Koree Goes With $50000 Ecobank Fintech Challenge Prize
By Precious Olisa
A Cameroon-based company, Koree, has emerged as the winner of the 2023 edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge, going home with a prize of $50,000.
The firm was announced as the winner of the contest by the panel of judges during the competition’s grand finale at the bank’s headquarters at the Pan African Centre in Lomé, Togo.
The organisations made it to the final from an initial pool of over 1,400 fintechs from 64 countries, underscoring the significant growth in popularity of the competition since its inception six years ago, as well as the wealth of innovation and ingenuity, particularly in the African continent.
The eight finalists were Flexpay Technologies (Kenya), IPOXcap AI (South Africa), Kastelo (South Africa), Koree (Cameroon), Kori Tech (Senegal), Smart Teller Technologies (Nigeria), Rubyx (Belgium) and Wolf Technologies (DRC).
The first runner-up, Wolf Technologies, got $10,000, while the second runner-up, Flexpay Technologies, received $5,000.
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge cash prize is one of the most substantial no-strings-attached fintech cash prizes available in Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically aimed at encouraging innovation within the fintech sector.
With its card wallet payment solution that digitizes merchant payments, Koree impressed the judges, securing the cash prize of $50,000.
The chief executive of Koree, Mrs Magalie Gauze-Sanga, described the emergence of her company as the winner of the contest as “a triumph for innovation and for diversity.”
“We are very proud that the technological innovation we have been implementing in Cameroon for many years has been rewarded, and it is also noteworthy that this is the first time a woman has won the Ecobank Fintech Challenge prize.
“We’re excited to work with Ecobank Group across its large footprint to further transform the financial landscape in Africa by digitizing cash-based payments while simultaneously empowering millions of consumers and bringing value to local brands and retailers,” she said.
On his part, the chief executive of Ecobank Group, Mr Jeremy Awori, said, “This year’s eight finalists have demonstrated exceptional innovation and promise.
“We look forward to collaborating with them to develop groundbreaking products, services and solutions that will ultimately benefit our valued customers and contribute to the advancement of our continent. We are convinced that forging sustainable partnerships with fintechs and the overall tech ecosystem remains viable.”
The winner, along with the other seven finalists, was inducted into the prestigious Ecobank Fintech Fellowship. This unique programme offers fintech companies the opportunity to explore potential commercial partnerships with Ecobank, including the possibility of seamless integration with the bank’s platforms and the potential for scaling up their fintech ventures across Ecobank’s 35 African markets.
Since its inception in 2017, the Ecobank Fintech Challenge has attracted over 5,500 submissions from fintech innovators representing 64 countries across its six editions.