Cameroonian fintech company Koree has emerged as the winner of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge, beating out nearly 1,500 other fintechs.
Koree secured $50,000 in funding without giving up any ownership stake. In second place was Wolf Technologies, a fintech company from the Democratic Republic of Congo, receiving $10,000, while Kenyan fintech Flexpay claimed third place with a $5,000 prize.
Magalie Gauze, Koree’s founder, mentioned plans to use the funds for hiring in business development and engineering. Additionally, Koree intends to establish an office in Douala, Cameroon, as their team currently works remotely across multiple countries.
Koree’s product addresses the issue of spare change in cash-based economies by utilising a card and digital wallet system, allowing merchants to give back customers’ spare change and create loyalty programs with cashback rewards.
Over the past year, Koree has registered over 11,000 users and processed more than 40,000 cash-based transactions totaling $285,000. The fintech generates revenue by charging clients a commission on transactions and a subscription fee for merchants.
Among the eight finalists in the competition were Flexpay Technologies (Kenya), IPOXcap AI (South Africa), Kastelo (South Africa), Koree (Cameroon), Kori Tech (Senegal), SmartTeller Technologies (Nigeria), Rubyx (Belgium), and Wolf Technologies (DRC).
Notably, Koree is the first francophone and woman-led fintech to win the Ecobank Fintech Challenge. The eight finalists will join the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, alongside previous alumni like Piggyvest, Touch and Pay, Moni, and Nala.
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge’s past participants have collectively raised $90 million in funding, with ten of them integrated into Ecobank’s pan-African sandbox, enabling testing of their products in 35 African countries.
This initiative has significantly contributed to Ecobank’s fintech unit’s growth, resulting in a 28% increase in digital payments, according to Dr. Tomisi Fashina, Ecobank’s group executive for operations and technology.