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The Extraordinary Development of the Fintech Ecosystem across Africa

The African fintech space saw 26 startup acquisitions between June 2021 and July 2023, up 271 per cent on just seven in the preceding two-year period, with M&A activity in the sector really hotting up. Disrupt Africa data suggests you are much more likely to be acquired as a fintech business than in any other vertical. Twenty-six ventures were bought out in the last 24 months, up from just seven in the preceding two-year period between 2019 and 2021. South Africa has generally led the way, accounting for 10 of the deals over the last two years, and 16 overall. The most famous ones remain the acquisition in 2011 of mobile financial services provider Fundamo by Visa for US$110 million, and the buyout of SnapScan by Standard Bank in 2016. Nigeria was the location for the flagship fintech acquisition of recent years – Paystack’s reported US$200 million acquisition by Stripe in 2020, a big moment that ignited increased interest in the continent’s fintech space. It too has had a strong couple of years from an M&A perspective, with nine deals done since July 2021. Startups in Morocco, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, and Tunisia have also been acquired in the last two years.