SA Fintech startups to watch

CB Insights has updated its Fintech 250 list, detailing the emerging fintech companies that will change the face of financial services in the coming decade.

The companies are selected by a  purely data-driven/algorithmic process that uses CB Insights data. This data is gathered via proprietary machine learning technology as well as via several thousand direct submissions from firms and individual professionals.

Factors considered include the fintech’s momentum (news mentions, sentiment, jobs data/hiring, social media, web traffic and usage etc), market (health of the sector and industry), money and investor quality.

More than 2,000 companies were nominated or applied for the Fintech 250.

“The financial services industry will see more change in the next 10 years than it has in the last 100. And that transformation is being driven by a group of smart insurgent startup companies,said CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal.

“The Fintech 250 are the most promising of these insurgents. They are bringing emerging technologies and business models to financial services that will permanently change the way we handle money and do business.”


Of the 250 companies on the list, two are South African representing nearly half of the 5 total fintech’s selected in South Africa.

Unsurprisingly Kenyan-based BitPesa, is the most recognisable of the African startups with its blockchain business payments now serving 6,000 customers across over 85 countries.

Two Nigerian startups Paga and Paystack also offer payment solutions with Paga focusing on mobile payments and Paystack geared towards SME’s, allowing its customers to securely accept payments.

South Africa

Founded in 2013 and originally based in Cape Town Yoco is aimed at delivering smart technology that is able to accept payments, and using this payments data to offer insights and automation to SMEs.

This includes devices such as the Yoco credit card reader which accept all Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, including Chip & PIN, Swipe & Sign, local or international cards.

Also based out of Cape Town, Zoona (or”I love Zoona”) is aimed at financial inclusion and providing funding for low-income communities across South Africa.

With millions of Africans relying on extended family and community networks for support to help them pay their school fees, cope with health emergencies, find jobs, and save for their future, these are cash economies with high rates of poverty and unemployment and very little access to formal financial services.

“But people living in these communities still have dreams, aspirations, and potential to achieve better lives for themselves and their families, explains Zoona.

Read: SA fintech startup cuts FICA process to three minutes

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SA Fintech startups to watch