Five Kenyan financial technology (Fintech) firms are among 20 finalists shortlisted for the Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2017, a competition for African technology start-ups launched early this year.
They are MobilTill, Team Safepay, Shield Finance, Circle Group Savings, and Investment and Green Shoe.
Nigeria tops the list with eight finalists while Ghana has three, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Algeria one each. There were entries from the US and Europe.
Ecobank chief executive Ade Ayeyemi on Thursday said as a pan-African bank, the Togo-headquartered institution intends to help grow pan-African fintech companies.
“The Ecobank Group and its partners are looking forward to working with the 20 start-ups to help them mature into major African and global commercial success stories,” said Mr Ayeyemi.
The finalists will pitch their products to a jury in Lome on June 21. The awards ceremony will also mark the official induction of all 20 start-ups into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship.
The top innovator will win Sh1.03 million ($10,000) cash prize, while the two runners-up will pocket Sh721,000 ($7,000) and Sh515,000 ($5,000) respectively.
Under the fellowship programme the start-ups will benefit from funding worth up to Sh51.5 million ($500,000) for products that meet Ecobank’s investment criteria.