The pandemic accelerated fintech investment in Uganda and the momentum points to a likely increase due to renewed inclusion efforts by Government and private sector, according to players.
Fintechs or financial technologies are computer programs used to support or enable banking and financial services.
The growth of smartphone penetration has been a key driver of the uptake of fintech services as they become cheaper and much more prevalent – enabling users to access mobile applications and tools.
Data from the Innovation Village shows that in 2021, Ugandan startups including Ensibuuko, Numida, Tugende, and Chipper Cash raised funding rounds of $1m, $2.3m, and $3.6m, and $250m respectively.
Despite much focus being channeled to innovations in payment services and digital banking, players say, lending is also a growth area that remains largely untapped.
This is part of the observations from the third season of the ongoing 40 Days 40 Fintechs initiative organized by HiPipo. Launched in 2020, the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative is a 40-day event that profiles emerging fintech with unique offerings in the market.
This year, the initiative is covering the entire East African region with participants drawn from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda.
Participants that have so far showcased their solutions include; AgriShare, Kawu, CardPesa, Money Sent, Peleyta, Ticteq, Silicon Pay, Belle Beauty, Her Duuka, PayLater, and JUMO World among others.
Nelson Kituuka, managing director of CardPesa Limited, said the event is spearheading financial inclusion in the region.
“We are taking part in the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative because they look at things differently. This initiative highlights those people in Fintech who are doing exceptionally well and who other people don’t pick up and talk about. To us, financial inclusion means the ability of people to access finances and credit anywhere anytime,” Kituuka said.
Innocent Kawooya, HiPipo CEO, noted that this year’s edition is cementing the achievements of the previous editions, where over 60 fintech have been transformed.
“Our extensive effort and advocacy are partly for the intention of championing digital innovation and interoperable instant and inclusive payment systems to a point where our innovators enjoy and achieve sound profit margins to help them keep designing and deploying affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor,” Kawooya said.