Posted on

Vroom Gains 117% on IPO Listing Date

Vroom gained 117% on its initial public offering date, June 9. Its initial offering price was $22 at the opening bell. In early trading, shares moved as high as $46. At the closing bell, the stock finished at around $45 for a 117% gain.

The company listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Exchange. Investment banks supporting the offering include Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (GS), BofA Securities (BOC), Allen & Company LLC, Wells Fargo Securities (WFC), Stifel, William Blair, Baird, JMP Securities (JPM) and Wedbush Securities.

For the balance sheet, the company raised $467.5 million. However, the underwriters also have 30 days to buy an additional 3.1875 million common stock shares at the initial $22 price.

Company background

Vroom is an online property that serves as a marketplace for the buying and selling of used cars. The company has its headquarters in New York City. It was founded in 2013. Up until the public offering, it has raised around $450 million from several venture capitalists and private equity investors. Some of its biggest pre-IPO investors have included AutoNation (AN), T. Rowe Price and Cascade Investments.

From Vroom.com, customers can buy, sell or trade a vehicle. Sellers provide details of their vehicle and Vroom returns with an offer as well as pick up for the inventory. For buyers, Vroom offers financing options through banking partners. Cars in inventory range from around $6,000 to $75,000.

Financials

Top-line sales were strong for the company in 2019. Revenue for the year was $1.2 billion. Growth in cost of goods sold (COGS) was nearly matching revenue.

In 2019, the company grew retail vehicle sales by 45%, wholesale vehicle sales by 22% and net product sales by 21%. COGS were also up 43%, wiping out much of the pure sales for a gross profit decrease of 5% year-over-year. First quarter results for 2020 were much better, with gross profit up 53% and COGS increasing 60% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Below the revenue line, the company’s operating profit and net profit are non-existent. The operating loss for 2019 was $133.1 million and the net loss was $143 million. The company also has some accretion of redeemable convertible preferred stock after the net profit amounting to a total net loss of $275.7 million for a net loss per share of $64 in 2019.

The company is showing a net worth of -$573.9 million. The IPO adds $467.5 million, improving their net worth to around -$106 million. Assets ended 2019 with a value of $563 million, helped by an increase of 78% in inventory assets at $206 million.

Looking to the future

In my view, Vroom has an exciting business model with opportunities to buy, sell and trade-in vehicles. It’s certainly seeing increased demand with total revenue up 39% in 2019 and 60% quarter-over-quarter for the first quarter of 2020.

When it comes to expenses, the company’s COGS are high. Operating profit and net profit are also deep into the negative millions. Watching the second quarter earnings release will be critical.

Disclosure: I own shares of VRM.

Not a Premium Member of GuruFocus? Sign up for a free 7-day trial here.

About the author:

Julie Young

Julie Young is a financial writer with comprehensive experience in the financial services industry. She writes about investments, investment products, financial market news and economic trends. Julie has a Master of Science in finance from Boston College and a Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Arkansas.

Read More

Posted on

The IPO class of 2020 – Yahoo Finance

rally in equities has encouraged companies looking to debut publicly, to strike the iron while it’s hot.” data-reactid=”17″>The IPO class of 2020 is, so far, receiving a warm welcome from the public markets. The recent rally in equities has encouraged companies looking to debut publicly, to strike the iron while it’s hot.

“They did all of their number crunching, updated their filings, and many of them are ready to go,” says Patrick Healy, CEO of Issuer Network, a consultant for companies going through initial public offerings.

“The IPO window is open again,” said Healy, especially for certain industries amid coronavirus.

“If you’re in tech and biotech, you’re in high demand. Your valuation is going to be acceptable, and in some cases, even higher than it was before,” he added.

This year, investors can expect to see most of the IPO action in June, July, and August.

“Even though it’s the dog days of summer, this is the window,” said Healy, “Because the markets got shut down prior through essentially Memorial Day.”

