The rein of Chipper Cash, a payment and cryptocurrency app designed to simplify the process of sending and receiving money across Africa may be coming to an end as recent events have cast doubt on the future of the fintech company.
The Birth of Chipper Cash
Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled met at Grinnell College in Iowa, where they both studied computer science. The idea for Chipper Cash was born during a road trip the two took from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2016. As they drove, they discussed the difficulties of sending money across borders in Africa and the potential of the cryptocurrency space.
The two shared a frustration with the high costs and difficulty of sending money across the continent, given the many different currencies. They realized that there was a gap in the market for a simple, affordable, and accessible payment system for Africa.
Chipper Cash’s Rise in the African Fintech Space
In 2018, Serunjogi and Moujaled founded Chipper Cash, which quickly established itself as a prominent player in the African fintech space. The app allows users to send and receive payments across Africa, making transactions cheaper, faster, and more accessible.
Moreover, the app enables users to buy and send cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC. With the rise of digital currencies and the growing interest in cryptocurrencies in Africa, Chipper Cash’s potential seemed limitless.
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In 2021, Chipper Cash raised $100 million in a Series B funding round led by Silicon Valley Bank. The funding round valued the startup at $2 billion, making it one of Africa’s most valuable fintech startups. Chipper Cash had also acquired over 5 million users and had been growing at a rate of 40% month-on-month.
The company’s success in such a short time caught the attention of several investors, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and former US VP Al Gore, who invested in the startup through their venture capital firms.
Chipper Cash’s founders were also recognized for their innovative approach to solving financial challenges in Africa, with Serunjogi being named on Forbes’ 30 under 30 Africa list in 2021.
Chipper Cash’s Troubles
Chipper Cash’s troubles began when one of its backers, FTX, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, collapsed in 2021. The defunct exchange marked down the startup’s valuation to $1.25 billion, and the company had to lay off 12.5% of its workforce.
Less than three months later, Chipper Cash again laid off almost one-third of its workforce, about 100 employees. The startup has had to let go of over 150 employees in total to cut costs amid a torrid period for the fintech industry.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Chipper Cash is reportedly considering selling the company. This news comes as a blow to the startup touted as one of Africa’s fintech darlings. It remains to be seen whether a sale will go ahead and what the future holds for Chipper Cash.
Sunset for Chipper Cash?
The reasons behind the potential sale are not yet clear, but it is speculated that the ongoing challenges faced by the company, including the fallout from FTX’s collapse and the volatility of the crypto market, may have contributed to the decision.
If Chipper Cash does indeed sell, it will mark the end of a remarkable journey for the startup and its founders, who have revolutionized the way people in Africa send and receive money.
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