The Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) initiative has awarded grants of between US$50,000 and US$500,000 to six Nigerian fintech startups.
EFInA, a financial sector development organisation, funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Having opened applications for startups to pitch for grant funding, it recently held a financial services conference in Lagos where it announced the winners. “Fintech Challenge Fund 1” offered seed capital of US$50,000 to US$200,000 for fintech startups, while “Fintech Challenge Fund 2” granted between US$210,000 and $500,000 to help scale the products of established fintech companies.
Winners in the first category were payments platform CredPal, savings and investments startup Extramile Africa and digital banking platform for financial cooperatives SmartTeller, while the startups selected for the latter were lending company Social Lender, cooperative banking platform Riby Finance, and payments and collections service Capricorn Digital.
At the event, EFInA chief executive officer (CEO) Esaie Diei said he was pleased with the work the initiative had done in reducing financial exclusion for adults in Nigeria. The fund, he said, was designed to promote innovative financial products and services driven by digital technology.