Banking

Nigerian fintech Appzone lands $10m for digital core banking solution

Appzone, a Nigerian digital core banking solution provider, has landed a $10 million Series A funding round led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers.

Alongside CardinalStone, a private equity investment firm focused on Nigeria and Ghana, the round also garnered funds from V8 Capital, Lateral Investment Partners, Constant Capital, and Itanna Capital Ventures.

Co-founders Emeka Emetarom, Obi Emetarom and Wale Onawunmi

The fintech says the fresh capital injection will bolster investment in Appzone’s “core technologies” as well as “kick off a wave of new country expansions” to digitise banking and payments across the African continent.

Appzone’s moves to date

Launched back in 2008, Appzone has built an offering around digital core banking and interbank transaction processing.

In 2018, the fintech landed official approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as a payment solution service provider (PSSP).

Today, the fintech serves some 18 commercial banks and 450 microfinance banks across seven African countries. These include Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Senegal, and Guinea.

Incumbents such as Access Bank, GT Bank and Zenith Bank all use the fintech’s products.

These include a decentralised payment processing network, omni-channel cloud-based core banking software, and a multi-bank direct debit service.

Yearly, the fintech estimates a transaction value of $2 billion. Whilst banks have issued on average $300 million in loan disbursements annually using its technology.

To date, banks have issued 18 million cards via Appzone. Its platforms currently manage $200 million in deposits, and host ten million accounts.

From stealth to growth

Now, with a Series A funding round under its belt, Appzone is ready to take on even more of Africa.

“For the last 12 years, we’ve worked in stealth mode,” explains Appzone’s co-founder and CEO, Obi Emetarom. “In terms of next steps, we are now looking to hire from Africa’s top 1% to grow our team.”

Emetarom  adds: “We are not just trying to bring African fintech on-par with the rest of the world – we exist to make our financial sector the most innovative and technologically advanced on the globe through solutions built for Africa by Africans.”

For Appzone’s lead Series A investor, the fintech’s potential lies in its ability to hold up Africa’s financial system.

“Appzone is building a disruptive fintech ecosystem that will be the backbone of Africa’s finance industry. With products across payments, infrastructure and software-as-a-service,” explains Yomi Jemibewon, CardinalStone’s co-founder.

Read next: Egyptian fintech Paymob lands country a record $18.5m Series A


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