“Anybody who is going to get out, is going to get out over the summer,” he said, noting companies will likely avoid listing past September for fear of “elections volatility.”

eight companies and one special purpose acquisition company list on the major exchanges. Bigger deals could perhaps come in the weeks ahead, including:” data-reactid=”25″>This week alone, eight companies and one special purpose acquisition company list on the major exchanges. Bigger deals could perhaps come in the weeks ahead, including:

reportedly filed confidentially for an IPO, with a February round of funding valuing the company at $12.4 billion.” data-reactid=”26″>Snowflake: The cloud data company reportedly filed confidentially for an IPO, with a February round of funding valuing the company at $12.4 billion.

amended its S-1 filing after submitting paperwork in March to list on the New York Stock Exchange.” data-reactid=”27″>Albertsons Cos: In May, the supermarket chain company amended its S-1 filing after submitting paperwork in March to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

plans to offer 70,000,000 shares with a price range of of $25- $28 each, raising up to $1.96 billion.” data-reactid=”28″>Royalty Pharma: The company plans to offer 70,000,000 shares with a price range of of $25- $28 each, raising up to $1.96 billion.

recently filed to go public, targeting to raise $100 million.” data-reactid=”29″>Lemonade: The renters’ and homeowners’ insurance marketplace backed by Softbank recently filed to go public, targeting to raise $100 million.

the company said it had filed confidentially to go public.” data-reactid=”30″>DoorDash: In February, just days after the market highs and at the beginning of the meltdown, the company said it had filed confidentially to go public.

Shift4 Payments, Inc. rings The Opening Bell on Friday, June 5, 2020, in New York. The New York Stock Exchange welcomes Shift4 Payments, Inc. (New York Stock Exchange via AP Images)

there have been 43 IPOs, including:” data-reactid=”44″>So far in 2020, there have been 43 IPOs, including:

VRM): Vroom shares surged 118% in its debut on June 9. The e-commerce platform opened at $40.25 despite its initial public offering being priced at $22 per share.” data-reactid=”45″>Vroom (VRM): Vroom shares surged 118% in its debut on June 9. The e-commerce platform opened at $40.25 despite its initial public offering being priced at $22 per share.

WMG): The company raised $1.9 billion during its debut, making it the biggest IPO of the year so far. On June 3, shares soared +17% on WMG’s first day of trading after pricing its IPO at $25 per share.” data-reactid=”46″>Warner Music Group (WMG): The company raised $1.9 billion during its debut, making it the biggest IPO of the year so far. On June 3, shares soared +17% on WMG’s first day of trading after pricing its IPO at $25 per share.

ZI): The cloud based platform for sales and marketing teams, raised almost $1 billion when it priced its IPO at $21/share. The stock closed over 60% higher on its first day of trading.” data-reactid=”47″>ZoomInfo (ZI): The cloud based platform for sales and marketing teams, raised almost $1 billion when it priced its IPO at $21/share. The stock closed over 60% higher on its first day of trading.

NKLA): On June 3, the electric car startup did a ‘reverse IPO’ by merging with VectoIQ, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company. On Monday, June 8, shares closed up over 100% after announcing the pre-order date for Nikola’s fuel-cell pickup truck, Badger.” data-reactid=”48″>Nikola Motor (NKLA): On June 3, the electric car startup did a ‘reverse IPO’ by merging with VectoIQ, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company. On Monday, June 8, shares closed up over 100% after announcing the pre-order date for Nikola’s fuel-cell pickup truck, Badger.

UCL): The Chinese cloud company priced its IPO at $18 a share. Shares opened at $22.50 on June 10, up more than 6% during the first minutes of trading.” data-reactid=”49″>Ucloudlink Group (UCL): The Chinese cloud company priced its IPO at $18 a share. Shares opened at $22.50 on June 10, up more than 6% during the first minutes of trading.

FOUR): The company, which processes transactions for over 200,000 businesses, priced its IPO above its range, at $23 a share. Shares on its first day of trading soared 45%.” data-reactid=”50″>Shift4 Payments (FOUR): The company, which processes transactions for over 200,000 businesses, priced its IPO above its range, at $23 a share. Shares on its first day of trading soared 45%.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE – The New York Stock Exchange welcomes Shift4 Payments, Inc. (NYSE: FOUR) in celebration of its IP on Friday, June 5, 2020, in New York. (New York Stock Exchange via AP Images)

‘The confidence to reignite’

told Yahoo Finance why his company decided to go for it. “We had tons of data, and we started to see the recovery … really accelerate in May. That’s what gave us the confidence to kind of reignite the IPO process and get it going.”” data-reactid=”67″>Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman told Yahoo Finance why his company decided to go for it. “We had tons of data, and we started to see the recovery … really accelerate in May. That’s what gave us the confidence to kind of reignite the IPO process and get it going.”

