PaySika, a financial technology startup that develops mobile and web-based banking solutions for French-speaking African countries, has raised €300,000 ($348,000) in pre-seed funding from angel investors in the French, London, and Nigerian tech startup sectors.
PaySika, which was founded in 2020 by Roger Nengwe and Stezen Bisselou, claims to be the region’s first business-to-customer (B2C) neobank that uses a chatbot on major messaging apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram. This enables users to do business as easy as sending an SMS.
The startup, which claims to have 20,000 pre-registrations in its pre-launch phase, is aimed primarily at underbanked people who are underserved by traditional banking services. According to government statistics, just 20% of the population in Francophone Africa has access to financial services. Because of the widespread use of mobile money and smartphones in the region, numerous neo-banks, such as PaySika, have decided to offer mobile banking solutions in order to attract these customers.
When it completely debuts in the first quarter of 2022, the startup plans to start issuing virtual and physical cards for local and international transfers, as well as penetrate the Benin Republic as part of its regional strategy.
PaySika is developing partnerships with several leading actors to integrate security protocols like as KYC, AML, and MAR, knowing full well that it operates in a highly regulated area where compliance and security are critical issues.
The first round of funding for PaySika will allow Nengwe and his three-person team to continue expanding the business by hiring new users. The startup has welcomed investors Benjamin Chemla, the founder of Stuart, and Damien Guermonprez, the executive chairman of Lemonway, to its strategic committee as part of the fundraising.
Other investors that participated in the round include Charles Edouard Bouée (former CEO of Roland Berger), Didier Valet (former Deputy-CEO of Groupe Société Générale), Charlie Delingpole (CEO of ComplyAdvantage), Oliver Tilloy (Founder of Techmind), Adedayo Amzat (Managing Director of Zedcrest Capital), and Thibault Poutrel (Founder of Fonds de Dotation Thibault Poutrel).