Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has backed an Africa-focused financial technology company, Chipper Cash, making it his first start-up investment on the continent.
The world’s richest man’s personal venture capital fund, Bezos Expeditions, supported the Series B funding led by Ribbit Capital, which raised $30 million for the San Fransisco-based company.
Chipper CEO Ham Serunjogi confirmed on Twitter that the startup, which got its initial foothold in the market as a peer-to-peer (P2P) payments service, just landed a whale of an investor who was none other than multibillionaire Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Ribbit Capital, a VC firm in the U.S. that focuses on early-stage firms, led the investment round.
San Francisco-based Chipper got its start building a base in the P2P payments sector in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda and Ghana.
The startup has since expanded into eCommerce with a service targeted at retailers and other online merchants, Chipper Checkout.
Other services on Chipper’s expanded menu include investments, cryptocurrency trading and API payments solutions.
Chipper brought home its first round of investor cash last year, with a $2.4 million seed round headed by Deciens Capital last May, followed by an additional $6 million seed round in December.
That was followed by a $13.8 million Series A round in July that featured Deciens and Raptor Group.
Armed with the cash infusion, the startup announced plans last summer to hire 30 staff members around the world.
Chipper, though, is just the latest African FinTech to attract the attention of investors.
African FinTechs attracted $2 billion in venture capital money in 2019, according to Face2Face Africa.
And the investments have kept coming in 2020.
Stripe, the U.S.-based payments firm, acquired Nigerian startup Paystack, while DPO Group, a FinTech out of Nairobi, fetched $288 million from Network International in Dubai.
And that’s not all, as remittance company Sendwave, whose business is centered on Africa, was bought for $500 million by WorldRemit, an online money transfer company out of the United Kingdom, according to Face2Face Africa.