- Egypt’s entry is a huge step forward for Cellulant, which now offers a full suite of payment services throughout 35 African regions and integrates over 370 different payment methods.
- Cellulant has raised a total of US$55 million to date, making it one of the most heavily backed fintech startups in Africa and allowing it to support its ambitious expansion plans.
- CEO Ahmed Marwan says with over 40% the adult population in Egypt using prepaid cards and mobile wallets, the acquisition of these licences positions Cellulant to further streamline payment options for businesses.
Kenyan Fintech giant Cellulant, has announced its initial registration as a Payment Service Provider and Payment Facilitator in Egypt, a major development for digital payments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This is a huge step forward for Cellulant, which now offers a full suite of payment services throughout 35 African regions and integrates more than 370 different payment methods.
With over two decades in operation, Cellulant has become a prominent participant in the fintech industry, displaying great development and innovation. The company is looking to grow in the next two years, entering the Middle Eastern and British markets after recently entering the South African sector. Cellulant has raised a total of US$55 million to date, making it one of the most heavily backed fintech startups in Africa and allowing it to support its ambitious expansion plans.
Cellulant sees Egypt as a key market
The success of Cellulant’s finances is significant. Revenue estimates from various sources, such as Growjo and ZoomInfo, place it at between $145.1 million and $261.4 million every year. Cellulant’s merchant payments volume, which accounts for a significant portion of its revenue, also increased to $1 billion, according to a Reuters article. Even if these are just estimations, they nonetheless show what a strong financial position the company has in the fintech industry.
Cellulant’s meteoric rise in Egypt is occurring against the backdrop of a dynamic payment landscape in the country. Fintechs are aggressively altering the delivery of financial services in response to new rules, which have fueled the emergence of fast payments. This trend undermines existing banking practices and reflects shifting consumer preferences.
According to the 2022 Mastercard New Payment Index, an increasing number of Egyptians (88 per cent) are using alternative payment methods. Since consumers are increasingly adopting a variety of payment methods, businesses must broaden their acceptance of these methods, with a particular emphasis on innovative and regionally relevant options.
Ahmed Marwan, General Manager of Cellulant in Egypt and North Africa, explains why the company’s recent expansion into the country is a smart move. “With over 40 per cent of the adult population in Egypt already using prepaid cards and mobile wallets, the acquisition of these licences positions us to further streamline payment options for businesses in the region,” Marwan added.
Security and infrastructure
Group CEO Akshay Grover of Cellulant sees Egypt as a key market for expanding the company’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa. Obtaining these licences in Egypt is a critical step towards improving our payment solutions for local, regional, and international companies doing business in Egypt. “This action is consistent with our goal of expanding economic opportunities in the region,” Grover said.
From its humble beginnings as a Kenyan startup to its current position as a prominent IT business in Africa, Cellulant is now focused exclusively on the digital payments industry. To kick off its expansion in Kenya and the rest of East Africa, it has teamed with finance company Grey.
Over the past three years, Cellulant has put resources into expanding its real-time payment solutions, with a particular emphasis on checkout, in-store, payouts, payment links, and a powerful business dashboard, all of which are built around its single API payment platform, Tingg. Cellulant’s dedication to security and infrastructure skills is reflected in the company’s accumulation of global certifications in security, privacy, business continuity, and service management, all of which serve to support these initiatives.
Cellulant has been at the forefront of providing cutting-edge technical, financial, and digital solutions since its inception nearly two decades ago. Currently, the firm handles 20 million monthly transactions worth roughly $1 billion for more than 2000 clients in industries as varied as aviation, telecommunications, e-commerce, ride-hailing, retail, and international money transfers.
Kenya’s Fintech Landscape: A Crucible of Innovation and Growth
It is interesting to think about the broader fintech scene of Kenya, which has become a crucible for innovation and financial inclusion, in light of Cellulant’s entry into Egypt and its origins in that country. Many people in the country now use mobile money services, and there is a growing need for financial inclusion, especially among the unbanked, all of which contribute to the country’s fintech success story.
Key Innovators in Kenya’s Fintech Scene:
- M-PESA: is a revolutionary mobile money application that has completely changed the way money is transferred in Kenya. With over 40 million users, M-Pesa has become an integral part of daily life and has an impact much beyond that of simple money transfers and bill payments.
- Branch and Tala: These firms have carved out a special place in the lending market by making credit available to people who were traditionally shut out of the banking system. Their work has paved the way for other fintech solutions that are accessible to a wider range of people.
- BitPesa: BitPesa is well-known for its cutting-edge use of blockchain technology, which has greatly improved the efficiency and low cost of international money transfers.
The widespread use of mobile technology and the country’s sizable unbanked population are driving Kenya’s impressive fintech growth. The rise of the Kenyan economy can be directly attributed to the favourable conditions for the development of financial technology, which have revolutionised the sector.
An excellent example of this is Safaricom, the business behind M-PESA, which is the largest and most profitable telecom corporation in East Africa and accounts for almost 5 per cent of Kenya’s GDP.
Cellulant’s rapid expansion can be understood better within the backdrop of Kenya’s thriving fintech industry. As Cellulant extends its operations in Egypt and abroad, its beginnings in Kenya’s dynamic fintech ecosystem show the potential of fintech solutions in fostering economic growth and financial inclusion across continents.