M-Pesa and the African Fintech Revolution

Plus: Coinbase, Petershill, Evergrande

A recurring theme here at Net Interest is that inside every company there’s often a financial services business dying to get out. Sometimes, management buries the financial services business deep – usually the case when it provides credit for the rest of the company to grow. But sometimes, led by market demand, management is keen to set its financial services business free.

That’s very much the case in the African telecom market right now. 

Over the past few months, Airtel Africa has lined up a number of investors to take minority stakes in its mobile money business. Airtel Africa is the second largest telecom operator in Africa, active in 14 markets across the continent. It offers the usual range of telecom services: mobile voice, mobile data, fixed line, broadband and data centre services. It also operates a mobile money business, through which it offers payments, microloans, savings and international transfers. The mobile money business is relatively small – only 10% of overall reven…

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