Jeff Bezos makes first startup investment in Africa

Billionaire Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, has made his first investment in Africa. His venture capital firm, Bezos Expeditions, participated in a financing round that raised $30 million for Chipper Cash, a company based in San Francisco, USA, but active in several African countries.

This resource will enable the company, co-founded by Ghana's Maijid Moujaled and Uganda's Ham Serunjogi, to reach a new stage of growth on the continent. They plan to enter new markets, and also to expand their product lines. “We’ll always be a P2P financial transfer platform at our core. But we’ve had demand from our users to offer other value-services like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks,” said Serunjogi.

Jeff Bezos' investment in this company may be strategic. E-commerce in Africa has always faced the problem of payment security between economic actors. If Alibaba has been successful in China and Amazon in the United States, it is primarily because the customers they serve mostly use the same currency. However, Africa is very decentralized in terms of monetary management, with sometimes conflicting regulations.

Chipper Cash aims to expand into new countries in addition to Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, and South Africa, which are large and mature markets.

The appetite for payment companies operating in Africa is not new. As a reminder, last August, Network International purchased the East African-based payment start-up DPO for $288 million. And WorldRemit acquired the Africa-focused money transfer company Sendwave for $500 million.

Source: Ecofin Agency