2021 was quite the year for Fintech in Nigeria.
The ecosystem saw huge injections of VC funds, the highest we’ve ever seen: $963 million (greater than the past two years combined). Investors also showed an appetite to bet on verticals outside of payments. Crypto startups (i.e. Yellow Card, Vibra) and API fintechs (Mono and Okra) announced fundraises that year.
Against that backdrop, 2022 was humbling. Total funding fell by 27% to $702 million as investors cut back on spending due to interest rate hikes in the US. Then it was almost as if we couldn’t get enough of scandals from some of the largest players on the scene: poor workplace cultures, sexual abuse allegations, and the FTX scandal that sent a ripple across many local crypto startups.
High inflation, rising interest rates, and the colossal downturn in crypto markets made 2022 a very sobering year for the Nigerian Fintech ecosystem. 2023 will be sure to separate the winners from the losers.
Thanks to CBN’s cashless policies, Nigeria will make great headway in driving domestic adoption of e-payments. But existing regulatory hurdles will prevent similar progress for cross-border payments.
Online fraud will remain a growing threat that Fintech players must contend with in 2023.
We learned that nothing lasts forever between the highs of 2021 and the lows of 2022. So what tone would most