KAMPALA: Lipa Later, one of the first of it’s kind buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) company operating in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria, has been shortlisted by Viva Technology and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as one of the top 45 start-ups that have been long-listed for the first edition of the AfricaTech Awards.
This pan-African initiative, supported by Proparco, aims to recognize and support emerging start-ups that are driving innovation and development impact across the continent in three main sectors – Climate Tech, FinTech, and Health Tech.
The 45 start-ups – 15 in each of the three Awards categories – have been selected from a total pool of more than 300 applications, with Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Morocco showing the highest participation rates. Overall, FinTech is the category that received the most applications (124), followed by Health Tech (95), and Climate Tech (93). Nearly 60% of the applicant start-ups have at least one woman on their board.
“The number and quality of applications received is a testament to Africa’s vibrant tech scene, which has proven to be resilient even in the face of the many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director. “These Awards will help scale innovations in key sectors like climate tech, health, and financial services, which are critical to supporting the continent’s sustainable and inclusive growth.”
The final winners (one per category) will be announced at the first AfricaTech Awards ceremony, which will take place during the 2022 edition of Viva Technology on June 15-18 in Paris. The three winning start ups will benefit from access to the Viva Technology, IFC and category sponsors’ networks, as well as select one on-one meetings with leaders and top executives in the tech industry.
“Africa is a breeding ground for talent and new ideas, and we are delighted to see so many innovative entrepreneurs participating in this first edition of the AfricaTech Awards,” said Viva Technology Co-Presidents Maurice Lévy and Pierre Louette, and Managing Director Julie Ranty. “It is a pleasure to be able to highlight these impactful start-ups and help promote their solutions across the continent and beyond.”
In the fintech category, the 15 top start-ups come from different countries and that includes Lipa Later from the Kenyan market. “We are very delighted to have been shortlisted for the inaugural AfricaTech awards. We at Lipa Later, have been working to grow the BNPL industry in Africa as shown by our expansion to new markets like Nigeria and very soon Tanzania. We are humbled to be in this group of amazing tech businesses all over Africa,” said Eric Muli, CEO Lipa Later.
On her part, Edith Kaguima, Country Manager Uganda said;-“ As Africa’s premier (BNPL) company, Lipa Later has found its niche within the Ugandan Market. We are here to offer our customers and merchants an affordable payment option. Our customers and merchants have been very receptive to our product as it allows for affordable and flexible payments of up to 12 months.”
About Lipa Later
Lipa Later is a buy now, pay later platform that allows retailers to sell goods and services to consumers in affordable monthly installments. It is the leading third-party installment plan for retailers in East Africa and currently operates in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria. The company’s product offering allows for both online and offline integration with retailers and both online and offline sales platforms including mobile wallets for consumers.