Just 6 months after world’s richest man Jeff Bezos invested in Chipper Cash, the African fintech startup has gone on to close a $100 million Series C round.
The Series C round was led by SVB Capital, the investment arm of Silicon Valley Bank. Other participating investors include Deciens Capital, One Way Ventures, Ribbit Capital, 500 Startups, Bezos Expeditions, Tribe Capital, and Brue2 Ventures.
With their recent valuation, they become the fastest african startup to achieve the unicorn status i.e a company worth over $1 billion, achieving the amazing feat in just 3 years. Chipper Cash closed a $30 million Series B led by Ribbit Capital and Jeff Bezos’ fund, Bezos Expeditions in November 2020. The startup had also raised a $13.8 million Series B last June following $8.4 million seed funding back in 2019. All those figures sum up to $152.2 million raised across three rounds..
Chipper Cash was founded in San Francisco in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.
Parallel to its P2P app, the startup also runs Chipper Checkout — a merchant-focused, fee-based payment product that generates the revenue to support Chipper Cash’s free mobile-money business. The company averaged 80,000 transactions daily in November 2020 and processed $100 million in payments value in June 2020.
According to TechCrunch, the startup plans to leverage the new Series C funding to introduce more products and expand its workforce by adding up to 100 employees. New products will include US stock offerings for users in Nigeria and Uganda. “We’ve launched cards products in Nigeria and we’ve also launched our crypto product. We’re also launching our US stocks product in Uganda, Nigeria and a few other countries soon,” CEO Serunjogi disclosed
The number of users on Chipper Cash is over 4 million, up 33% from last year, due to their presence in 8 african countries (Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya). The company is committed to Global expansion as Serunjogi announced that they will be expanding outside Africa to the UK market.
Just like Ribbit Capital and Bezos Expeditions in last year’s Series B, this is SVB Capital’s first foray into the African market. In an email, the managing director of SVB Capital Tilli Bannett, confirmed the fund’s investment in Chipper Cash. According to her, the VC firm invested in Chipper Cash 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,” she added.
The promise and potential of the African technology ecosystem isn’t unnoticed by Global tech leaders.