Chipper Cash, a payments company that was co-founded by Ugandan software developer Ham Serunjogi, raised $30 million (about Shs110 billion) in series B financing, with part of the money coming from Bezos Expeditions — the personal VC fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Serunjogi teamed up with Maijid Moujaled, a Ghanaian to start the company that offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services, in 2018.
The duo had met while studying at Grinnell College where they got their undergraduate degrees.
After college, they both worked with some of the biggest internet firms in the world: Facebook for Serunjogi and Flickr, Yahoo!, and Imgur for Moujaled.
According to TechCrunch, the funding round, which was led by Ribbit Capital, will help the startup to expand to more countries and increase its service offerings, with an eye on more business payment solutions, cryptocurrency trading options, and investment services.
Chipper Cash, which is already available in Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya — also runs a merchant checkout product from which it generates the revenue to support its free mobile-money business.
The company has scaled to 3 million users on its platform and processes an average of 80,000 transactions daily.
In June 2020, Chipper Cash reached a monthly payments value of $100 million, reported TechCrunch, citing information from Ham Serunjogi, the startup’s chief executive.
Chipper Cash has added beta dropdowns on its website and app to buy and sell Bitcoin and invest in U.S. stocks from Africa — the latter through a partnership with U.S. financial services company DriveWealth.
“We’ll launch [the stock product] in Nigeria first so Nigerians have the option to buy fractional stocks — Tesla shares, Apple shares or Amazon shares and others — through our app. We’ll expand into other countries thereafter,” said Serunjogi.
On the business financial services side, the startup plans to offer more API payments solutions.
“We’ve been getting a lot of requests from people on our P2P platform, who also have business enterprises, to be able to collect payments for sale of goods,” explained Serunjogi.
According to CrunchBase, it’s the first time Bezos’s fund is investing in an African startup.
The startup, which recently closed a partnership with Visa and the Rome-based football club AS Roma, had before this round raised a total of $22-million in investment, with some of it coming from Joe Montana, an American former professional football player.