SA fintech API startup Stitch raises $4m seed round for African expansion

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South African fintech startup Stitch has announced a US$4 million seed round with an impressive global investor line-up as it plans expansion into other regions of the continent.

The Stitch API allows developers to connect apps to financial accounts within minutes, allowing their users to share their transaction histories and balances, confirm their identities, and initiate payments. 

This tooling allows companies to innovate with new and improved services including personal finance, lending, insurance, payments and wealth management. Stitch also enables fintechs to work with traditional financial institutions in a safer and more compliant way. 

The startup has now raised a US$4 million seed round, which it claims is the largest investment to date in a pure-play African fintech infrastructure company, and one of the largest seed-stage fintech payments raises the continent has seen.

Stitch attracted a stellar group of investors to its seed round, which was co-led by firstminute capital and The Raba Partnership, and also includes CRE, Village Global, Klarna founder Niklas Adalberth through his fund Norrsken, Venmo founder Iqram Magdon Ismail, founding team members at Plaid, and executives at Coinbase, Revolut and Fast. 

The investor cohort also includes African fintech leaders from Flutterwave – founder Iyinoluwa Aboyeji through his fund Future Africa – and Paystack. Village Global brings backing from LPs such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt and Jeff Bezos. 

Stitch will use the funding to build the team, consolidate growth in South Africa, and launch operations in West and East Africa, equipping Africa’s rising fintech community with the tools to build better products faster. 

“It makes no sense that we’re still building financial services the same way we did 15 years ago,” said Kiaan Pillay, Stitch co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO). 

“There’s an incredible opportunity to provide a new generation of financial services in South Africa and across other African markets. At Stitch, we enable smart people in the ecosystem to unlock this potential and build amazing products and services, powered by our infrastructure.” 

Venmo founder and Stitch shareholder Iqram Magdon Ismail said companies that drastically advance the infrastructure of basic needs are very important.

“Stitch is building the solution that will unlock value for all banks and financial institutions in Africa,” he said.

Brent Hoberman, co-founder and general partner of firstminute capital, said Africa has the fastest growing developer community globally.

“Stitch has the opportunity to become the core infrastructure enabling digitisation in the financial services industry across the continent. Every online business in Africa can now easily embed fintech capabilities in their applications – facilitating online payments, increasing lending capacity and streamlining KYC and identity checks – through the Stitch API,” he said.

“As a fellow South African, I’m excited to be partnering with a team of exceptionally talented local engineers with pan-African ambitions.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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