When it comes to discussions about fintech in Africa, we hardly hear of francophone Africa. The French-speaking parts of Africa do not reign in discussions and topics involving fintech in Africa. Most of the fintech news come from startups in Nigeria, South Africa and East Africa. Although it might seem like there are no fintech startups or companies in the French-speaking parts of Africa, Bizao is here to change that notion.
The fintech company started in 2019 in Ganvie, Benin Republic and was founded by Aurélien Duval-Delort and is working on a combination of services it intends to provide. Ganvie is a lake village in Benin Republic with a population of about 35,000 people. The three main services the fintech startups intends to provide include; merchant payment, carrier billing and money transfer.
According to Bizao’s founder, the startup’s mission is to make contributions to a more inclusive economy by taking advantage of the power mobile payment has. The founder revealed that building a fintech centered around Africa came to him as an idea while he worked as the Head of Innovation Department for Africa at Orange, a French multinational company.
The founder’s original idea was to build a single API product that could bring all of Orange’s affiliates rustler and keep them connected, seeing that many companies wanted to work the telecoms company; Orange at that time.
He ended up with Bizao and almost two years later, he has been able to create a successful network of payment across French-speaking countries in Africa. According to the company’s founder, Bizao has processed almost 300 million transacted since it started in 2019.
The fintech’s payment system consists of various partnerships. For instance, international payment channels- Visa and MasterCard that make international transfers possible, telecoms companies including MTN, Orange, Moov, etc., and pan-African banks which are majorly Ecobank, UBA and Orabank.
The product that Bizao is most proud of is its direct billing service that is currently available in all the countries where Bizao is operational.
Bizao’s major source of revenue is the charges and commissions on transactions carried out on the platform and this is just like how many other fimtech companies get their revenue.
It is important to know that Bizao sprang out of Orange and has its headquarters in France even though the founder emphasizes a lot on ‘Africaness’
According to him, 80% of Bizao’s staff is African and the IT team is stationed in Dakar and a product team stationed in Abidjan in Cote d’ivoire.
Bizao’s big vision is to move beyond where is now into the whole of Africa and beyond while providing a dependable network of financial services that cuts across every town and city, and is effective.