Nairobi is one of the nine innovation hubs to watch globally in the coming year after climbing the world financial technology start-up ecosystem ranking by 42 positions.
The country’s capital city was placed at 63 in the overall top 100 ranking in the Findexable Global Fintech Rankings 2020, a report published by research firm Findexable Limited.
Nairobi is second in Africa after Johannesburg which topped the continental league table. It was followed by Lagos, Cape Town, Accra, Kigali and Kampala which formed part of the top 12 technology hubs in Africa.
“Nairobi is Africa’s second largest fintech hub, with an estimated 20 percent of African fintechs and an emerging ecosystem of local investors and venture capital firms complemented by a steady rise of international investors and growing interest from global technology firms,” the report says.
The city is strong in payments, remittances, banking and lending technologies.
Kenya’s Cellulant, Musoni, Kopo Kopo, Alternative Circle, Lendable and Bitpesa were named the technology platforms to watch locally.
Nairobi, dubbed the Silicon Savannah, has emerged as a thriving tech ecosystem in the region where global investors and venture capital firms are pitching tent to scout for early-stage start-ups.
Founders of start-ups have raised billions of shillings from global investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private equity firms. They include Africa’s Talking and Cellulant which both offer payment solutions. Most of the funds have been used to support the start-ups’ growth, with some founders also selling part of their stakes in the transactions.
Recently, Britain announced a Sh1.3 billion fund to help Kenyan start-ups working to disrupt the financial sector through technology. The investment is set to focus on Kenyan firms that increase financial inclusion for low-income and underserved consumers.