The African startup ecosystem is starting to take off, with startups raising over 4.27 billion US Dollars in 2021. This record quadrupled the 1.1 billion USD that was pumped into the continent in 2020. The ecosystem has often been ignored, but African startups have started making waves, catching the eye of leading international organizations.
One of the startups shaping the future of the African continent is Chapa, established in 2020 by a team of engineers, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Chapa, an Ethiopian Financial Service and Data Engineering startup, is aiming to simplify payment and trading methods for companies in the region. This week we caught up with Israel Goytom, Co-Founder and CTO at Chapa, to find out more about the future of the company!
Startup Name: Chapa
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date founded: January 2020
Number of employees: 20
Vonage API used: SMS
We are building payment infrastructure for ambitious Ethiopian businesses.
Fragmented payments in Ethiopia have been a significant problem for most Ethiopian businesses and entrepreneurs. We are essentially and primarily focusing on fixing and providing solutions for payment & transaction issues that are predominant in developing countries, mainly in East Africa. We have acquired and established holy-grail tools, exclusive techniques, and methodologies to ensure the production of qualified hi-tech fixes for our customers.
We don't build a product; instead, we build a solution. We are customer-centric, and first understand our users and then build a solution.
Angel investment so far.
The regulations and policies were one of the biggest challenges we have faced. We had to show the government that Fintech was necessary for the economy.
We underestimated the most prominent companies. We initially thought SMEs were the only businesses that have payment-related problems, but we were wrong.
You can choose one to be on your board: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Who do you choose and why?
Bill Gates knows how to apply his knowledge to real-world problems. As a board member, I believe he will make us fight for everything.
Notification is everything when you build a customer-centric product. We use Vonage’s SMS APIs to notify our users of every transaction they make.
We built a product that transacted more than USD 6,000,000 in less than four months.
Our mission is to connect Ethiopia to the global economy. By 2025, we will empower 100,000 businesses, developers and entrepreneurs with our P2P products, platform, and payment APIs.
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