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Kenyan FinTech and gamified finance mobile app Alvin Technologies "Alvin" has successfully raised $740K in its latest funding round. The Pre-Seed round was led by Niger-based Ingressive Capital with participation from Dubai-based Tahseen Consulting and leading angel investors like Paystack’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Shola Akinlade. Other notable investors included Zephyr Acorn, Voltron Capital, Future Africa, and strategic angels who were early investors and advisors to leading tech African and global tech companies like Stitch, Omnisient, Bamboo, Bolt, Uber, Bird, and Airbnb.
Launching its Beta Version in 2021, Alvin has designed a mobile app that uses gamified finance, automated budgeting, and location-triggered notifications to help users spend smarter, save more, and pay down debt. Through this smart mobile finance manager app, the Kenya-based startup is helping users align their daily spending behaviors to their ultimate saving or debt repayment goals, building users’ proactive attitudes towards saving and making more money in Africa.
The Fintech sector in Emerging Venture Markets has raised the lion’s share of funding in 2021, accounting for more than 30% of all VC capital deployed throughout the year. The stellar 550% YoY funding growth in the FinTech sector across MEAPT & Africa in 2021 was driven by a keen investor focus and scalable venture opportunities. At the forefront of the FinTech growth in Africa in 2021 were startups building mobile technologies and digital solutions for serving unbanked communities and creating payment & saving alternatives; of which digital platforms like Opay, TymeBank, and Flutterwave as well as mobile-focused solutions like Wave Mobile Money all raised the highest Megadeals in 2021.
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Now only available in Kenya, the Alvin app is currently in private beta. It features automated expense tracking for mobile money and the ability to create a budget in two minutes. It also shows users how much they can spend on things like groceries, entertainment, and rent each month based on their income and savings goals. Alvin will also eventually launch an embedded finance API that will enable wealth managers and other apps, like ridesharing platforms, to offer high-interest savings products and other embedded financial services. “Utilizing mobile phone and spending data to enable retail investors to set aside money to achieve savings goals and make smart money moves that build wealth is a growing trend in emerging digital economies. Similar to the United States in 2021, 2022 in Africa could be the The Year of the Retail Investor. Africa’s retail investing boom is being fueled by startups like Bamboo, Stitch, and Omnisient which are democratizing retail investing through easy-to-use investing apps, seamless payments and transfers, and reaching credit invisibles,” said Wes Schwalje, Chief Operating Officer of Tahseen Consulting.
Lower-interest rates, high minimums account requirements, and the slow adoption of technology by commercial banks have pushed Africans towards fintech alternatives to traditional banks. At the same time, much of the financial inclusion gains made in Africa have come from mobile money, payments, and credit rather than product segments like savings and investment. Africa’s young, digitally-savvy consumers are now seeking digital solutions that enable them to more easily and conveniently protect and grow their money. Alvin’s technology is already being used by leading African wealth managers which have accelerated its international expansion plans. The Alvin app will launch publicly in Kenya in the next few months, and it will expand to Nigeria in the latter half of 2022. The Kenyan FinTech will utilize its newly acquired funds to expand Alvin’s team, accelerate product development, and speed up expansion.
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