MEA Fintech Weekly News: Nigeria to Closely Scrutinise Fintech Startups

MEA Fintech Weekly News: Nigeria to Closely Scrutinise Fintech Startups

In last week’s MEA fintech news, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has once again hinted that it will be keeping a close watch on fintech startups in the country.

At a recent seminar, Director of the Banking Supervision Department of CBN Mustapha Haruna said that the CBN would continue monitoring fintechs in the country (Nairametrics).

Haruna added that the CBN was keen to manage the associated risks of fintech services, including the “threat to consumer data protection.”

“While we may not exactly eliminate these threats, we must ensure that we are able to minimise those threats to consumers and to financial institutions, as well as the financial system and its stability,”

Haruna noted.

He also highlighted the market value of fintech companies, citing EY’s Nigerian Fintech Census 2020. The report said that Nigerian fintechs raised over US$439 million as of the end of 2020. Over half of these investments came from foreign investors.

As of September this year, fintech startups have raised 57% of the total investor dollars raised by African startups – over US$1.6 billion. Half of this was raised in Nigeria alone.

With the fintech sector in Nigeria booming in this manner, the CBN will need to ensure the stability of its financial system, Haruna said.

In an earlier post, we talked about four Nigerian fintechs facing the heat from the CBN, in the wider context of a more stern business environment in the future.

The four fintech companies in question – Risevest, Bamboo, Trove and Chaka – had their accounts frozen for violating the CBN’s guidelines. In the weeks since, Bamboo’s account has been temporarily unfrozen for salary and rent payments, while Trove and the CBN have publicly said that they were working to resolve the issue amicably.

MEA Fintech News Highlights

Regional news

– The African Development Partners III Fund closed at US$900 million. It has made four investments so far, including in fintechs Channel VAS and MNT-Halan (Africa News).

– Flutterwave announces yet another fintech partnership, this time with Airtel Money (company announcement).

– Pan-African payments platform Payday raised US$1 million in pre-seed funding (Africa Inc).

– Fatora, Hala and Verofax won Abu Dhabi Global Market’s The Search MENA and Turkey edition (ADGM).



– Egypt-based youth banking startup Z-Walet to launch prepaid card and app for youngsters aged six to 18 (Fintech Futures).

– Egyptian insurtech startup Amenli raised US$2.3 million seed funding (TechCrunch).

Saudi Arabia

– Saudi IT company Al Moammar Information Systems to launch BNPL and e-marketplace subsidiary (Zawya).



– The Qatar Development Bank concludes yet another hackathon with over 300 applications (6Park).



– DIFC Academy introduced its DOLFIN eLearning Platform for compliance professionals in partnership with K2 Integrity (The Fintech Times).

– An international blockchain-backed CBDC infrastructure project, which included the UAE, is developing a production-ready digital currency solution after successful prototyping for international remittances (Fintech Futures).

– UAE’s payment gateway company Telr and SME financing startup LNDDO launched a new SME-focused credit facility program called “Telr Finance” (IBS Intelligence).

– Abu Dhabi’s virtual asset trading platform MidChains completed its first trades across listed assets (WAM).

– UAE’s crypto platform BitOasis raised US$30 million in a Series B round for expansion (Fintech News Middle East).



– Bahrain-based biometrics and identity verification status Faceki raised undisclosed pre-seed funding from venture capital firm Nama Ventures (Fintech Global).



– Pakistani fintech and logistics startup PostEx raised US$1.5 million in seed funding (Dawn).


– Israel-based derivatives fintech startup WeMatch closed a US$19.5 million Series B round (Fintech News Middle East).

South Africa

south africa

– MTN’s digital and fintech businesses to be led by a new CFO (TechMetro Africa).



– Nigerian crypto infrastructure startup Bitmama raised US$350k pre-seed funding for expansion (Disrupt Africa).

– Nigeria’s payment infrastructure company Interswitch partnered with Cameroon’s blockchain-based paytech company Interstellar Inc over blockchain-powered infrastructure services and solutions (The Nation).


– Cameroon-based crypto investment platform Ejara raised US$2 million in funding (Tech in Africa).


– Mauritius-headquartered Finclusion Group raised US$20 million from debt financing provider, Lendable (company announcement).

Recommended Reading

“Fintech offers a significant opportunity to drive Qatar’s economic diversification, one of the four pillars of Qatar’s National Vision 2030. It also provides a massive opportunity for SMEs in GCC countries, particularly in Qatar, to gain greater access to funding, one of the major challenges they face globally…” Here’s what you need to know about the state of fintech in Qatar.

“Nigeria’s significantly under-tapped digital payments industry is poised for significant growth. A myriad of factors across industry fundamentals, positive country demographics and regulatory support have formed the base of expected accelerated growth for the fintech industry in Nigeria…” Read more about Nigeria’s fintech funding boom.

That’s all in our wrap up of MEA fintech news for last week. Subscribe to our Middle East and Africa newsletters to continue receiving the top MEA fintech news in your inbox.

This article was originally published on Fintech News Africa.

Featured image: edited from Unsplash

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