Fingo Africa, a YC-backed neobank is set to roll out operations in Kenya after it secured regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
Founded in 2020, Fingo was a participant in YC21 cohort where it was voted among the top 10 best companies in that batch amongst 400 other companies and is described as a neobank for Africa’s 500 million youth.
Years ago I met some impressive young men who had the vision to change Africa through Tech. 9 years later I witnessed the launch of @fingoafrica … Youth. Focused. Banking. So proud of you guys… Aim for the Sun #Mission #youthbanking pic.twitter.com/oXkLuE6t3z
— Sellah Bogonko (@Sellahb) February 3, 2023
According to the startup, most Africans pay 5-15% fees to transfer money to friends, family, or businesses but Fingo will make these fees 90% cheaper.
“In 240 seconds, any young person will be able to access a full suite of financial services including personal, business, investment and savings accounts,” the startup indicates.
The term neobank is used to refer to a type of direct bank that operates exclusively online without traditional physical branch networks, typically being fintechs that employ apps, software, and other technologies to streamline mobile and online banking services.
“Youth in Africa struggle to access financial services, taking between 48 hours and two weeks to open an account, with multiple in-person interactions and requirements to bring physical paper documents,” said the firm.
Fingo is aiming to introduce a range of online banking services such as creating a bank account, withdrawals and deposits, reviewing account balances, generating bank statements, and tracking financial transactions. and is said to be ‘powered by ecobank.’
“Fingo has partnered with Ecobank, the largest footprint bank in Africa, providing Fingo market access to Ecobank’s 33+ markets. Fingo and Ecobank are planning a pan-African roll out beginning in Kenya where they are the first digital-only bank in the country,” the start-up says on its website.
Following its YC participation, Fingo reportedly raised a significant amount of seed capital resulting in a business valuation exceeding $10 million. The startup has 4 founders listed including:
- Kiiru Muhoya – the CEO
- Ian Njuguna
- Gitari Tirima
- James da Costa
The startup is set to add more competition to the digital banking industry with most traditional banks running digital banking operations, not to mention MPESA which dominates cash transfers in the country.