Sprint, a Ghanaian fintech startup has formally shut down its operations after elevating $86 million cumulatively after being in operation for 5 years.
Most not too long ago, the cross-border funds startup with a dream to attach cellular cash wallets throughout Africa, laid off 50% of its work workers and had its CEO suspended for monetary impropriety and its failure to accumulate license from the Financial institution of Ghana, the nation’s monetary companies regulator.
In March final yr, Sprint introduced it had raised $32.8 million in an oversubscribed seed spherical led by New York-based international personal fairness and enterprise capital agency Perception Enterprise Companions, with participation from International Founders Capital and 4DX Ventures. Different buyers within the spherical embrace ASK Capital, Techstars, Guillaume Pousaz’s Zinal Progress Companions, Jitendra Gupta of Jupiter Cash, Amrish Rau, CEO of Pine Labs, the founders of Moss, executives from ProcessOut (acquired by Checkout.com), and the founders of PennyLane.
Based by Prince Boakye Boampong with a bid to create a unified funds app to extend effectivity and accessibility for the estimated 1.3 billion Africans at the moment transacting through digital funds, Sprint was inpired by M-PESA when in 2014, Mr. Boampong, whereas in Kenya witnessed the best way most unbanked Kenyans had been sending cash and paying payments with M-PESA.
In response to Prince Boakye Boampong, Founder, Sprint on the time of the launch, “As soon as I noticed that cellular cash was extra accessible to the typical Kenyan, and allowed for quicker transactions, with out the necessity for conventional banking, I knew that it was endlessly going to vary the monetary panorama in Africa, nevertheless, I additionally acknowledged that interoperability would instantly pose a problem.”
In 2020, Prince creates Sprint to be a singular different cost community that brings collectively cellular cash and conventional banks, to facilitate the processing of transactions for shoppers and companies. Sprint went on to boost funds to broaden to new markets akin to Tanzania and South Africa, in addition to get the licenses essential to function there, construct out its workforce, spend money on know-how, and launch new options.
“We’re constructing this interoperability so a Kenyan touring to Ghana or Ghanaian touring to Kenya would be capable of pay for stuff with out having to vary currencies or organising accounts once they contact the bottom .We’re taking a web page from AliPay and PayTm by constructing options that can make the lives of our customers simpler with out having to modify from totally different suppliers.” Prince added.
Earlier Sprint had raised an undisclosed seed spherical and $8 million seed fund at a later date. At its intial phases the agency recorded 200,000 customers who had executed transactions value $250 million. Then in 2021 it hit 1 million+ prospects who had been processing over $1 billion. In January 2022, Sprint had operations in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria and was reporting a Complete Processed Quantity (TPV) of over $300 million, up 3X on a month-to-month foundation from This fall 2021.
Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Perception Companions, stated “Sprint stands out towards opponents with its consumer-friendly, extremely versatile pockets choices to satisfy the wants of African shoppers. Sprint’s platform acts as infrastructure for the massive share of Africans which can be unbanked, eradicating the limitations related to every day transactions and money utilization. We sit up for working with Prince and the Sprint workforce as they proceed to develop and scale up.”
Earlier than its $32.8 million increase, Sprint had raised 8 million and $500,000 pre-seed spherical at launch. Nonetheless, Crunchbase stories present that Sprint had raised a complete of $86.1M in funding over 6 rounds. Their newest funding was raised on Oct 24, 2022 from a Debt Financing spherical. In whole, Sprint is funded by 29 buyers. TriplePoint Capital and Thierry Déo are the newest buyers.
On its launch in Kenya and Ghana, Sprint promised to assist customers simplify cash remittances, invoice funds and permit them to ship, obtain, spend and save their cash, all in a single app, with full transparency and safety. Modelled on AliPay, the founder stated he was constructing the AliPay for Africa, a unified pockets that works seamlessly throughout the continent, works seamlessly with all main Cellular Cash accounts, debit and bank cards and financial institution accounts. In two years, the startup aimed to be in no less than 8 African nations with over 10 million customers utilizing Sprint to streamline their funds on a day-to-day foundation. Nonetheless, Prince didn’t see the tip coming., so quickly!
