Cameroonian fintech firm, Koree, has been named the winner of the ‘2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge’ held by Pan-African Banking Group Ecobank– claiming the top prize of $50,000 with its card wallet payment solution that digitises merchant payments.
With the win, Koree becomes the competition’s first-ever female-led fintech winner having beaten eight other finalists. The 2023 edition of the competition drew participation from over 1,400 fintechs spanning 64 countries, underscoring the significant growth in popularity of the competition since its inception six years ago, as well as the wealth of innovation and ingenuity, particularly from Africa.
The announcement was made by a panel of judges during the competition’s Grand Finale at Ecobank Group’s headquarters at the Pan African Centre in Lomé, Togo. Wolf Technology from the Democratic Republic of Congo came second, winning $10,000, while Kenya-based Flexpay Technologies took third place, taking home $5,000.
All eight finalists were inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship; a unique programme offering fintech companies the opportunity to explore potential commercial partnerships with Ecobank, including the possibility of seamless integration with the bank’s platforms and the potential for scaling up their fintech ventures across Ecobank’s 35 African markets.
Jeremy Awori, chief executive officer at Ecobank Group, commented on the competition’s finale: “This year’s eight finalists have demonstrated exceptional innovation and promise. We look forward to collaborating with them to develop groundbreaking products, services and solutions that will ultimately benefit our valued customers and contribute to the advancement of our continent.
“We are convinced that forging sustainable partnerships with fintechs and the overall tech ecosystem remains a viable strategy in our pursuit of delivering convenient, affordable services to our customers.”
“A triumph for innovation and for diversity”
Awori also congratulated the overall winner: “We extend our warmest congratulations to Koree, the first ever female-led fintech winner of our challenge, for their outstanding victory and innovative contributions to the fintech landscape. We look forward to a greater collaboration.”
Magalie Gauze-Sanga, CEO of Koree, expressing her own excitement after winning the Fintech Challenge, commented: “Koree winning the Ecobank Fintech Challenge is a triumph for innovation and for diversity. We are very proud that the technological innovation we have been implementing in Cameroon for many years has been rewarded, and it is also noteworthy that this is the first time a woman has won the Ecobank Fintech Challenge prize.
“We’re excited to work with Ecobank Group across its large footprint to further transform the financial landscape in Africa by digitising cash-based payments while simultaneously empowering millions of consumers and bringing value to local brands and retailers.”
Since its inception in 2017, the Ecobank Fintech Challenge has attracted over 5,500 submissions from fintech innovators representing 64 countries across its six editions. Out of this impressive pool of talent, 60 exceptional fintechs have been inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship.