Cameroon’s Koree scoops Ecobank fintech grand prize
Koree, a Cameroonian fintech firm, has been named the overall winner of the 2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge.
A team of judges made the announcement this week during the competition's grand finale, held at the bank's headquarters, at the Pan African Centre in Lomé, Togo.
An independent panel of five judges were impressed by Koree’s card wallet payment solution, which digitises merchant payments.
The judges placed Koree ahead of seven other fintech finalists, namely: Flexpay Technologies (Kenya), IPOXcap AI (South Africa), Kastelo (South Africa), Kori Tech (Senegal), Smart Teller Technologies (Nigeria), Rubyx (Belgium), and Wolf Technologies (DRC).
This shortlist had been chosen from a pool of over 1,400 fintechs from 64 countries.
Koree was named the overall winner after three rounds of judging and will earn a cash reward of $50,000. First runner-up Wolf Technologies will claim $10,000, while Flexpay Technologies, the second runner-up, will receive $5,000.
Along with the other seven finalists, Koree was inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, which allows fintech entrepreneurs to explore prospective commercial collaborations with Ecobank. The opportunities include the possibility of integration with the bank's systems and potentially leveraging Ecobank's footprint for entry into 35 African markets.
Since its start in 2017, the Ecobank Fintech Challenge has received over 5,500 submissions, of which 60 fintechs have been inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship.
"This year's eight finalists have demonstrated exceptional innovation and promise," said Jeremy Awori, CEO, Ecobank Group.
He added: “We are convinced that forging sustainable partnerships with fintechs and the overall tech ecosystem remains a viable strategy in our pursuit of delivering convenient, affordable services to our customers.”
Magalie Gauze-Sanga, CEO of Koree, said: “We are quite pleased that the technological innovation that we have been implementing in Cameroon for many years has been recognised, and it is also worth noting that this is the first time a woman has received the Ecobank Fintech Challenge prize.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Ecobank Group throughout its extensive presence to further revolutionise Africa's financial landscape by digitising cash-based payments, empowering millions of people and adding value to local companies and retailers."