50-day market rally in history following the March 23rd lows. The initial public offering market last year started out strong, and fizzled out in the fall following the WeWork debacle.” data-reactid=”68″>This year’s parade of IPO’s come amid the biggest 50-day market rally in history following the March 23rd lows. The initial public offering market last year started out strong, and fizzled out in the fall following the WeWork debacle.

As with last year, a company’s growth prospect is where investors are focusing. “I wouldn’t say profitability is a requirement to go public. The road to profitability is what investors are interested in,” said Healy.

UBER) and (Lyft) that still haven’t turned a profit, and they’ve been public for over a year,” he added.” data-reactid=”70″>“You’ve got Uber (UBER) and (Lyft) that still haven’t turned a profit, and they’ve been public for over a year,” he added.

@ines_ferre” data-reactid=”71″>Ines covers the U.S. stock market for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

  • The ‘single biggest takeaway from Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting: top Buffett watcher

  • Warren Buffett: “Thank you Dr. Fauci”

  • It would be unprecedented for a bear market to be this short: Wells Fargo Strategist

  • Recent rally could be a ‘bear market trap’: Miller Tabak Strategist

  • A view from the trading floor: Algorithms having ‘outsized impact’ amid coronavirus impact

  • Find live stock market quotes and the latest business and finance news” data-reactid=”79″>Find live stock market quotes and the latest business and finance news

    For tutorials and information on investing and trading stocks, check out Cashay” data-reactid=”80″>For tutorials and information on investing and trading stocks, check out Cashay

    TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardLinkedIn, and reddit.” data-reactid=”81″>Follow Yahoo Finance on TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardLinkedIn, and reddit.

    Read More

    Posted on

    Vaccine maker Vaxcyte upsizes IPO and prices at top end of range – MarketWatch

    Vaxcyte Inc.
    pcvx
    priced its initial public offering late Thursday at $16 a share, the top end of its price range, and upzied the deal to 15.6 million shares from earlier plans to sell just 14 million. The company raised $249.6 million. The shares will start trading on Nasdaq later Friday under the ticker symbol “PCVX.” BofA Securities, Jefferies and Evercore ISI were lead underwriters on the deal with Cantor and Needham acting as co-managers. “We are a next-generation vaccine company seeking to improve global health by developing superior and novel vaccines designed to prevent or treat some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide,” says the prospectus. Proceeds of the deal will be used top fund clinical development and for general corporate purposes.

    Read More

    Posted on

    IPO Preview: Akouos Begins US IPO Process – TheStreet

    Akouos (AKUS) intends to raise $100 million in an IPO of its common stock, according to an S-1 registration statement.

    The company is developing treatments for genetic-based hearing loss.

    AKUS won’t enter trials for its lead candidate until 2021, with initial data readout not until 2022, so the IPO is likely more suited to institutional investors.

    I’ll provide an update when we learn more about the IPO from management.

    Boston, Massachusetts-based Akouos was founded to create a precision genetic medicine platform to develop AAV-delivered gene therapies for various types of hearing loss.

    Management is led by co-founder, president and CEO Emmanuel Simons, Ph.D, who was previously in senior roles at Voyager Therapeutics and Warp Drive Bio.

    Below is an interview of co-founder and CEO Simons:

    Source: Harvard Business School

    The firm’s lead candidate, AK-OTOF, is in preclinical development stage for the treatment of OTOF-mediated hearing loss.

    Below is the current status of the company’s drug development pipeline:

    Source: Company S-1 Filing

    Investors in the firm have invested at least $162.7 million and include 5AM Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Novartis Venture Fund (NVS), Partners Innovation Fund, RA Capital Management, Sofinnova Investments and a number of other venture capital and private equity firms.

    According to management, it believes the addressable market for its AK-OTOF treatment is approximately 7,000 individuals, ‘which is a subset of the total population of individuals with hearing loss due to mutations in the otoferlin, or OTOF, gene in the United States and European Union in the aggregate.’

