Over the last decade, over 40 African startups from a few countries have passed YC…Zambia joins the list today and its participants Union54, Is the first entry worth it.
Union54 (54 agrees with the number of African countries) is a fintech company founded by Perseus Mlambo and Alessandra Martini. The startup claims to be Africa’s first and only card-issuing API. However Released this year. But to paint, Union 54 didn’t come out of the thin air.It’s a project from the couple’s early startup Zazu..
The Zoo Released As a challenger bank in Zambia in 2015. Like other fintechs on the continent, Zazu had to create his own debit card that users could connect to their wallets. In most cases, Zazu had to wait months for domestic affiliated banks to issue these cards. Mlambo says he had to wait 18 months at some point.
All this while the founder started issuing cards in collaboration with local banks.. But banks were lethargic about their approach. “NS However I realized that either the processor or the bank wasn’t necessary We’re ready to answer our questions and deliver the products we’re looking for, “Mlambo told TechCrunch in an interview.
The startup decided to go to Bullseye and meet Mastercard. So why wait for the bank when you can put the person issuing these cards in your bag in the first place? Finally, The company claims to have acquired Mastercard Principle membership, the first fintech from Africa..
As a key member, Zazu has been approved to act as an “issuing bank”. In other words, they can provide debit cards and can provide “acquirers”, that is, transaction processing services.
On the way, the founder NS true In order to advance FinTech in Africa, it was essential to make it easy for FinTech in African countries to issue virtual or physical debit cards. So the team spun out Union 54 from Zazu.Currently on the platform Several API that makes it easy for FinTech to issue programmable debit cards..
“We are now using our membership to help other companies, FinTech in Africa, who want to issue their own cards…They can However Come to us, connect to our API and go quicklyYou don’t have to spend a lot of time negotiating, “Mlambo said of servicing other African fintechs.
The CEO adds that the company is targeting fintechs that don’t want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on setup fees. NS Get a virtual or physical card. Union54 claims to issue cards in a matter of weeks via APIs that perform functions such as BIN sponsorship, program management, and payments.
By doing this, Union 54 has the right to brag as Africa’s first card-issuing API. FinTech rarely sees this opportunity.many focusing Other segments from payment gateway to wallet.. It’s interesting to note that somehow all the big players in these segments try to create virtual and physical cards for their customers and face complexity in doing so… It’s a blank that Union 54 wants to fill and is currently in beta, but the company is on the waiting list and boasts an impressive unnamed customer who is currently using the platform.
“attractive The thing about these companies is that they are not B or C players.They are in the top 5% of African fintech.. And for me, I always tell people, we are now in the golden generation of FinTech in Africa. That means true Great timing to use card-issuing products All These guys were considered leaders in their space..That means us true People have what they want to use every day, “added the CEO.
The company’s site has eight use cases for the API. Ledger-based, acquirer / gateway, buy now, pay later, credit unions, shipping companies, digital banking, credit card management, corporate cards.
FinTech using Union54 can also design cards and set the currency in which they are used. Will be charged, And who uses them, sets up an extensive catalog of what they use Used Because when they do Used And how they Used..
Union54 charges FinTech on a pay-as-you-go basis for each API call. If a fintech company wants to create a physical card Will be charged $ 7-9 flat rate at the time of transaction and private flat rate Is made..
By participating in the YC 2021 summer batch, Mlambo said the company was able to sign up for its first customer set. Most of our customers come from YC’s network… He calls YC a “worth it from day one” program.
“I true We are excited and proud that Union 54 has become the first Zambian fintech to be accepted by Y Combinator… And second in South Africa. As you know, when investors around the world look at Africa, they often do so from a West African perspective. Joining Y Combinator tests just a few of the broader hypotheses that it is possible to serve Africa from friendly jurisdictions such as Zambia. “
The first Zambian startup to get into YC is developing Africa’s first card-issuing API – TechCrunch Source link The first Zambian startup to get into YC is developing Africa’s first card-issuing API – TechCrunch