The article discusses the expansion of Brazilian fintech unicorn EBANX into Africa, highlighting its strategic move to tap into the continent's growing digital economy. The article emphasizes Africa's potential as the "next big frontier" for e-commerce, payments, and fintech evolution, similar to the trajectory of Latin America where EBANX was founded.
EBANX, which initially provided local payment solutions across 15 countries in Latin America, recognized the $115 billion digital economy opportunity in Africa due to its young and digitally savvy population, increasing digital penetration, and the rapid growth of the digital games market. The company aims to offer global brands access to emerging markets in Africa, providing incremental countries beyond its established presence in Latin America.
The expansion into Africa has been marked by significant progress for EBANX, with a 70% increase in transaction volume processed through its payment platform in Latin America since the announcement. The company's hiring of Wiza Jalakasi, the former VP at African fintech unicorn Chipper Cash, further signifies its commitment to accelerating growth in Africa.
In an interview with TechCrunch, EBANX's Africa Market Development Director, Wiza Jalakasi, and President of Global Payments, Paula Bellizia, shed light on the company's approach and the expectations for its expansion. They clarify that EBANX is targeting global brands looking to enter emerging markets and expand their reach, providing access to diverse payment methods and local expertise. While acknowledging the existing payment providers in Africa, EBANX aims to serve a different segment with unique needs and collaborate with local processors to grow the market collectively.
EBANX has already established connections with payment providers in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya, offering a wide range of payment options to cater to local consumer preferences. The company intends to prioritize coverage and depth in significant markets while also expanding to smaller markets to provide a broader footprint for its merchants. EBANX plans to establish partnerships with various players in the African ecosystem, including startups, payment providers, alternative payment methods, and banks.
The article highlights the demand for global services in Africa, particularly in verticals such as e-commerce, software as a service (SaaS), and gaming. EBANX expects gaming to have substantial growth potential and believes it is well-positioned to capitalize on digital goods and content verticals due to merchants' appetite for these segments.
Challenges for EBANX in Africa include establishing trust and credibility as a new player, navigating complex and fragmented markets, and adapting its operational tools to the local landscape. The company aims to leverage its experience in Latin America and build a sustainable team across the continent to support its operations.
Success for EBANX in Africa will involve becoming a relevant partner for global merchants, providing access to new customers and businesses, millions of consumers, and expanding financial inclusion. The company seeks to replicate its achievements in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, by deepening its impact and services in Africa over the next five years.
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