How hard is it to disrupt a bank?
It turns out, it is really hard. Segun Adeyemi, the CEO of AmplifyPay highlighted the incredible moat banks have built around themselves that makes it quite a task to disrupt them. Banks have the scale, relationships, distribution, expertise, data and regulation almost making them untouchable. While it may be a hard time to be a fintech company competing against these banks, it is not impossible to still offer financial services as a startup.
Since banks can’t be disrupted, what do fintechs do? Get in bed and make babies! As Segun highlighted in his article, while banks are good at certain things (mentioned above), they have a proper F9 at user experience, efficiency, flexible structure etc, all these and much more are what startups excel at. Segun’s framework for both parties to work together is that traditional banks offer their infrastructure and startups bring the agility and feel-goody. For this to work, banks have to realise the customers are the most important party in this equation.
🤑 when it rains it pours
Do you remember earlier on the Recursive alpha newsletter, I mentioned that African startups were about to get some love from investors. Well, it’s happening and a big one just happened in the fintech space. Cellulant just raised $47m.
Cellulant is a big deal! The company operates in the fintech space offering financial service products across 11 countries with 94 banks and seven mobile money platforms that have a combined potential customer base of 130m.
The rise fund lead the $47.5m round, other investors that participated includes Endeavour Catalyst and Satya Capital.
Facebook’s been around the block
If you think blockchain is a fad, you may need to think again cos Facebook is getting into cryptocurrencies. A couple of days ago, Facebook launched a massive executive re-organisation and while at it, they added an entire department dedicated to blockchain research. Heading the unit, Facebook has an early bitcoin investor and former PayPal exec David Marcus.
Facebook has had obviously been paying attention to the space as earlier this year, the company banned cryptocurrency ads from it’s platform cos it was believed that many of them are scams.
You know, I feel some type of way about Facebook doing this because the singular reason for blockchain technologies is to sidestep centralised power of which facebook is the poster child. Looking forward to what Facebook does with this.’
And that’s a wrap. If you enjoy this newsletter, I’d love it if you’d tweet or forward to the two people who you think would enjoy it most.
Until next week,