Orange invests in Afrimarkets


True to its word of investing in startups, Orange has contibuted an unspeciied amount of money in the Afrimarket startup that deals in cash-to-goods money transfers.

In addition to this  investment, Orange will participate in the development of Afrimarket by  sharing market knowledge and the many benefits of an international  mobile operator with a strong brand notoriety.

This investment comes a few months after Stéphane Richard,  Chairman and CEO of Orange, announced that the Group and the start-up  had entered into a commercial partnership.

For  Pierre Louette, Deputy CEO of Orange, “Afrimarket is a start-up in the  development phase with an original and promising offer. It’s a good  example of the type of project that our new Orange Digital Ventures fund  is interested in investing in. We’re supplementing Orange’s existing  open innovation initiatives, such as Orange Fab”.

The  decision to take a minority stake in the company reflects Orange’s new  strategy of funding start-ups through vehicles such as Orange Digital  Ventures. The investment is also the first one to be made in a start-up  that has gone through the “Orange Fab” acceleration program.

Money transfers in  the form of “cash-to-goods” enables people in Europe to pay directly  for everyday goods or services (food, healthcare, education, etc.) in  partner retail outlets for contacts living in Africa. This type of  service has grown into one of the most promising segments in the  international money transfer market.

In choosing how he or she wants to  help his family and friends, the user also pays lower fees compared to  traditional solutions and can be sure of the quality of the end-products  purchased with the funds.

Three young entrepreneurs – Rania  Belkahia, Jeremy Stoss and François Sevaistre – founded Afrimarket less  than two years ago in France. The start-up has grown quickly, aided by  an innovative business model and broad knowledge of cross-border  transfers and African immigrant populations in Europe.