    Major competitive vendors that provide or are developing treatments include:

    • Decibel Therapeutics
    • Frequency Therapeutics
    • Otonomy
    • Applied Genetic Technologies
    • Sensorion SA

    Management says its approach to developing treatments for various inner ear disorders is a function of leveraging its selection platform.

    The firm intends to also seek the development of genetic treatments for ‘the most common forms of hearing loss, such as age-related and noise-induced hearing loss.’

    Akouos’ recent financial results are typical of a preclinical stage biopharma in that they feature no revenue and significant R&D and G&A costs associated with advancing its pipeline of treatment candidates.

    Below are the company’s financial results for the past two and ¼ years (Audited PCAOB for full years):

    Source: Company registration statement

    As of March 31, 2020, the company had $120.2 million in cash and $21.7 million in total liabilities. (Unaudited, interim)

    Akouos intends to raise $100 million in gross proceeds from an IPO of its common stock, although the final amount may be different.

    No existing shareholders have indicated an interest to purchase shares at the IPO price, although I would expect to see this typical form of investor ‘support’ in a later filing.

    Management says it will use the net proceeds from the IPO to ‘advance the clinical development of AK-OTOF for the treatment of OTOF-mediated hearing loss, to initiate clinical development of our additional product candidates, anti-VEGF, CLRN1, and GJB2, to continue preclinical development of our other product candidates and development programs, including our autosomal dominant hearing disorder and our hair cell regeneration programs, to establish internal manufacturing capabilities of 250-liter capacity, and the remainder for working capital and other general corporate purposes.’

    Management’s presentation of the company roadshow is not available.

    Listed bookrunners of the IPO are BofA Securities, Cowen, Piper Sandler & Co., and BTIG.

    Commentary

    Akouos is seeking a public investment capital for its preclinical stage pipeline of genetic treatment candidates for hearing loss.

    However, the firm’s lead candidate won’t get into Phase 1 safety trials until at least 2021 and management expects preliminary data readout in 2022, assuming no Covid19 delays.

    The market opportunities for various genetic hearing loss conditions are significant, although the longer term hope is that the firm can apply its knowledge to developing treatments for more common hearing loss conditions.

    Management has disclosed no development or commercial collaborations, but the firm’s investor syndicate includes big pharma firm Novartis.

    Added to that, AKUS’ investor syndicate is quite large and includes some highly respected life science investor names.

    BofA Securities is the lead left underwriter and IPOs led by the firm over the last 12-month period have generated an average return of 41.6% since their IPO. This is a top-tier performance for all major underwriters during the period.

    Due to the firm’s preclinical stage of development, the IPO may be more suited to long-term holding institutional investors, as the IPO appears to be more of a venture financing round.

    When we learn more details about the IPO’s pricing and valuation assumptions, I’ll provide a final opinion.

    Expected IPO Pricing Date: To be announced.

    (I have no position in any stocks mentioned as of the article date, no plans to initiate any positions within the next 48 hours, and no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. Information provided is for educational purposes only, may be incomplete or out of date, and does not constitute financial, legal, or investment advice.)

    Read More

    Posted on

    Quicken Loans, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, is planning an IPO, sources say

    Dan Gilbert, CEO, Quicken Loans

    Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

    Quicken Loans, the largest mortgage lender in America, is planning an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter. 

    The company, founded and owned by Detroit-billionaire Dan Gilbert, has filed its IPO prospectus confidentially, the people said, and may flip it to be public as soon as next month. 

    Quicken Loans is working with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan to manage the deal, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information. The targeted valuation is still being decided, but it is likely in the tens of billions of dollars, one of the people said. That would imply a multi-billion-dollar IPO, one of the largest – if not the largest – this year. 

    The company is personified by Gilbert, who started the predecessor of the company 35 years ago. He’s the chairman and majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and credited with revitalizing downtown Detroit. Gilbert and his wife joined Warren Buffett, and Bill and Melinda Gates’ “Giving Pledge,” to donate a majority of their wealth to charity. Forbes pegged Gilbert’s wealth at $7.8 billion. 

    Mortgage rates set a new record low on Thursday thanks to falling interest rates, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage reaching 2.97 percent, according to Mortgage News Daily. Low rates have encouraged homeowners to refinance. 

    Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner said on CNBC in mid-April that March was the “biggest closing month in our company’s history — nearly $21 billion in mortgages closed.” He said on CNBC that the company was estimating nearly $75 billion in mortgage applications in the second quarter, compared with almost $53 billion in the first quarter.

    Quicken Loans, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan declined to comment on the company’s plans for an IPO. 

     The window for initial public offerings has burst open in recent days, with debut listings from Warner Music Group, ZoomInfo and Vroom soaring on their first days of trading. That has encouraged other companies to jumpstart their processes to take advantage of a broader equity market that seemed hospitable to new issuances. 

    Volatility is the enemy of IPOs, however, and that spiked on Thursday as the market sold off. 

    In late May of 2019, Gilbert suffered an ischemic stroke on the right side of his brain, according to an interview he gave to Crain’s Detroit Business in February. He is working on improving his strength and motor skills that were impaired by the stroke, the article said.

    Read More

    Posted on

    IPO Launch: Kingsoft Cloud Holdings Seeks $425 Million In US IPO – TheStreet

    Kingsoft Cloud (KC) has launched its IPO to raise $425 million from the sale of ADSs representing underlying ordinary shares, per an amended F-1/A registration statement.

    The company sells a suite of cloud-based service offerings to enterprises in Asia.

    KC has produced strong revenue growth but no significant gross profit and continues to generate large operating losses and operational cash burn.

    My opinion on the IPO is Neutral.

    Beijing, China-based Kingsoft was created to provide enterprises with complementary cloud services as an alternative to their on-premise information technology systems.

    Kingsoft is a spinoff from Hong Kong-listed Kingsoft Corporation (HK:3888).

    Management is led by Chief Executive Officer Mr. Yulin Wang, who has been with the firm since 2012 and was previously EVP at Phoenix New Media Limited and COO at CNEC.

    Below is a brief overview video of the Kingsoft Cloud antivirus system:

    Source: languy99

    The company’s primary offerings include:

    • Compute
    • Networking
    • Storage & CDN
    • Database
    • Data Analysis
    • Security

    Kingsoft has received $1.1 billion in investment from investors including parent firm Kingsoft, Xiaomi (XIACF) and FutureX.

    Kingsoft is the largest independent cloud service provider in China and focuses its efforts by industry vertical: gaming, video and financial services.

    The firm looks to enter each vertical by seeking marquee customers to be able to demonstrate its capabilities and market more efficiently to other prospects in the vertical.

    Selling and marketing expenses as a percentage of total revenue have been dropping as revenues have increased.

    The Selling and Marketing efficiency rate, defined as how many dollars of additional new revenue are generated by each dollar of Selling and marketing spend, was a very strong 5.3x in the most recent reporting period.

    According to a 2020 market research report by Allied Market Research, the global market for cloud services of all types reached a value of $265 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $928 billion by 2027.

    This represents a forecast 16.4% from 2020 to 2027.

    The main drivers for this expected growth are a large and continued transition by enterprises worldwide from on-premises systems to cloud environments and ongoing innovation in cloud system offerings by service providers.

    A Frost & Sullivan report commissioned by Kingsoft shows the expected growth of various sectors in China as shown in the chart below:

    Kingsoft’s recent financial results can be summarized as follows:

    • Sharply growing topline revenue
    • Little gross profit and low gross margin
    • Large and growing operating losses
    • High and increasing cash used in operations

    Below are the firm’s recent operational results:

    Source: Kingsoft Cloud F-1 Filing

    As of December 31, 2019, Kingsoft had $290.6 million in cash and $358.2 million in total liabilities.

    Free cash flow during the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, was a negative ($206.6 million).

    KC intends to sell 25 million ADSs representing ordinary shares at a midpoint price of $17.00 per ADS for gross proceeds of approximately $425 million, not including the sale of customary underwriter options.

    Existing and external shareholders have indicated an interest to purchase shares of up to $125 million at the IPO price, an unusual signal of support by investors.

    Assuming a successful IPO at the midpoint of the proposed price range, the company’s enterprise value at IPO would approximate $4.2 billion.

    Excluding effects of underwriter options and private placement shares or restricted stock, if any, the float to outstanding shares ratio will be approximately 12.5%.

