One of the leading Pan-African financial institutions, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, has announced 20 startups as the finalist of its Ecobank Fintech Challenge. Ecobank Fintech Challenge is a competition for African technology startups launched in January.
The $500,000 Fintech Challenge which is aimed at encouraging innovation technology-based solutions to pressing banking related problems in Africa.
According to information released by the bank, the applications and assessments phases of the challenge have been completed. Hence, the release of the list of the finalists on a country by country basis.
Nigerian tech startups dominated the list with 8 startups, while Kenya had 5 startups and Ghana 3 startups. Other countries such as South Africa, Algeria, United States and Burkina Faso had one startup each.
The first, second and third position winners will receive US$10,000, US$7,000, and US$5,000 respectively, and qualify for a partnership opportunity with Ecobank Group that’ll fetch US$500,000 in further funding, mentorship and networking support, and other benefits.
The 20 will also get the chance to exhibit and pitch their products to a jury which will select the top innovator and two runners-up during a ceremony which is scheduled to hold at the bank’s Headquarters in Lome, Togo.
Eddy Ogbogu, Ecobank group executive for operations and technology, said over 850 startups and developers from across Africa, as well as the US and Europe, entered the challenge. And in his words, “the sheer breadth of innovative products and ideas we’ve seen shows that African Fintech has a bright future.”
The startups that made the final list include: Wallettec (South Africa);
DigiTeller, Inclusive Financial Technologies, Invest Mobile (Ghana);
Team SAFEPAY, Greenshoe, Shield Finance, MobiTill, Circle Group Saving and Investment (Kenya);
KUDI, PiggyBank, PayLater, PurseNG, Irofit Technologies, Electronic Settlement Limited, Wayagear Innovations and Social Lender (Nigeria);
Minafa (Burkina Faso);
And General Marchant (United States).