Cameroonian fintech startup Koree has secured a $50,000 cash prize as the champion of the annual Ecobank Fintech Challenge, an initiative organized by the pan-African bank Ecobank Group to nurture innovative startups through financial rewards and ongoing support.
In this year’s competition, Koree, hailing from Cameroon, stood out with its card wallet payment solution, which transforms merchant payments into a digital format. Established in September 2022, Koree enables consumers to digitally accumulate spare change from cash transactions and receive cashback rewards from various stores and brands across different categories.
Koree emerged as the top winner, claiming the $50,000 first prize. Notably, Koree is the first female-led winner in the history of the challenge. Wolf Technology from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) secured the second position, earning $10,000, while Kenya’s Flexpay Technologies became the second runner-up.
All three of these startups, along with the other five finalists, have been admitted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship program. This program offers fintech companies the opportunity to explore potential commercial partnerships with Ecobank, including the possibility of seamless integration with the bank’s platforms and the potential for expanding their fintech endeavors across Ecobank’s 35 African markets.
Magalie Gauze-Sanga, CEO of Koree, expressed her enthusiasm, saying, “Koree winning the Ecobank Fintech Challenge is a triumph for innovation and 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 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.”
Jeremy Awori, CEO of Ecobank Group, commended this year’s eight finalists for their exceptional innovation and promise. He expressed eagerness to collaborate with them to develop groundbreaking products, services, and solutions that would ultimately benefit Ecobank’s customers and contribute to the advancement of the African continent. He emphasized that establishing sustainable partnerships with fintechs and the broader tech ecosystem remains a viable strategy in their quest to deliver convenient and affordable services to their customers.