I have a theory. Startups doing in-country p2p are going to have a bit of a rough time competing vs banks (Nigeria) and telco mobile money (momo markets). When under attack, those can improve or outprice startups severely.
Capital will help for those able and willing to raise gazillions. The next best thing is to price zero and go financial super app style by introducing crypto, stocks, etc.
But banks and telcos are also looking for those stocks APIs too. Crypto is still a trick for them so it’s a great hedge for the startups although they face the some regulatory headwinds.
Those who have been around for some time and have a memory might remember one great startup vs telcos in Zambia. But all in all, I think the market has changed and I’d still vote for startups long term. It’s just going to be a rough ride.
You can’t build your own agent network and still subsidise. Agents are very expensive and need to get paid. You can’t subsidise that cost forever. Telcos can do it better because of sheer scale and fight.
The real winner is the consumer.

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More from @StoneAtwine

7 Sep
Capital allows founders to dream. Competition against telcos and their mobile money is going to be very hard. Wave is already making waves in Senegal, Ivory Coast and soon Uganda, going up against telcos. Capital allows them to play. Great for the ecosystem. Great play.
If there is a team that can attack the telcos and have a chance of winning, Wave is it. Telcos play very hard ball. The likes of Safcom and MTN don’t play games. My experience with them is why we chose to solve another big problem and work with them but not vs them.
Going cross border to supplement them instead of in-country P2P was well calculated. Some founders are going up against them without thinking about these market dynamics. But Wave is well aware, rich and ready. It doesn’t stop at capital but also great understanding
Read 6 tweets
27 Jan
This is not the end. It is whole new game across all wealth. Stocks, crypto, startup equity, real estate. Technology has given a voice to the masses. Our forefathers were farmers, others were industrialists, this is the age of the investor. Learn or die.
Traditional gatekeepers of wealth will not be happy. Wall Street, VC, Central Banks, Media organisations, etc. But with technology, more control is taken away from them and given back to the people. There’s nothing 11,000 hedge funds can do to 3M redditor retards.
These communities will grow. Crypto communities will shock central banks. With DeFi now people can bank themselves, hodl their bags forever and cash out to spend.
Read 5 tweets
30 Nov 20
What really scares me is dreaming small.

The more you learn, the older you get, the more you discuss your goals - the more aware you become of your limitations and the smaller your dreams become.
And it sucks. I don’t wish it on anyone.

The time I spent fundraising was the worst. Everyone said it is impossible. Of course you don’t believe them but their logic grows on you. And you realise how “right” they are.
When you’re done, that belief in the impossible and the foolishness is gone. It scares me to think small.
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov 20
I think there are two challenges with ride-hailing in Africa.

1. Drivers are squeezed in pricing to entice riders.
2. Allowing drivers to take cash & pay the company later puts them in debt. Recovery is done on the next cashless trip, they feel cheated when the co collects.
So the motorcycle taxi driver decides to use the app to get the customer but collects money outside the app, in cash. When the trip isn't registered as taking place, the company has no cut.
A trip can cost up to 2X if one isn't using the app. The driver is aware that the app provides massive advantages and more revenue with increased trips from visibility. So drivers use the app, offer the same pricing but ask to cancel the trip on the app, and receive cash.
Read 11 tweets
19 Jul 20
The most foolish thing I hear often is that Africa’s fintech market is flooded with solutions. People have no way to move money across borders within the continent.
For a population of 1.3 billion people, we have a handful tech solutions for cross border transfers in West and East Africa. A few old school web based apps in Southern Africa
Then we have the story that there’s too many loan apps. Stop looking at Kenya (and sometimes Nigeria) and calling it Africa. Formal credit penetration is a paltry 7%.
Read 11 tweets
16 Jun 20
A thread for fellow founders about unit economics and KPIs to obsess about.

If you’re building for the African market, I implore you to focus on your numbers. This my have a fintech bias, bear with me.
LTV (lifetime value) - this is the net revenue you make from a customer while they’re with you, be it for 1 day or 10 years. Estimate the average amount you make from a customer over the life of your relationship. This is important in deciding how much money to spend in CAC..
CAC (Customer Acquistion Cost) - this is the amount of money it costs you to acquire a customer. This is easy to measure and should be split into channels used. Free customers shouldn’t be average out with paid.
Read 13 tweets

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