Block’s Cash App adopts Lightning Network for free bitcoin payments

Late last year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down from his position in order to give his full attention to his other company Square, now called Block, which had become increasingly invested in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency — just like Dorsey himself. Now we’re starting to see the results of Block’s embrace of crypto, as […]

China’s digital yuan wallet now has 260 million individual users

One of the fastest-growing apps in China right now, by installs, is the central bank’s digital yuan wallet. 261 million individual users (as opposed to enterprises), about one-fifth of the population, have set up e-CNY wallets so far, and 87.5 billion yuan ($13.78 billion) worth of transactions has been made using the digital fiat currency, […]

Fresh round of $355M lifts online checkout company Bolt into decacorn territory

Checkout technology company Bolt continues to make quick work of attracting new capital. The company announced Friday $355 million in Series E financing to give Bolt an $11 billion valuation, according to sources close to the company. Bolt’s one-click checkout product aims to give businesses the same technology Amazon has been known for since 1997, […]

Payment orchestration platform Gr4vy pulls in another $15M in a Series A extension

Retailers often build their own “orchestration” platforms for payment processing and routing, but these can be complex to maintain. Spreedly and modo play in this space, and, last year, new startup Gr4vy launched in the US to do this in an even more fleet-of-foot manner, it claimed. It raised in a $11.1M Series A last […]

Ivorian e-commerce startup ANKA, formerly Afrikrea, raises $6.2M pre-Series A

A study by McKinsey & Company on general e-commerce activities in Africa says consumer spending will reach over $2 trillion in the next three years. Much of this spending falls under the importation of products, primarily influenced by consumer demand and the positioning of major e-commerce platforms in Africa. Afrikrea, an Ivorian startup founded in […]

Regulating crypto could create American super apps

David Donovan Contributor Share on Twitter David Donovan leads the Global Financial Services Practice for the Americas for digital consultancy Publicis Sapient and is a former Fidelity Investments executive. Much of Chinese society has come to depend on so-called super apps like WeChat to do multiple tasks, from making a medical appointment to hailing a […]

Egyptian fintech Sympl raises $6M for its ‘save now, pay later’ service

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) offerings have existed for a long time, but increased in popularity as the pandemic made more people shop online and conserve cash. Though BNPL has taken off in most parts of the world, it’s yet to pick up steam in Africa. But in countries such as South Africa and Egypt, […]