African Fintech Start-up Chipper Cash Raises $100 Million — CEO Says No Crypto Services for Nigeria
Chipper Cash, an African fintech firm that specializes in facilitating cross-border payments, recently closed a $100 million Series C funding round. Taking the lead in what is now Chipper Cash‘s third fundraising round in the past twelve months is the venture capital (VC) firm, SVB Capital. The VC firm is an investment arm of U.S. high-tech commercial bank, Silicon Valley Bank.
The New African Fintech Unicorn
Other notable participants in this Series C round include Deciens Capital, Ribbit Capital as well as the Jeff Bezos backed Bezos Expedition. Following the conclusion of this Series C funding round, Chipper Cash has now raised a total of $143.8 million in just a year. As a consequence, some observers now estimate Chipper Cash’s valuation to be between one and two billion dollars.
Notably, with this capital raise, Chipper Cash becomes the latest African fintech firm to attract the interest of leading venture capital firms. Other African fintech start-ups that similarly received support from major VC firms include Flutterwave, Tymebank and O Pay.
Crypto Services and the CBN Prohibition
Chipper Cash’s significant capital raise in a short space of time came as it expanded the range of products it offers. According to a report, the fintech firm now offers cryptocurrency trading options as well as other business payment solutions. The report also quotes Ham Serunjogi, the fintech’s CEO explaining some of the factors that prompted Chipper Cash to add new services. He said:
Our approach to growing products and adding products is based on what our users find valuable. As you can imagine, crypto is one technology that has been widely adopted in Africa and many emerging markets. So we want to give them the power to access crypto and to be able to buy, hold and sell crypto whenever.
Nevertheless, the CEO clarifies that Chipper Cash is not currently offering crypto-related services to its clients in Nigeria. He cites the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s anti-crypto directive as the sole reason why the fintech firm cannot extend its cryptocurrency-related services to Nigerians.
Serunjogi meanwhile says his company is still “looking forward to any development in Nigeria that allows it to be offered freely again.”