Koree, a Cameroonian Fintech Emerges as Winner in the 2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge

Koree , a female-led fintech from Cameroon is the winner of the 2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge, claiming the top prize of US$50,000. Koree emerged the winner after facing fierce competition from seven other fintechs, all of whom pitched their innovative fintech solutions to an independent panel of four judges at the just ended Grand Finale held at the Ecobank Global Headquarters in Lome, Togo.

These eight finalists were carefully selected from an initial pool of over 1,400 fintechs from 64 countries, underscoring the significant growth in popularity of the competition since its inception six years ago, as well as the wealth of innovation and ingenuity, particularly on the African continent.

Koree is a card wallet application that addresses Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa spare change scarcity by digitizing cash merchant payments, while simultaneously empowering African consumers through an incentive reward system that helps them earn cashback on payments made with any payment method. Koree is building a digital data bank of cash transactions which is leveraged to offer a suite of digital financial services to consumers, local brands & retailers.

Magalie Gauze-Sanga, CEO of Koree, expressing her excitement about winning the Fintech Challenge, said: “Koree winning the Ecobank Fintech Challenge is a triumph for innovation and for diversity. We are very proud that the technological innovation we have been implementing in Cameroon for many years has been rewarded, and it is also noteworthy that this is the first time a woman has won the Ecobank Fintech Challenge grand prize. We’re excited to work with Ecobank Group across its large footprint to further transform the financial landscape in Africa by digitizing cash-based payments while simultaneously empowering millions of consumers and bringing value to local brands and retailers.”

The 2023 competition saw the return of cash prizes for the 1st and 2nd runners up. Wolf Technologies, who emerged first runner-up, was awarded US$10,000 in cash prize while Flexpay from Kenya, taking the second runner-up spot received a $5,000 cash prize.

Wolf Technologies’ Makuta is a secure ecosystem dedicated to money transfers and payments through a network of over 200 merchants, 5 mobile money operators, 5 banks, and international debit/credit cards. The solution enables users to use their Mobile Money account, e-wallet or credit card to buy from merchants who use the Makuta payment terminal. Makuta also provides third-party applications with APIs to facilitate the integration of all-in-one payment systems.

Flexpay’s "Save Now, Buy Later," is Africa's pioneering merchant-embedded saving-based purchase platform, is designed to bridge the affordability gap for the vast underbanked African population. The solution prioritizes savings over credit, driving a global movement towards conscious consumption and enhanced financial literacy. FlexPay empowers individuals with the ability to purchase essential goods and services without the burden of traditional credit models, offering them a sustainable and credit-free way to buy.

The other five competing Fintechs at the 2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge Grand Finale were IPOXCap AI from South Africa, Rubyx from Senegal, SmartTeller from Nigeria, KoriTech from Senegal, and Kastelo from South Africa.