Pan-African cross-border payment startup Chipper Cash has acquired a license to provide money transfer Value Added Services in Malawi, the company’s current VP of Global Developer Relations, Wiza Jalakasi, announced in a tweet on Thursday.
The license was issued by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), in accordance with Section 39 of the East African country’s Communications Act 2016 (PDF), according to a copy of the notice letter shared by Jalakasi. The license took effect on December 23, 2022.
The notice letter issued by the regulatory agency reads in part, “A licence is hereby granted to Chipper Payment Services Limited (“the Licenses”) in respect to the provision of Application Services to provide money transfer Value Added Services with effect from the Effective Date.
“This Licence is issued subject to the terms and conditions hereto, and to any other terms and conditions and promises of performance that may from time to time be incorporated herein under the Communications Act and the Regulations thereto Failure to comply with any term and condition may lead to suspension or revocation of this Licence.”
With this Valued Added Services license, the fintech unicorn can enter the Malawian market, albeit one marked by regulatory hiccups.
This January, Pan-African pay-TV operator MultiChoice got fined around €93,800 by the MACRA over breaches of its license conditions, according to local reports.
As of the reporting time, Chipper Cash has not issued an official statement on the license acquisition.
New year, new win for Chipper Cash
The news of the license acquisition means Chipper Cash is starting the new year on a pretty good note, coming weeks after it made headlines for the wrong reasons.
Last December, the company reportedly laid off what is believed to be a significant portion of its workforce, as the exact number of affected employees remains unknown. Erin Fusaro, the vice president of engineering at ChipperCash, said in a LinkedIn post that “a significant amount” of the members of the engineering and IT teams were gutted in the layoff.
The wave of layoffs came barely a year after the fintech unicorn raised 150 million dollars at a two billion valuation, a round led by the now embattled crypto company FTX.
Founded in 2018 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled, Chipper Cash provides a no-fee peer-to-peer cross-border payment service in Africa via its app. With a self-reported user count of 5 million, the company’s services are used across seven African countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya, as well as in the UK and the US.
Last November, the company announced its plans to acquire Zambian fintech company Zoona Transactions International as part of its expansion strategy into Zambia. The acquisition will also allow Chipper Cash to add new online services and a new agent network to its offerings.