Koree, a fintech startup based in Cameroon, is the overall winner of the 2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge.
Koree emerged the winner after facing fierce competition from seven other fintechs, all of whom pitched their innovative fintech solutions to an independent panel of five judges. These eight finalists were carefully selected from an initial pool of over 1,400 fintechs from 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 on the African continent.
The eight finalists are Flexpay Technologies (Kenya), IPOXcap AI (South Africa), Kastelo (South Africa), Koree (Cameroon), Kori Tech (Senegal), Smart Teller Technologies (Nigeria), Rubyx (Belgium) and Wolf Technologies (DRC).
Koree was declared the ultimate winner after three judging rounds and will receive a cash prize of US$50,000. Wolf Technologies, who were the first runner-up, will take home US$10,000, while Flexpay Technologies, second runner-up, receives US$5,000.
The startup becomes the first ever female-led fintech to win the competition and will be inducted into the prestigious Ecobank Fintech Fellowship along with the other seven finalists.
This unique programme offers 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.
“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.’’ Magalie Gauze-Sanga, CEO of Koree said.
‘’We’re excited to work with Ecobank Group across its large footprint to further transform the financial landscape in Africa by digitizing cash-based payments while simultaneously empowering millions of consumers and bringing value to local brands and retailers.”
Jeremy Awori, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, said “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.”
“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.”
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.