Appzone, Nigerian Fintech Startup Raises $10 Million Series A To Innovate Banking Solutions For Africa

by Duke Magazine

The narrative surrounding Africa’s fintech space is really garnering more attention in recent years as more and more companies emerge on the continent to redefine proper banking solutions for consumers.

Appzone, a fintech software provider that digitizes banks and financial services was founded by Emeka Emetarom, Obi Emetarom, and Wale Onawunmi back in 2008 as a means to offer commercial banks bespoke software development services through homegrown financial technology versus tech of foreign origins.

Today, the Nigerian-based startup has announced the raise of a $10 million Series A investment round to build upon the success the platform has already seen and position itself as innovators of fintech in Africa.

The funding round was led by Lagos-based investment banking firm CardinalStone, with participation from other firms such as V8 Capital, Lateral Investment Partners, Constant Capital, and Itanna Capital Ventures.

However, Appzone plans to use the new funding to enhance the platform’s experience to become a pan-African fintech company, and exit from stealth mode to differentiate itself from other African fintech startups.

According to Yomi Jemibewon, co-founder and managing director of Cardinal Stone Capital Advisers, he believes that his firm’s investment in Appzone is a testament to how Africa is expanding to become a future hub of world-class technology.

“Appzone is building a disruptive fintech ecosystem that will be the backbone of Africa’s finance industry with products across payments, infrastructure and software as a service,” he said to TechCrunch. “The impact of Appzone’s work is multifold — the company’s products deepen financial inclusion across the continent whilst providing best-fit and low-cost solutions to financial institutions. Its emphasis on premium talent also helps stem brain drain, rewarding Africa’s best brains with best in class employment opportunities.”

Since its launch, Appzone has made huge strides over the last decade on behalf of Africa’s fintech space.

It was however, gathered that the platform and Google for Startups Accelerator alumnus launched a banking system back in 2012 to help assist with branchless banking for Diamond bank, which was considered a rare feat at the time.

It also shares that Appzone platforms are used by 18 commercial banks and over 450 Microfinance banks across Africa, and altogether, they generate a yearly transaction value and yearly loan disbursement of $2 billion and $300 million, respectively.

As a startup, Appzone prides in accomplishing several groundbreaking goals that boost its reputation in fintech, including creating the world’s first decentralized payment processing network, the first core banking and omnichannel software on the cloud, and the first multi-bank direct debit service based on single global mandates.

The co-founder and CEO Emetarom says that Appzone’s mission is “to make our financial sector the most innovative and technologically advanced on the globe through solutions built for Africa by Africans.”

“We are now looking to hire from Africa’s top 1% to grow our team of elite talent who have proven themselves to be true African builders,” he adds.

Meanwhile, their new expansion plans include enlarging the coast of business to other Africa countries in addition to the places of their operation, like Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Senegal and Guinea.

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