The KPMG Private Enterprise Global Tech Innovator Africa competition came to an exciting close this week and saw Africa’s future unicorn, Ukheshe, take second place among 75 other worthy entrants across Africa.
The maiden KPMG Global Tech Innovator launch showcased Africa’s place as the next global the next growth and investment frontier. Aimed at recognising the fastest-growing, most innovative technology companies across the continent, Clayton Hayward, CEO, Ukheshe, says that KPMG has created an excellent platform to meet other entrepreneurs and stakeholders: “We are delighted with our second place win and want to thank KPMG for such a great opportunity. It was made very evident throughout this experience that Africa will remain one of the key hubs of innovation and we predict that the next decade will be significant.”
According to KPMG, the technology sector is an essential contributor to the health of the local and global economy. Hayward says it is clear that opportunities for businesses like Ukheshe are now global: “There is an estimated untapped $140 trillion in the payments market. Global credit card payments, both consumer and business, make up only roughly one-tenth of the total consumer-to-business and business-to-business movement of money. Leaving the remainder of the market still untapped.”
He says Africa is the world's fastest growing market and it is ripe for technological disruption. Fintech funding has also doubled year-on-year for the last five years hitting $2.4 Billion in 2020. This creates an environment that is ripe for another unicorn according to Hayward: “There are currently six unicorns across the continent with many racing to capture a share of the fintech pie. Key to success is the rapid scaling across the continent. This is not only good for growth but an imperative for risk management to help manage regulatory or country risk in a diverse environment.”
The recently declared African Continental Free Trade area is potentially the largest free trade zone in the world and it is expected to increase the volume of cross-border transactions dramatically: “There has never been a better time to think continent-wide and Ukheshe is destined to be one of the notable players in this scenario.”
With a vision to democratise digital financial services through the simplified accessibility of disparate technologies, Ukheshe with its API-first market disruption plan, is set to take a slice of the much-coveted unicorn pie.
Through Eclipse, Ukheshe’s locally developed universal fintech API, the company has managed to facilitate 3 telcos, 16 banks and fintechs, 9 issuers, 60 partnerships, 3000 billers, 334 029 merchants, 4 billion in processing, 2 million apps.
South Africa in focus
GDP: $301.924 billion in 2020 compared to $351.432 billion in 2019
Population: 59,308,690 in 2020 compared to 58,588,267 in 2019
GDP per capita: $5090 in 2020 compared to $6,001 in 2019