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FEB 2024 NEWS TOMILOLA TOBUN, AJIBOLA ASOLO AND OLUDARE SENBORE

Introduction

Nigeria’s financial technology (fintech) industry has experienced unprecedented growth over the last decade, and this has transformed the country’s financial landscape. The fintech industry offers innovative solutions by facilitating financial payments, access to credits and consumer financing solutions, flexible savings, and investment products. A sizeable youth population, increased smartphone penetration, and regulatory developments have engineered a thriving fintech industry in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Between 2014 and 2019, the fintech industry in Nigeria raised more than $600 million in funding, and in 2019, the total value of investments in fintech companies worldwide reached $216.8 billion. However, from 2020 to date, the industry has experienced a downward investment trend.

In 2023, the global fintech market experienced some challenges such as global economic instability, high levels of inflation and interest rates, foreign exchange fluctuations, depressed valuations, and other macroeconomic issues. There was also the general scepticism and cutbacks from international private equity investors and venture capital firms.

In spite of these challenges and uncertainties, there have been notable collaborations and partnerships in the fintech sector. Some of the collaborations have taken the form of corporate reorganisations, such as spinoffs, carve-outs, buy-outs, mergers and acquisitions (M&As), thereby creating strategic avenues for companies to gain a competitive edge, expand market presence, and explore new technologies.

These reorganisations appear to be driven not only by cost efficiency and increased profitability but the need to stay afloat in spite of the recent funding drought, significant increase in cash burn rates, and failed financial projections for growth. Reorganisations have also been driven by regulations, tax efficiency, and investor-compelled corporate governance imperatives that must be met.

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