The LHoFT Foundation announces the 10 Fintech startups selected to take part in the 2022 edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa: Special Edition in Dubai
A digital investment readiness bootcamp, for inclusive African fintechs
Developed by the LHoFT Foundation, CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa is designed for innovative technology companies focused on financial inclusion in Africa. The program aligns with the sustainability goals of Luxembourg’s finance centre, and seeks to create real impact in relation to financial inclusion, by providing participant firms with education and insight as well as connectivity, leveraging Luxembourg’s experienced ecosystem of entrepreneurs, finance professionals, and financial inclusion and impact specialists.
This special edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa will be held in Dubai, UAE, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs – Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Affairs, with support from the Alliance for Financial Inclusion as well as other key strategic partners such as ADA, AFI, InFine, DIFC FinTech Hive, PwC, Luxembourg Microfinance and Development Fund, Luxembourg For Finance, Dubai UAE Expo 2020 and Compellio.
This Dubai edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa will leverage Luxembourg’s Microfinance and Fintech ecosystems with a host of mentors and specialists from Luxembourg flying to Dubai to provide their contribution to the program. Key stakeholders, partners and mentors from the MENA region will also support the program in a sign of the strong relationship and collaboration between Luxembourg and the UAE.
During the three-day program, expert speakers and mentors from Luxembourg and UAE will support the selected firms in developing their businesses and achieving their inclusion goals, creating synergies between them, partners, sponsors, investors, Microfinance institutions (MFI) and Public Financial Institutions (PFIs).
Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, stated: “Fintechs can empower and target groups that have been left behind by the traditional financial services. As such, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation continues to actively support game-changing inclusive finance ventures. It specifically targets companies that focus on financial inclusion in Africa and the MENA region, while leveraging Luxembourg’s Inclusive Finance and Fintech ecosystem.”
Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT added: “We are excited to deliver our Catapult program in Dubai, working with incredible local partners such as the DIFC and Fintech Hive as well as our key Luxembourg sponsor, The Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Aid. We have an incredible lineup of participants picked from over 130 applications, and we look forward to working with them and learning about their businesses. This a great demonstration of international collaboration between the UAE and Luxembourg, and we believe all mentors and stakeholders involved will benefit from the ecosystems coming together through the Catapult program.”
The 10 Selected Fintech Start-ups:
Primary Contact Kamogelo Kekana, CCO
Location Johannesburg, South Africa
Founded Date January 2018
Alternative scoring that powers credit for small businesses and society.
Akiba Digital enables lenders to better extend capital to small businesses and individuals, providing nuanced credit insights and real-time lending decisions. The startup uses alternative datasets to provide inclusive scores that allow lenders to score people and small businesses that cannot be reached by traditional credit bureaus – a problem that affects nearly 80 % of small businesses and individuals in Africa.
Primary Contact Claver Nambégué Coulibaly, CEO
Location Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Founded Date May 2019
The companion of digital entrepreneurs.
Damansah is building an alternative credit scoring infrastructure that connects credit providers to small businesses and other thin filed consumers easier, with technology to increase the growth rate of micro and small enterprises in Africa.
Primary Contact Effa Evaristus, Head of Product
Location Lagos, Nigeria
Founded Date February 2016
Financial Services based on Social Reputation.
Social Lender helps financial institutions to offer financial services based on social reputation to individuals who are underbanked or have little or no access to formal financial services. The solution is designed to bridge the gap of immediate fund access for people with limited access to formal financial services. Social Lender uses its own proprietary algorithm to perform a social audit of the user on social media, online and other related platforms and gives a Social Reputation Score to each user. Financial Services are guaranteed by the user’s social profile and network allowing users to then borrow from banks and other financial institutions based on their social reputation.
Primary Contact Nkem Okocha, CEO
Location Lagos, Nigeria
Founded Date February 2015
Micro loans for low-income female entrepreneurs.
MamaMoni provides micro business loans to low-income women in rural and urban areas in Nigeria, catering for those who ordinarily cannot be served by the formal credit system. They offer fast and simple loans that enable low-income women to build, grow and sustain their businesses. We also support them with digital and financial literacy training.
Primary Contact Nhunhama Golden Taziwa, CEO
Location Harare, Zimbabwe
Founded Date March 2020
Use of data analytics and ML for smallholder farmers’ financial inclusion.
eAgro uses data analytics and machine learning to create low-cost financial credit products tailored to unbanked and underserved farmers’ needs thus closing the critical gap between financial institutions such as banks, MFIs, contract farming organizations, government agencies etc… from availing financial products. We are pioneering financial inclusion for unbanked smallholder farmers in SADC. Through our proprietary algorithm, we are able to analyse relevant data sets and produce farmers’ financial health status that we use to help them improve their farming practices, and bolster their incomes over time through inclusive credit packages.
Primary Contact Sserubiri Uhuru, CEO
Location Kampala, Uganda
Founded Date May 2019
Mobile platform unlocking financial opportunities for SMEs in Africa.
eMaisha Pay is a mobile platform that leverages machine learning, alternative data and psychometric parameters to credit score SMEs in Africa, empowering them with quick, affordable and non-collateral working capital for business growth. The use of alternative data and advanced psychometric analytics is helping us to eliminate the information asymmetry, hence generating additional information to assess the credit risk of SMEs. Our credit scoring model makes it possible to serve SMEs that had no access to finance in the past. eMaisha Pay seeks to transform traditional lending process by automating customer on-boarding, loan origination, decisioning, disbursement and loan servicing tasks.
Primary Contact Familua Tobi Martins, CEO
Location Accra, Ghana
Founded Date August 2021
Promoting financial inclusion and increased access to credit in Africa.
mOtito is a “buy now, pay later” platform which provides interest-free credit at point-of-sale for the African market. Offering the convenience of payment plans gives businesses a huge advantage, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.
Primary Contact Oseni Lufthfulahi Olaitan,
Location Lagos, Nigeria
Founded Date November 2021
With Halal, everyone can scale.
Halal is an all-inclusive digital payments service platform leveraging on Islamic banking system to provide shariah based financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to scale their businesses, create jobs, alleviate poverty and enhance economic productivity at large.
VIRL Rural & Social Financial Services
Primary Contact Virginia Sibanda, CEO
Location Harare, Zimbabwe
Founded Date February 2010
Providing loans to smallholder farmers, micro and small enterprises.
VIRL provides loans to small holder farmers, micro and small enterprises. VIRL has 5 loan products namely working capital, inputs, assets finance, value chain and life enhancement loans that target smallholder farmers, micro and small enterprises. With a staff compliment of 34 and with 6 branches mostly in rural areas, VIRL provides tailor-made loans that seek to enhance business operations and, in turn, improve livelihoods for rural communities and those in urban areas who would otherwise have no access to finding.
International Airtime Top Up
Primary Contact Lawrence Zikusoka, CEO
Location Entebbe, Uganda
Founded Date October 2014
Airtime, money transfers and cash pick up solutions to/from African corridors.
International Airtime Top Up is an inclusive ICT and Mobile Financial services company registered and operating in Uganda since 2014. It helps increase financial inclusion both locally and globally with simple, scalable and sustainable solutions. Through International Top Up Gateway (technology), the fintech combines cross network/border airtime, mobile money and bank low-cost transfers across the world with over 80 destination currencies supported. International Airtime Top Up service was among the Uganda Country Finalists 2019 at the (anti) DataHack4FI Innovation Award sponsored by MasterCard Foundation.