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This is an excerpt from the 2023 Startup Ecosystem Report, a collaboration between Shega, JICA, and MInT, that offers a deep dive into the city’s vibrant innovation landscape.

To get full Insights from the 2023 Ecosystem Report click here.

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Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

Financial technology (FinTech) is a burgeoning field that has been transforming the landscape of financial services across the globe. In Ethiopia, FinTech products are also on the rise, catering to a wide range of Ethiopians by offering innovative financial services, including savings, credit, payment, and remittance, all accessible through technology-enabled platforms.

The potential use of FinTech products in Ethiopia can significantly increase efficiency and productivity in financial activities by providing faster and more efficient payment options, shorter durations for credit approval, and relative ease of access for customers. The implementation of these products can also foster innovation and modernization within the Ethiopian banking sector, addressing some of the challenges associated with traditional banking practices.

The report identified around 30 different FinTech startup products in Addis Ababa that are attempting to offer innovative financial products and contribute to the evolution of existing business models. These FinTech products include payment gateways, mobile money products, mobile point-of-sale systems (mPOS systems), remittance services, digital loans and savings, and insurance.

Sample Fintech Startups

Payment Processors (Gateways)

Payment gateways enable online merchants and service providers to accept and receive digital payments. Payment gateway providers in Ethiopia enable local merchants using ecommerce or market-place platforms to receive speedy pay-outs, financial settlement and reporting, and acceptance of both international and domestic payments. Almost 40% of the fintech startups identified are payment processors, with the majority also offering mPOS systems.

A smartphone, tablet, or dedicated wireless device that wirelessly performs the tasks of a cash register or electronic point-of-sale terminal (POS terminal) is known as a mPOS (mobile point-of-sale).

Chapa

Established in 2021 by Nael Hailemariam and Israel Goytom, Chapa is a financial service and software as a service (SaaS) company that supports Ethiopian businesses in receiving online payments from international and domestic customers in foreign currency and ETB through its payment processing software and application programming interfaces (APIs).

ArifPay

Arifpay is Ethiopia’s first licensed Point-of-Sale (POS) Payment System Operator (PSO), offering payment solutions for smartphones, POS devices, and QR codes. Their online platform consolidates and accepts payments from various local debit cards, local wallets, and two international schemes.

Sun Pay

Founded in 2019, Sun Pay is a Financial Technology company specializing in the development and provision of modern payment solutions and services.

SantimPay

Established in 2019 with a 160-million-birr investment, SantimPay is an Ethiopian fintech company specializing in modern payment solutions that enable merchants to accept payments.

Mobile Money

Mobile money refers to a service in which the mobile phone is used to access different financial services in Ethiopia. A licensed mobile money provider is permitted to provide micro saving, microcredit, microinsurance, pension products, and international remittances in collaboration with reputable financial institutions under the regulation, ONPS/01/2020. The regulation has allowed private startups that engage in mobile money activities to kickstart their activities in Addis Ababa.

Kacha

Founded in 2021 by Angesom Teklay with an investment of 200 million birr, Kacha mobile money platform provides access to affordable, convenient, and secure digital financial services that drive sustainable growth, enhance access to finance, and improve citizens’ livelihoods. Kacha plans to provide cashless transactions through more than 30,000 agent networks in the country.

Remittance Platforms

Platforms that facilitate remittances from residents overseas to the Ethiopian economy are referred to as remittance platforms. There are several products available that provide remittance services to the Ethiopian economy. The startups are back in business after the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) overturned a prohibition on the items in July 2022.

CashGo

Founded by Tewodros Shiferaw in 2021, CashGo is a money transfer App, which allows anyone to transfer and donate money from anywhere to Ethiopia with low transaction fee.

MamaPays

Founded by Vince Mountaga Diop MamaPays allows relatives abroad to pay your bills.

Specialized Lending and Saving Companies

Digital savings platforms allow users to save their money on their digital accounts. Digital Lending refers to loans provided to individuals and clients through digital channels that use innovative credit scoring models to process and provide loans. Even though this product is provided under Mobile Money, there have been several startups that provide specialized lending or saving products for their clients.

eQub

Equb is an alternative means to achieve saving and improve access to credit by rotation of savings. Individuals agree to pool their savings for a defined period to jointly save by creating an eQub.

Dube Ale

Dube Ale is a Buy-Now Pay Later scheme that allows users to purchase goods and services on credit.

List of FinTech startups

  1. Appoist/ Paga Ethiopia
  2. Smile Pay
  3. Kacha Digital Financial service
  4. Chapa Financial Technologies
  5. Zari Pay
  6. Mekfeya Financial Technology
  7. Yaya Wallet
  8. Arif Pay
  9. Dube Ale
  10. SantimPay
  11. CashGo
  12. MamaPays
  13. Flocash
  14. YenePay
  15. Jami
  16. SunPay Solutions
  17. YagOut Pay
  18. Moneta Technologies
  19. BT Net Technology (Degafi)
  20. Equb Financial Technologies ( eQub)
  21. Zoma
  22. Digital Equb Financial Technologies ( Digital Equb)
  23. Belcash Technology Solutions (Hello Cash and others)
  24. Ebirr
  25. Kelal Tech PLC ( Semuny)
  26. Atlas Computer Technology (UniCash)
  27. WeBirr
  28. Kifiya Financial Technologies

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