SW7 sees promising markets for fintech companies emerging in Africa


Urbanised economies are prime opportunities for fintech firms, and Africa is set to offer scores of these.

Urbanised economies will offer the best growth opportunities for Africa’s emerging fintech sector, and the good news is that scores of urbanised economies are developing across the continent.

This is according to Keith Jones, co-founder of technology accelerator SW7. Speaking on day two of the Finance Indaba in Johannesburg, Keith outlined SW7’s work in gathering data across multiple platforms and sectors to help companies identify accessible and addressable markets.

Comprehensive market data has been hard to come by across many African markets, but SW7 is now ‘picking up breadcrumbs’ to collate information that helps create a clear picture of markets across the continent.

Said Keith:

“Urbanisation is one of the biggest market drivers in Africa. The continent is experiencing one of the biggest population shifts in the history of the planet, and within a few years it will have 50 cities with populations of over a million people.”

However, urbanisation is not the only indicator of key tech development hot spots, he noted. Other indicators include seemingly unconnected information, such as the ratio of Facebook to LinkedIn users in a given area, the number of wealthy individuals living in an area, and even the number of sites using Google analytics in a particular country.

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“If you put Google analytics on your site, it shows you care about the traffic and is one indicator of a digital economy. In Africa, South Africa has the highest number of sites using Google analytics – over 40,000, double the number of the next highest country - Egypt.”

The number of high net worth individuals living in a country is one indicator of spending power in a country, while GDP growth is also a good indicator of countries worth investing in. GDP growth under 2.5% might not be a good proposition, but the further north you go across Africa, the higher the GDP growth and the more opportunities there may be for investors, he said. 

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