    Per the firm’s most recent regulatory filing, the firm plans to use the net proceeds as follows:

    • approximately 50% to further invest in upgrading and expanding our infrastructure;
    • approximately 25% to further invest in technology and product development, especially in artificial intelligence, big data, cloud technologies and internet of things;
    • approximately 15% to fund the expansion of our ecosystem and international presence;
    • and approximately 10% to supplement our working capital for general corporate purposes.

    Management’s presentation of the company roadshow is not available.

    Listed underwriters of the IPO are J.P. Morgan, UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse and CICC.

    Commentary

    Kingsoft is seeking significant U.S. public capital investment as it spins out of parent firm Kingsoft.

    The firm’s financials show strong revenue growth, barely breakeven gross profit, large & increasing operating losses and growing use of cash in operations.

    Sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of total revenue has dropped and the sales and marketing efficiency rate is a strong 5.3x.

    The market opportunity for helping enterprises transition from on-premises systems to the cloud is an extremely large and multi-decade market, so the firm enjoys favorable tailwinds in terms of market dynamics.

    On the legal side, like many Chinese firms seeking to tap U.S. markets, the firm operates within a VIE structure or Variable Interest Entity.U.S. investors would only have an interest in an offshore firm with contractual rights to the firm’s operational results but would not own the underlying assets.

    This is a legal gray area that brings the risk of management changing the terms of the contractual agreement or the Chinese government altering the legality of such arrangements. Prospective investors in the IPO would need to factor in this important structural uncertainty.

    Comparing KC’s proposed Enterprise Value /Revenue multiple of 7.48 to the NYU Stern School’s aggregate basket of publicly held Software (System & Application) category, which had an EV/Sales multiple of 8.77 in January, 2020, the IPO appears reasonably valued from that perspective.

    However, the firm has barely been able to generate gross profit, let alone operating or net profit.

    It is common to see high growth enterprise software firms generate significant gross profit while producing operating losses.

    KC is producing no gross profit plus generating large operating and net losses.

    While I’m bullish about the industry KC operates in, I’m not too excited about its financial results, so my opinion on the IPO is NEUTRAL.

    Expected IPO Pricing Date: May 7, 2020.

    (I have no positions in any stocks mentioned as of the article date, no plans to initiate any positions within the next 48 hours, and no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. Information provided is for educational purposes only, may be incomplete or out of date, and does not constitute financial, legal, or investment advice.)

    Read More

    Posted on

    Why COVID-19 could delay Interswitch, Africa’s next big IPO – TechCrunch

    The economic effects of COVID-19 could delay Africa’s next big IPO — that of Nigerian fintech unicorn Interswitch.

    If so, it wouldn’t be the first time the Lagos-based payments company’s plans for going public were postponed; the tech world has been anticipating Interswitch’s stock market debut since 2016.

    For the continent’s innovation ecosystem, there’s a lot riding on the digital finance company’s IPO. After e-commerce venture Jumia, it would become only the second listing of a VC-backed African tech company on a major exchange. And Interswitch’s stock market debut — when it occurs — could bring more investor attention and less controversy to the region’s startup scene.

    What is Interswitch?

    TechCrunch reached out to Interswitch on the window for listing, but the company declined to comment. The tech firm’s path from startup to IPO aspirant traces back to the vision of founder Mitchell Elegbe, a Nigerian electrical engineering graduate whose entire career has pretty much been Interswitch.

    Africa’s tech scene is still fairly young, but it does have a timeline with several definitive points. An early one would be the success of mobile money in East Africa, with the launch of Safaricom’s M-Pesa in 2007. Another is the notable wave of VC-backed startups and founders that launched around 2010.

    Interswitch CEO Mitchell Elegbe (Photo Credits: Interswitch)

    With Interswtich, Elegbe pre-dated both by a number of years, founding his fintech company back in 2002 to connect Nigeria’s largely disconnected banking system. The firm became a pioneer of the infrastructure to digitize Nigeria’s economy.

    Interswitch created the first electronic switch whereby Nigerian financial institutions could communicate and thereby operate ATMs and point of sales operations. The company now provides much of the rails for Nigeria’s online banking system.

    Read More