Sprint labored so merely.
Sending and receiving cash to/from a touch consumer was FREE. Customers may ship cash throughout nations instantaneously and will additionally ship cash to any Cellular Cash consumer, 80% cheaper than conventional means. Sprint additionally allowed customers to ship cash to financial institution accounts and PayPal accounts immediately and cheaper as effectively.
For Invoice Funds, Sprint App allowed customers to pay, automate and break up payments with buddies. Customers may purchase airtime, pay for his or her Zuku, KPLC Postpaid & Tokens, DStv, GOtv, StarTimes, Safaricom House and Nairobi Water payments. It additionally allowed customers to automate these payments and would notify them 5 days earlier than the payments are due.
Sprint additionally had Sprint for enterprise, permitting funds akin to Paybill accounts & Purchase Items Until numbers straight from the Sprint app. Customers may additionally save in two methods utilizing Sprint app. Saving for a purpose, allowed one to avoid wasting in direction of that journey, charges, sneakers and so on, every day, weekly or month-to-month.
Sprint automated the financial savings to suit one’s funds, customers may earn 5% every year. Financial savings for curiosity earned as much as 15% every year utilizing this saving technique. Sprint Reserve gave customers 3.5% every year curiosity on app deposits month-to-month, no strings connected. Customers may additionally cancel, withdraw and lock their financial savings at any time. Sprint Pots had no withdrawal and deposit charges. You might save with family and friends as effectively.
Customers had been in a position to get rewards each time they transact. One may redeem rewards anytime once they reached a threshold. You might redeem airtime, knowledge bundles, KPLC tokens and extra. The app additionally had month-to-month expense stories, the place customers may see the place their cash went to with a full visible breakdown of their bills. With a buyer assist line, customers may contact them when they need a refund or have a difficulty.
Saving on Sprint additionally gave increased returns than that of Cash Market funds and T-Payments/Fastened deposits from banks. In abstract, Sprint had constructed a fantastic infrastructure and thrilling options and had been launching micro-insurance and micro investments in each native and worldwide shares earlier than they went burst. Had it not been for the founders alleged monetary impropriety, Sprint had an enormous future in Africa.
Prince has had a protracted historical past within the African startup scene and will have been used to beginning ventures for his private features. In April 11, 2014 his startup BiGxGh.com then touted as Ghana’s primary music web site, was a part of Savannah Fund’s third accelerator class with Nigeria’s UniSmart and Kenya’s Zevan. BiGxGh.com geared toward empowering Ghanaian musicians by offering them with a platform to show their artwork to Ghana music followers worldwide. BiGxGh.com had turn out to be the go-to on-line vacation spot for Ghana music associated content material and a promotional powerhouse for each established and up-and-coming artists. In 2013, the positioning had over 20 million website views. Essentially the most downloaded music on the web site has over 523,000 downloads. BiGxGh.com had been in a position to accumulate one of many largest communities of Ghana music fans on the Web and serves as a direct-link between artists and their followers. At one level, Google Ghana ranked “BiGxGhTV” as one among “Prime 4 YouTube Channels in Ghana.”
Prince Boakye Boampong’s BiGxGh.com was additionally a part of the 18 startups at Seed Stars World (SSW) Nairobi. Later in the identical yr, Bigxgh.com was re-launched as Bigx.com.gh in a transfer to make it easy for followers to find and share music on-line with only a click on of a button. The relaunch was to permit lovers of genuine Ghanaian music worldwide to create personalised playlists simply, chat with their buddies in real-time and as effectively curate the playlists they need. Customers may hearken to uninterrupted music, benefit from the newest gossip, watch movies, learn the information and way more.
“We have now constructed the primary music-streaming platform for Ghanaian music. So simply click on PLAY to start out listening to your favourite Ghanaian tunes with out trouble. Anytime, wherever,” stated Prince Boakye Boampong and Dominic Mensah who co-founded the streaming service.