The 2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge witnessed over 1,400 fintech startups from 64 countries in Africa and beyond going for top honours.
This edition represents the sixth edition of the global competition and stands out with the largest number of applications ever.
Ecobank Group, a pan-African banking group, reported that this year’s submissions more than doubled compared to the previous year, skyrocketing from 703 applications from 59 countries in 2022.
Moreover, Nigeria’s fintech startup ‘Touch and Pay‘ clinched the top prize of US$50,000 last year with their innovative ‘Cowry App.’
The eight finalists who emerged from the fiercely competitive pool will compete for the coveted top prize of US$50,000 at the Grand Finale, which will take place at the Ecobank Pan African Centre in Lomé, Togo, on 6 October 2023.
2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge finalists
- Flexpay Technologies (Kenya) – Offers customers a merchant-embedded saving-based purchase experience called “Save Now, Buy Later.”
- IPOXCap AI (South Africa) – Presents “FinanceGPT,” a financial analysis platform for frontier markets that generates actionable insights using advanced algorithms.
- Kastelo (South Africa) – Focuses on transaction, savings, and forex offerings, targeting the underbanked in emerging markets through client-centric solutions.
- Koree (Cameroon) – Offers a card wallet application addressing cash scarcity in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa by digitising cash merchant payments.
- Kori Tech (Senegal) – Provides “Koripass,” an E-wallet linked to physical payment accessories, enabling quick and easy merchant payments.
- Smart Teller Technologies Limited (Nigeria) – Empowers cooperative digital banking, IT services, and online bill payments.
- Rubyx (Belgium and Senegal) – Enables digital lending solutions for service providers in emerging markets.
- Wolf Technologies (Democratic Republic of Congo) – Offers “Makuta,” an application for electronic money transfer and payments.
In addition, Jeremy Awori, Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, expressed enthusiasm about the record number of applications, attributing it to their investments in the fintech space.
“We are encouraged by the very high number of applications received for the sixth edition of our Ecobank Fintech Challenge.
“The significant increase in the number of participants reflects the growing impact of our investments in the fintech space, and on our operations and fintech initiatives across Africa.
Criteria and benefits
Besides, the finalists went through a rigorous process, and we look forward to the pitches of the eight competitors vying for the top prize and ultimately partnering with the Ecobank Group,” Awori stated.
Dr. Tomisin Fashina, Ecobank Group Executive, Operations and Technology, congratulated the finalists, emphasising their commitment to supporting fintech development across Africa.
“We are proud to support the development of fintechs to drive digital banking transformation across Africa and beyond.
In addition, The ever-increasing level of participation from just 412 applications in 2018 to 1,490 submissions this year reflects the richness of the untapped innovation and talent that exists across our continent.” He stated
The finalists, as in previous editions, will be inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship Programme, offering them opportunities for product roll-out, access to Ecobank’s pan-African Banking Sandbox, and priority access to venture capital partners.
Similarly, Ecobank Fintech Challenge underscores Ecobank’s dedication to fostering partnerships with African fintechs and driving digital finance and banking transformation across the continent.