The Cash Africa series is one of our most popular blogs Azevedotechcrunch. We have covered everything from laying off 12.5% of your workforce to investing in unicorns. This week we take a look at what’s going on with FTX.
Chipper Cash is a cross border money transfer service aimed at Africans. It offers no fee peer-to-peer money movement from the U.S. to Nigeria, Uganda, and other African nations.
The company has launched in six African countries in 2018, and expanded to four more this year. In addition to its core focus on African markets, the company has ventured into U.S. and UK markets.
The company is operated by co-founders Ham Serunjogi from Uganda and Maijid Moujaled from Ghana. Its platform processes over $100 million in transactions monthly.
When announcing its Series C round, Chipper Cash’s co-founder said it was the “most valuable private startup in Africa.” However, a recent round of funding has prompted debates about whether the startup is actually a unicorn.
A recent article on TechCrunch reports that the company laid off a number of employees spanning various departments. This includes the engineering team, whose cut was the biggest. According to a source, more than 50 employees were affected, including those in the legal department, finance, and marketing.
Chipper Cash and FTX recently announced a partnership that could help FTX enter the African market. The two firms will work together on a network API integration that will let FTX users send and receive no-fee cash payments in Africa.
Chipper Cash is a no-fee cross-border payment service for Africans. Its platform is already in use by over 5 million people in Africa. Its main celebrity endorser is Burna Boy. FTX also financed a large part of the company’s series C round. In the future, the pair plans to expand their services to Europe.
FTX has been a key investor in Chipper Cash’s Series C fundraise. Among other things, FTX pushed the ball in terms of the total amount raised. This includes a $75 million investment in the firm, plus another $35 million in the SAFE program.
FTX has also been linked with AZA Finance, a Kenya-based fintech firm. According to AZA’s website, they’re in the business of providing financial services across 10 African markets. They’re also promoting the use of Web 3.
Investing in unicorns
If you’re looking for a high-growth company to invest in, there’s a good chance you’re thinking of investing in unicorns. These are private companies valued at over $10 billion. They are actively changing the market, developing new products, and changing consumer behavior.
In Africa, there are four startups that have hit $1 billion valuations. They include Flutterwave, Wave, Andela, and Jumia. It took these companies about five years to reach their billion-dollar mark.
The first two, Flutterwave and Andela, were founded in Nigeria and Senegal, respectively. Both companies have received venture funding. Flutterwave raised a $170 million round in April and Jumia was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019.
Another unicorn is Chipper Cash, a cross-border payments service in Africa. It has an estimated $2 billion valuation. Yet, its valuation hasn’t been confirmed by the company.
There are hundreds of innovative startups surfacing on the continent’s technology scene. They can be tapped into the e-commerce, payments, and telehealth industries.
Laying off 12.5% of its workforce
It’s not only Silicon Valley startups that are laying off employees. Some of the biggest names in the financial world are doing the same. Banks are laying off their weakest performers. Others are cutting in response to a downturn in the economy.
Last month, Twitter laid off over 50% of its staff. While there is no exact number of employees affected, many people were locked out of the company’s systems before their terminations. A spokesperson for the company did not respond to a Forbes inquiry about the layoffs.
The letter to staff says that over 650 people will be cut. These layoffs are affecting people in multiple departments. They include the engineering team, which was hit hardest. However, some people who have been affected have expressed concern on social media.
Another tech company announcing layoffs is iRobot. CEO Elon Musk said in an interview in June that he planned to cut at least 3% to 3.5% of the company’s workforce.