The Luxembourg House of Fintech (LHoFT) is launching a new initiative which focuses on Fintech companies in Africa seeking to boost financial inclusion. “Catapult – Inclusion Africa” is described as a Fintech tool to provide access to financial services to the under banked or those completely excluded from services.
Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT Foundation, said their program is the first home grown program of the Foundation to focus on Financial Inclusion.
“Luxembourg is the microfinance centre for Europe and sustainable finance is a core priority of Government; it therefore makes sense to capitalise on the fantastic ecosystem and support available here to welcome these outstanding Fintech companies focusing on financial inclusion. We are very excited to welcome the participants in few weeks’ time and we and our partners are looking forward to the positive outcomes of this program.”
The LHoFT Foundation says it believes that Fintech is crucial to advancing financial inclusion, empowering groups that have been left behind by the traditional financial system. Whether it’s providing access to capital for rural farmers, point of sale technology for underbanked merchants, or specialised insurance products, the impact of entrepreneurship and access to finance is vital to improve lives.
Catapult is a one week program of Fintech startup development, designed by the LHoFT Foundation. The group works with Fintech companies from South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and others.
Catapult: Inclusion Africa will take place between the 5th and 9th of November at the LHoFT and is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs – Directorate for Development and Humanitarian affairs and PwC Luxembourg.
The program is said to include sessions on business mapping, scaling business, understanding and evaluating metrics, investability, risk and capital, legal and marketing.
Romain Schneider, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs calles inclusive finance key to allowing people, especially women, to break the cycle of poverty.
“Today, one of the main changes we see in this sector is the development of digital financial services. Through its striving fintech sector, Luxembourg has a lot to offer in this area. Therefore, exchanges between the LHoFT and the broader microfinance ecosystem with upcoming African financial technology companies can facilitate positive and inclusive change.”
The LHoFT Foundation has identified the following “qualified” Fintech startups:
AKABOXI LIMITED – Uganda
Akaboxi provides rural communities with a more secure way of keeping smallholder farmers’ savings managed and monitored by the use of a digital and inclusive system, replacing the rudimentary way of keeping money in boxes and in people’s homes.
Akiba Digital – South Africa
Akiba is a mobile savings app that helps tech savvy millennials save using alternative and behavioural data. The gamified savings experience makes it fun and rewarding, with an AI bot that’s there to educate, nudge and provide insights to our savers to ensure they realise their goals.
BitValley – Luxembourg
Luxembourg Fintech award’s winner for Financial Inclusion, IBISA is a risk-sharing microinsurance alternative targeting small farmers worldwide. IBISA is based on a peer-to-peer architecture supported by blockchain and Earth Observation technology.
Four One Financial Services Limited – Uganda
Four One Financial Services Limited’s offerings include the first micro-pension scheme, followed by building the Mayicard Platform which makes access to healthcare insurance and/or prepayments and access to assets like land and housing possible.
Inclusivity Solutions – South Africa – inclusivitysolutions.com
Inclusivity Solutions designs, builds and operates digital insurance solutions for emerging markets with the aim of protecting and enhancing the quality of life of vulnerable people. It provides complete solutions to introduce and grow sustainable inclusive insurance markets.
Koosmik Corp – Luxembourg
Koosmik provides a mobile banking application to the young or more generally unbanked population in Western Africa. Users get a free mobile wallet as a hub of services: cash deposit and withdrawal points, bills payment, mobile payment, social credit, insurance or remittance.
MaTontine Senegal – Senegal
MaTontine provides access to small loans and a range of financial services like micro-insurance for the financially excluded in Francophone Africa. Trying to solve the large and complex problem of how to lend small amounts profitably and at scale to the millions of financially responsible Africans.
NALA – Tanzania
NALA is a mobile money application offering a single, unified wallet for transactions that functions without a data connection over 2G signal and providing users with an accurate breakdown of their spending habits.
OKO – Israel
OKO creates and distributes affordable crop insurance products for smallholder farmers in emerging markets. They use satellite imagery and localised weather information to automatically compensate the insured farmers when they identify that they have been affected by a loss of production.
Ovamba Solutions – United States
Ovamba provides short-term capital to micro, small and medium sized businesses in Africa, emerging markets and the GCC for trade, inventory purchases and growth. The capital is provided by International investors from the US, U.K. and Japan.
Refuge Network – Malta
Refuge Network is a multidimensional financial ecosystem built on blockchain that uses proven business models of e-commerce and investments to connect displaced and marginalized communities to the global economy.
SmartTeller LTD – Nigeria
A digital banking platform for Financial cooperatives, smartTeller is bringing access to digital financial services to the unbanked and underbanked by providing cooperatives and microfinance institutions the all-inclusive tool to provide unbanked and underbanked standard financial services.
Vouch Digital Limited – Uganda
Vouch Digital builds an online verified digital supply chain platform that among other things helps simplify the distribution of cash in form of digital vouchers meant for purchasing goods or services such as hermetic storage, seeds, fertilizers, medical equipment, oil and gas among others.
WeCashUp – Cameroon / France
WeCashUp enables merchants to accept and disburse payments in Cash, Mobile Money, Bank Mobile wallets, Bank Cards and Crypto-currencies on their web or mobile apps in the 54 African countries via a single API integration.