Regulation by Central bankers in hot African fintech markets is a market variable you have to work with / around / find loopholes. It is not a constraint that VCs or entrepreneurs can "wish away"

Lets not be naive

True of crypto as well
Wizaj, VP at Chipper Cash, African Fintech w/ $150million+ funding in 3 years was quoted saying

"40% of Chipper cash staff count is legal and compliance people"
Part of the problem is

1. Naive entrepreneurs (20s w/ no real world business experience)
2. Foreigner VCs now remote who will idealize anything for LPs
3. Lack of appreciation for Advocacy as a product
1 is when you see young African Fintechers tweet frustration w/ regulators (as if it will change status quo). It demonstrates their naivete / no experience w/ real world politics & governance

" i can change the world syndrome "
3 is what they all need but their lack of experience shows b/c they cannot coordinate themselves into a group and work up the advocacy chain

The largest tech corporations in the world actively lobby.

This is a problem i witnessed through the eyes of the African crypto industry
Kenya since 2014 Ive come across 50+ crypto entrepreneurs who all thought they could beat the system. They spent and burnt resources trying to build what was impossible b/c of sheer fundamentals. Regulations.

7 years later, they all came in, tried, failed, packed up & left
There is a certain obsession with 'building' that trumps logic. I see it everytime they tweet abt Regulations as a blocker, but no advocacy as a product

So they are all in a race to raise the most money to survive thro winter and wait for (hopefully) favorable regulations
I say 'hopeful' b/c that day may never come, or not as they expect.

After you've sat t thro a tier 1/2/3 bank exec board meeting, you realize regulations is an incumbent strategy. the banks are planning to 'innovate Fintech' too, like the startups. After all, they own the rails

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More from @pesa_africa

21 Sep
European Football NFT Platform Sorare Raises $680M Series B

Sorare says it’s traded over $150 million worth of digital cards on its platform since January and currently has over 600,000 registered users…
Sharing this b/c Africa is a huge market for sport betting millions of users accessing bets via USSD, Smartphone App, Web App, SMS and Agent services

Betting companies are succesful post revenue technology startups b/t few will admit it
Mobile Money Top Payment Categories, Sport betting makes tye cut at top 4 in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria
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14 Sep
Fuel prices going up in Kenya 🇰🇪 is an opportunity for alternative energy products - solar, ethanol, hybrid taxis... you name it!

This crisis is paving way for the business success stories of tomorrow
Severals example from Kenyan Uber drivers

1. more drivers are considering alternatives such as LPG Pro-gas which retails ~50% vs petrol (70kes vs 129kes). Some drivers have modified vehicles to cater for proGas compatible engines
2. Some Uber drivers are now considering hybrid ( electric & fuel) vehicles such as Honda Insight and Toyota Prius

3. Some taxi drivers have shifted to fully electric vehicles for example Nissan Nopia
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13 Sep
E-commerce in Africa is growing & evolving, however, it’s taking place in different forms & channels; a significant amount of transactions are taking place 'informally' on digital channels such as Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, Websites, SMS, Voice calls, etc. Via @AfridigestHQ
“I believe e-commerce is just in its first iteration and I, therefore, hold the view that the question’s assumptions are mistaken. E-commerce is inevitable but its characteristics in Africa will look quite different than that of the US or Asia.”
The lack of e-commerce penetration in Africa is partly due to how it is defined. WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook (including Instagram) sales allow for the more accessible informal market to flourish. This is where many items in Africa are bought and sold
Read 15 tweets
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Where can i find a list of USSD services offered in Kenya 🇰🇪 or East Africa ? Like a compilation of all public/consumer facing USSD codes such as

- betting
- financial services
- ecommerce
- health
- surveys etc
Im trying to gauge the user experience of USSD across different services...

Any links to research, blogs or articles welcomed
Difference between licensing and issuance of USSD codes in Kenya 🇰🇪 versus Tanzania 🇹🇿 h/t @CGAP
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It seems Nigeria 🇳🇬 is an entire different market from Kenya 🇰🇪 and East Africa b/c of Telcos/MNO/mobile money led digital financial services in East Africa in the last decade/1
We have always known that Nigeria 🇳🇬 was / is a Bank 🏦 led market, versus Kenya 🇰🇪 East Africa where Telcos unbundled some financial services from Banks since 2007 /2
On this side of the continent, payments already dominated by non-bank players , but the real impact of Telcos led digital finance was spurring banks 🏦 into adapting by opening up digital channels /3
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23 Aug
⚠️ African Fintech VCs remind me of Crypto Bros, bag holders who will say anything and everything to pump their 💰 bags to the next greater fool.
East Africa FINTECH

Eversend user = Chipper cash user = Mpesa user = Opay user = Tala user = Branch user = X

Let’s at least have an honest conversation about user metrics: unique users, retention, repeat usage before any meaningful valuations
My theory is

- users are finicky/ no loyalty
- banks and MNOs are playing the Fintech game too
- there’s a cap on how much can be extracted from users
- adding more $$ into user wallets is # 1problem
- supposed size of ‘middle class’ is overstated
- Nigeria 🇳🇬 is not Africa
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