A group of energetic investors, entrepreneurs, bankers and lawyers met at the office of Norton Rose Fulbright in Sandton on Tuesday 17 March 2015 to discuss the massive opportunities FinTech initiatives have to propel change in Africa. They gathering was the founding meeting of FinTech Africa, a new community that aims to provide robust peer to peer interaction, enabling synergies and acting as an incubator for exciting ideas.
"The Uber of the banking sector has not yet emerged, but this is only a matter of time," said Melle Eijckelhoff at the reception afterwards. Melle Eijckelhoff initiated the Fintech community with CFO South Africa co-founder Alex van Groningen. Eijckelhoff moderated the discussion that also includes contributions from Charles Savage (GT247.com), Dare Okoudjou (MFS Africa), Wim van der Beek (Goodwell Investments), Greg Voigt (Adlevocapital.com), Glen Jordan (IMB Financial Services) and Siyabonga Nhlumayo (Medu Capital).
The attendees agreed that FinTech Africa will be a platform that entrepreneurs can turn to for advise and inspiration. "FinTech is hot all over the world," said Alex van Groningen. "FinTech investments and deals went through the roof in 2014. Hubs are popping up all over the world, in places like London and Silicon Valley, Berlin, Amsterdam and now in Africa as well.
Many people attending the founding meeting of FinTech Africa are involved of offering financial services to the disadvantaged. Two invested in Paga, a tremendous successful company with millions of customers in Nigeria. Another example is Nomanini South Africa that build tools to facilitate cash payments in informal markets."FinTech in Africa is all about offering financial services to low-income markets and bring prosperity to the poor," said Alex van Groningen. It presents a huge opportunity to build successful business whether it is being done by established players or newcomers. Anyone can startup in the FinTech space. Money is everywhere, investors have appetite and the opportunity is now."
This event was attended by:
- Alex van Groningen, CFO SA
- Bridget King, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Charles Savage, GT247.com
- Colin Vallis, Talent10 Holdings
- Dare Okoudjou, MFS Africa
- Dumi Jere, Africatalysts
- Glen Jordan, IMB Financial Services
- Graham Fehrsen, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Greg Voigt, Adlevocapital.com
- Kerry Crawford, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Melle Eijckelhoff, CFO SA
- Nerushka Deosaran, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Rachel Balsham, MFS Africa
- Riza Moosa, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Rob Otty, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Rohan Isaacs, Norton Rose Fulbright
- Siyabonga Nhlumayo, Medu Capital
- Tshwantsho Matsena, Standardbank
- Vahid Monadjem, Nomanini
- Wim van der Beek, Goodwell Investments
Also want to be part of FinTech Africa community? Email Alex van Groningen. If you like to be involved in organising the next FinTech meeting 28 July 2015. Let us know. The next meeting will bring a larger group of FinTech experts together and we will invite more FinTech companies. We especially look out for:
- people that are willing to invite their network of FinTech companies, experts and investors
- the names of hot FinTech companies to be showcased
- a company that is willing to host the next FinTech event for approximately 100-200 attendees
- companies that are willing to sponsor a series of interviews with the hottest FinTech companies in Africa to make up Africa's FinTech 50
- people that want to share their vision or want to help to organise the next event 28 July in Sandton