London based, FinTech Circle Innovate and The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) based in South Africa have signed a partnership expected to harness the growth of fintech startups in South Africa and on the rest of the continent.
According to Nicole Anderson, CEO and Co-founder of FinTech Circle Innovate, “CiTi has a long-standing history as the most experienced incubator in Africa, plus we are both leaders in innovation in our regions. The opportunity and use case for convergence in FinTech in Africa will be a significant focus for us.”
Anderson says there is huge potential to stimulate key economic sectors such as agriculture, retail and energy through collaboration. The two will initially focus on FinTech programs such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital identity and cyber security.
The two will use their proven methodology and blend it with regional/local requirements and give the region access to its talent pool of some of the best minds in convergent FinTech. The two also aim to rollout a ‘Knowledge Ecosystem’ proposition – FinTech education for key influencers, executives and academia based on the international bestselling The FinTech Book© but adapted for the African continent’s current needs.
Joshin Raghubar, Chairman of CiTi said the firm is excited to expand its fintech knowledge and capability ecosystem in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
”Moving beyond the financial sector itself, the particular needs and gaps in the African continent present an opportunity for fintech products and competencies to be powerful enablers in accelerating innovation and efficiencies in the value chains of other sectors,” said Raghubar.
CiTi has already established the first specialised FinTech hub on the continent with members such as the Thomson Reuters Innovation Lab, Barclays Rise Africa and also the Blockchain Academy. “The purpose of our Innovation Clusters,” says Ian Merrington, CEO of CiTi, “is to actively identify, support and stimulate innovation and growth in key sectors that will benefit the greater ecosystem, particularly where the technology has a transformative potential. Partnering with FinTech Circle Innovate who are the world class best practise industry leaders in FinTech strategy, incubation models and investment, enables us to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs, start-ups and established industries and banks.”