It’s also worth mentioning that this transaction took place before Tiger Global’s US$17 billion loss during this year’s tech sell-off.
“Many businesses like ours are taking money out of the market. We’re trying to build a business that brings products into the market and continues in a journey that has a multiplier effect of moving that money 20 times around that market,” he said.
For many years, merchants who own small to medium-sized kiosks and shops across Africa have dealt with logistics issues when ordering their products from wholesalers and distributors.
More on the latter, Akinin said he’s betting that the wallet system can provide a more sustainable alternative to the popular Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) model that other platforms are offering to merchants.
“I think buy now, pay later is an optical illusion. I think there is credit, and there are cash sales, and there’s nothing in between,” he said.
“So, I think it [BNPL] is going to worsen the situation for small businesses, it’s going to create more defaults, generate a culture of bad pay, and it’s going to create real debt at the SME level in Africa, that will be hard to justify.”
Start-Up Namibia’s Jesaya Hano-Oshike said his team was also advocating that Namibian start-ups be considered for funding on an international platform.
“Namibia is not considered a legitimate destination for start-up funding, but we are working hard to change that narrative. In general, capital is available, what is missing is early stage risk capital to take a business from 0 to 1. In other words, from having a prototype to being able to enter the market,” he said.