FinTech Daily: London FinTech Startup Oinky Raises $1m; Cryptocurrencies Will Fuel Tech Boom in Afri
London FinTech Startup Oinky Raises $1m
Oinky, a London-based savings app, has raised approximately $1m in Seed funding from a group of high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs from the finance and tech sectors. Originally backed by Seedcamp, the startup, which will use the money to expand its team (it recently hired Azimo’s former head of growth Francisco Lema), launch its product and build additional product features, has also received regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Founded in 2015, Oinky’s mission is simple yet ambitious. Co-founders Ivan Soto-Wright and Conrad Holmboe, who met at Redington, decided to set up the company in an attempt to address a very real problem and one which they both experienced with varying levels of frustration. “We simply didn’t have the time or patience to think about the ideal amount to save each and every month, and actually save the money. We were too busy working. So, we saved some arbitrary amount to make us feel better and simply spent the rest,” Soto-Wright explained. Eventually, the co-founders asked themselves how they could leverage technology to automate the process, allowing people to save money based on their lifestyles. But they soon came up against an obvious challenge: saving is not sexy. In order to overcome this, Soto-Wright and Holmboe said they created a product which they believe is “as helpful as Citymapper and as addictive as Candy Crush”. Soto-Wright and Holmboe believe its an exciting time for UK FinTech. The incoming PSD2 regulation and Open Banking APIs are buzzwords but they’ve essentially forced banks to come to terms with the fact that the stakes have been raised and that delivering better customer experiences is becoming increasingly important.
Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies Will Fuel Tech Boom in Africa: Expert
Hermann Djoumessi, CEO of Africa Digital MarketPlace, says Bitcoin could be the engine for African growth which will definitely fuel the continent's great leap forward. In his judgement, it will be a sweeping knowledge and technology jump that is expected to happen within the next five years. Djoumessi believes the continent holds huge potential in its youth and coupled with the right education, beautiful things could happen.In a continent where inflation is replete, the expert sees Bitcoin as a safe zone for Africans to protect their wealth. In June last year, a study of ten African Countries with high inflation rates had South Sudan recording an unthinkable inflationary rate of 295 percent. Egypt had the lowest with 12.3 percent. Governments in the African continent are notoriously noted for destroying the wealth of its people through money printing. Djoumessi thinks the end of paper money is near, predicting the process will begin in Africa and the Middle East. Djoumessi explains: "Bitcoin should be the “fly to safety” currency for all. However, one needs to remain careful and needs to start to understand that paper money as we know it is about to disappear. Therefore, one needs to have and carry a mix of cryptocurrencies and should always play one against another when times changes.” Looking into the future, he concluded: "The future of Bitcoin in Africa is bright. The entire continent will be using cryptocurrencies as an instrument for growth. Cryptocurrencies will fuel the tech boom in Africa."
Dubai Claims Title of Blockchain's 'Global Capital' at Keynote Event
"We believe that Dubai is the global capital of blockchain. We know how to execute and we're creating the ecosystem."That statement, given during a talk by Wesam Lootah, CEO of the state-backed smart cities effort Dubai Smart Government, cut to the core of the message from government officials at Keynote 2017, a blockchain technology event held at the city's famed Burj Al Arab today. Featuring speakers from Dubai's Department of Economic Development, the Dubai Future Foundation and Emirates NBD, the event sought to showcase the vision city leaders have for the tech, and the ecosystem approach they have thus far taken to encouraging its development. The event took place during an active time for blockchain development in the UAE, one propelled forwarded by Dubai's crown prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has set the goal of moving all government documents to a blockchain by 2020.