, Chipper Cash users can trade in cryptocurrency and it plans to launch its US stocks product in Uganda, Nigeria, and a few other countries soon.
Per Nigeria, it may face some regulatory challenges with the US stocks product because the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), has introduced guidelines for the operations of startups offering investment/crowdfunding services and has even ordered them to register or stop operating on or before June 30th.
On this Ham Serunjogi, Chipper Cash co-founder and CEO, said they are engaging regulators to ensure that they do not fall foul of the law.
“As fintech explodes and as innovation continues to move forward, consumers have to be protected. We invest millions of dollars every year in our compliance programs, so I think working closely with the regulators directly so that these products are offered in a compliant manner is important,” Serunjogi noted.
Commenting on its lead investment in the fintech, the managing director of SVB Capital Tilli Bannett, told Techcrunch that the VC firm invested in the fintech startup because it has created an easy and accessible way for people living in Africa to fulfil their financial needs through enhanced products and user experiences.
“As a result, Chipper has had a phenomenal trajectory of consumer adoption and volume through the product. We are excited at the role Chipper has forged for itself in fostering financial inclusion across Africa and the vast potential that still lies ahead,” he added.