By this time last year, a little-known African fintech startup with a somewhat unusual business model had just come through an unusual funding round.
After raising just over a million dollars in a crowdfunding campaign that initially targeted USD 613 K, Eversend may have come across as ‘quite strange’ to the uninitiated; especially when it’s also considered that the startup basically launched as a dizzying mashup of many things - from cross-border money transfers, merchant payments, and multi-currency wallets to personal loans, group savings and investments.
Usually, the popular play for fintech startups is to launch with a singular focus on a specific fintech segment which forms their identity over a period of time, and maybe (or maybe not) accommodate other segments eventually. However, Eversend chose the opposite route by taking a ‘do-it-all' stance even before they wrote the first line of code.
At the time, the fledgling startup may have seemed like it had set out to do a little too much, but maybe Stone Atwine and the team were on to something the whole time - the very same ‘something’ that Carbon, one of the earliest local fintechs in the business, had embraced since 2019.
One year after Eversend took the seemingly unpopular path, all roads now lead to that same path for many consumer-facing fintech startups in Africa. And it turns out that path may have also put more than a few heavyweights on a collision course.