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Kuda Raises Fresh $10m Seed Investment

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Kuda Nigeria

 By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigerian-based digital bank, Kuda, has announced securing $10 million in seed investment and the investors who participated in this round include Berlin-based VC, Target Global, who is the lead investor; Entrée Capital and SBI Investment.

Other notable angel investors participated including Oliver and Lish Jung who invested in Nubank, Revolut, and Chime—other mobile challenger banks in Brazil, the UK and US.

At the time Kuda closed its $1.6 million pre-seed round in September 2019, it was said to have arguably raised the highest pre-seed round for a Nigerian startup.

Founded in 2016 by Babs Ogundeyi and Mustapha Musty as Kudimoney, the startup launched as a lending platform before transitioning into a digital-only bank after receiving a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2019.

Without a physical location, Kuda allows users to make airtime purchases, access bill payment options, manages their payments and transfers, in addition to issuing free debit cards and allowing free account opening online.

The company previously had strategic partnerships with three West African banks — Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Access Bank and Zenith Bank.

This was done to give users access to Kuda debit cards and enable them to make physical deposits as well as withdrawals via these banks.

“We have built the core banking services in-house so we own the full stack. It means we don’t have to piggyback on another financial institution. We may choose to partner on certain products but we don’t have to.

“As a bank, you need to be able to lend, and in Nigeria, if you don’t have a full license it’s hard to lend and make money,” he said.

The startup now has more than 300,000 customers—both individual consumers and small businesses—using its platform while processing over $500 million worth of transactions monthly.

Speaking on the deal, Mr Ricardo Schäfer, partner at Target Global, noted that digital challenger banks like Kuda are providing users with a better banking experience than traditional banks.

He noted that this was the reason the VC firm decided to be the lead investor in this round.

“Kuda is one of Africa’s leading digital challenger banks and one of the fastest-growing fintechs on the continent.

“We are very excited to be working with Babs, Musty and the entire Kuda team to further build on the fantastic momentum they have had since inception and support them in taking the company to the next level,” he said.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

Banking

Wema Bank Educates Students on Personal Finance

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wema bank mobile branch

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

As part of activities to mark 2023 Global Financial Literacy Day, Wema Bank Plc this week organised a financial literacy programme for students across all states it operates.

The innovative financial institution said the financial literacy sessions for secondary school students aligned with its commitment to championing financial literacy for the next generation.

The Deputy Managing Director of Wema Bank, Mr Wole Akinleye, who led the financial literacy session at Yola Model School, Adamawa State, encouraged the students on the importance of developing financial literacy as a life skill.

Speaking on the significance of Financial Literacy Week, Mr Akinleye emphasized Wema Bank’s commitment to empowering young minds with the skills and knowledge necessary to make informed financial decisions.

“Our hope is that through these initiatives, we can empower more individuals to take control of their finances and achieve financial stability,” he noted.

It was gathered that students were trained on personal finance topics such as budgeting, emergency funds, saving for goal actualization, investment, and donating for positive societal impact, amongst others.

The idea, according to a statement from the lender, is to instil an early understanding of the significance of building a solid financial foundation and achieving financial stability and success from a young age.

The 2023 Global Financial Literacy Day was themed Plan your Money, Plant your Future.

Financial literacy is vital for the achievement of financial stability, and it is essential to ensure that everyone has the necessary tools to manage their finances effectively and achieve their financial goals.

Wema Bank Plc reaffirmed its commitment to providing educational resources and opportunities for children through the Royal Kiddies Account and a range of other savings products, supporting financial empowerment for the next generation.

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Banking

Access Bank Gets Regulatory Nod to Merge Zambian Subsidiaries

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Two Access Bank employees

By Adedapo Adesanya

Banking regulators have approved the merger between Access Bank Zambia Limited and African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited.

Access Bank Plc announced on October 25, 2021, that it had executed a binding agreement with Altas Maras Limited on a proposed merger between African Banking Corporation Limited (Atlas Mara Zambia) and the bank’s subsidiary in Zambia, Access Bank Zambia.

This was contained in a notice filed by the company by Mr Oyelola Oyeleye, the group’s company secretariat and Mr Sunday Ekwoche, its company secretary, on the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange, where it trades its securities on Friday.

“We are pleased to announce that Access Zambia has received final regulatory approval from the Central Bark of Zambia for the acquisition and merger of Atas Mara Zambia into its existing operations (the Transaction),” the statement read.

It was disclosed that The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission had earlier granted their “no objection” to the transaction in 2022.

Following this new development, Access Zambia said it would move towards integrating and merging Atlas Mara Zambia into its operations, which is expected to create one of the top five banks in Zambia.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

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Banking

Reps Call for Urgent Overhaul of Electronic Banking Platforms

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electronic banking platforms

By Adedapo Adesanya

The House of Representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to direct commercial banks to urgently overhaul their online and electronic banking platforms.

At Thursday’s plenary, the green chamber said this would ease the electronic banking operations that the banks were implementing in line with the cashless/Naira redesign policy of the apex bank and reduce the pains of Nigerians.

The resolution came off a motion on notice moved by a lawmaker from Edo State, Mr Sergius Ose-Ogun, in the lower house.

“The House notes that Section 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly (like the Central Bank of Nigeria);

“Aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria is established under Section 1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap. C4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to issue legal tender currencies in Nigeria;

“Also aware that Section 2 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act saddles the Central Bank of Nigeria with the duty of promoting a sound financial system in Nigeria;

“Acknowledges that in the wake of the recent naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, there has been an increase in the use of online and electronic banking services to carry out monetary transactions across the country;

“Also acknowledges that the use of online or internet banking services by Nigerians in the past three months or thereabout has been characterized by varying degrees of hitches ranging from unsuccessful electronic bank transfers, point of sale (POS) service failure and a host of others;

“Disturbed that the ineffectiveness or difficulty in using internet banking services across the online banking platforms of most commercial banks in Nigeria has brought untold hardship, suffering and difficulties on Nigerians in the past three months.

“Worried that if nothing is done by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the commercial banks to address these difficulties or ineffectiveness, Nigerians will continue to suffer untold hardships and loss of monies to unsuccessful electronic bank transactions.

“Resolves to urge the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to direct all commercial banks in the country to immediately overhaul their existing online/electronic banking platforms for efficiency and ease of conducting electronic banking operations,” the motion read.

The House Committee on Banking and Currency was mandated to monitor and ensure compliance with the resolution within four weeks.

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