Chipper Cash was founded two years ago in San Francisco by two Africans, Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The two met in Iowa while studying at Grinnell College, they have both worked at top tech companies, Ham was at Facebook, while Maijid worked at Flickr and Yahoo.
They created Chipper Cash to be a free cross-border money transfer solution, but it now includes features such as Chipper checkout which is merchant based and charges a fee to support the free P2P service. The startup has added a beta program that let’s users trade Bitcoin and US stock in Africa through a partnership with 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.
Chipper Cash raised $30 million in its Series B funding led by Ribbit Capital and Bezos Expeditions which is the personal VC of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and richest human on the planet. This marks the first African startup to be backed by Jeff Bezos and it shows how significant the continent has become in the startup arena.
“It’s a big deal when a world class investor like Bezos or Ribbit goes out of their sweet spot to a new area where they previously haven’t done investments,” he said. “Ultimately, the winner of those things happening is the African tech ecosystem overall, as it will bring more investment from firms of that caliber to African startups.”
The fintech startup currently operates in seven African nations: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya. Currently having 3 million users, Chipper cash processes over 80,000 transactions daily and their monthly payments value hit 100 million in June 2020. With the funding, the startup plans to expand to other countries with the exact regions to be announced in 2021. At the moment, 66% of Sub Saharan Africa 1 billion population remains unbanked, it seems Chipper has a lot of potential customers to cover in the continent.