East African mobile startup pitching competition PIVOT East is taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, today, with 25 startups to pitch throughout the day, spanning five competition categories. Here Disrupt Africa introduces the five startups who pitched in the finance category.
Tanzanian startup Vmoney produces scratch cards which enable customers to top up any mobile money wallet, at any time of day.
According to the founders, a new channel for topping up mobile money accounts is needed, due to a myriad of problems with the current options – such as agents commonly not having sufficient float, and not being able to top up a wallet outside of working hours.
The startup currently has a working prototype, and is awaiting approval of its patent.
Vmoney has the highest ask of the PIVOT East competition this year, seeking US$2 million, as well as partnerships with mobile network operators, banks, and other stakeholders.
Kenya’s Shield Finance provides payday loans to employees, based on their current salary which is confirmed by their employer. Shield then delivers the salary advance direct to an employee’s mobile money wallet.
Shield charges a flat 7.5 per cent commission, and charges daily – not monthly – interest on its loans, making it an affordable option for small payday advances.
The startup is seeking US$500,000 to grow its operations, and increase its available on-lending float.
Hisa Play is a stock simulation game, introducing players to the workings of the stock exchange. The game hopes to make learning about the stock exchange and trading fun and accessible, through its online game.
The Hisa Play game is available 24 hours a day, and is accessible via web or mobile. Not only does the game introduce players to the basics of trading on the stock exchange, for those who have played the game for some time, a social network type community feature is also available to compete against other players, and discuss ideas and trends.
Launched in December 2014, Hisa Play currently has 571 paying users, but is targeting 50,000 paying users by the end of 2015 following a continuing push for partnerships with brokers and financial institutions.
The startup is asking for US$250,000 to fund East African expansion.
The Eko Biashara platform offers an accounting solution for small businesses, eliminating the financial and accounting jargon and documentation that hinders entrepreneurs.
Users manually input each transaction into the platform, which then completes all the relevant documentation automatically – for example, balance sheets, and tax calculations.
According to the Eko Biashara founders, the platform is the most efficient and simple available offering for small business owners. They say it is “idiot proof”.
The startup has already raised US$40,000 to date, which it has used to develop the software. It is now seeking a further US$50,000 for customer acquisition and support, as well as continued product development.
BitFinance has launched the BitcoinFundi bitcoin exchange and remittance service, which uses bitcoin to make international remittances to Africa more affordable.
The startup claims to undercut all other remittance providers, with its one per cent flat transaction fee.
The BitcoinFundi prototype was launched in February 2015, and the startup received seed funding in May from Savannah Fund.
As such, the startup is not seeking funding immediately, but is looking to partner with banks, mobile money providers, and investors with a view to future collaboration.
Check out the five startups that pitched in the entertainment category here, the startups in the utilities category here, the startups from the society and governance category here, and the enterprise category here.