Difference between revisions of "Cellulant"

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[[File: African_Innovation_Cellulant.jpg | thumb | right | 250px | Cellulant Co-Founders: Bolaji Akinboro and Ken Njoroge Picture: Footprint in Africa]]
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{{Infobox company
Cellulant, an African digital payments service provider, raised USD 47.5 million to transform financial technology services across the continent, reaching 40 million people across 11 African countries. The deal is the largest involving a FinTech company that does business only in Africa, according to a press statement on Monday by the Rise Fund, managed by TPG Growth, which led the funding round. Investments are also being made by Endeavor Catalyst and Satya Capital.
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| name = Cellulant
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| logo = [[File: Cellulant-logo.png | thumb | centre | 250px | Cellulant Corporation, a Nairobi-based digital payment service provider.]]
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| type =
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| founder = [[Ken Njoroge]] and Bolaji Akinboro
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| area_served =
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| key_people =
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| industry = [[digital payments]]
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| services =
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| aum =
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| num_employees =
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| divisions =
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| homepage = {{URL|http://cellulant.com/}}
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| foundation = {{start date and age|2014}}
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| location_city = Nairobi
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| location_country = Kenya
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| locations = Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia}}
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<span style="font-size:88%">''Editor: [https://www.linkedin.com/in/charissa-cassels/ Charissa Cassels]''</span>
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Cellulant is a Nairobi-based digital payment service provider that collects, settles and regulates payments in real-time.<ref>[https://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2018/05/14/african-fintech-company-cellulant-raises-47-5-million/#73bdf5d97efb/African FinTech Company Cellulant Raises $47.5 million - Forbes. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.]</ref> It is a payment gateway that connects buyers, sellers and other stakeholders enabling them to make and receive payments. Cellulant serves banks, markets, mobile network operators and local and international merchants.<ref>[https://za.linkedin.com/company/cellulant/Cellulant - LinkedIn. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.]</ref> 
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Cellulant digitises payments for Africa’s largest economies, through targeting regions where financial inclusion is restricted and to ensure that mobile money is provided as an alternative to traditional banking. <ref>[https://endeavor.org/entrepreneur/ken-njoroge/Ken Njoroge - Endeavor. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.]</ref>Cellulant started its targeting through its Lipuka platform, Tingg app, and its Agrikore online platform. It operates in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.<ref>[https://www.africaoutlookmag.com/outlook-features/cellulant/Cellulant - Africa Outlook Magazine. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.]</ref>
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Ken Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro conceptualized Cellulant on a napkin in 2001 and founded Cellulant Corporation in 2004. Njoroge and Akinboro are both CEO and Co-Founders of Cellulant.<ref>[https://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/the-journey-so-far-ken-njoroge-ceo-cellulant-corporation/61806/The journey so far: Ken Njoroge, CEO, Cellulant Corporation - How We Made It In Africa. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.]</ref>
  
Cellulant was founded in 2004 by Kenyan entrepreneur Ken Njoroge and his Nigerian partner, Bolaji Akinboro and works with over 90 banks across Africa. According to Forbes, it plans to plough the new capital into scaling up its operations, channeling a significant portion of the funds into Agrikore, its blockchain based smart-contracting, payments and marketplace system.
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== History ==
  
Agrikore, is a mobile blockchain based platform serving nearly 7 million farmers across the continent by better connecting them with markets and helping them sell their goods to a wide range of buyers more easily. Costs are also reduced by integrating government subsidy programs to increase yields and raise incomes across several seasons, and by enabling all participants in the agricultural supply chain — including insurance companies, agricultural input providers, and development partners — to work within a trusted environment.
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The Lipuka platform was launched in 2004, allowing subscribers to download their favourite ringtones while ensuring that artists earn royalties, paid to them by Cellulant. <ref>[https://www.kassfm.co.ke/home/2018/11/26/cellulant-and-stanbic-to-enable-artistes-access-loan-facilities-from-skiza-ringtone-royalties/Cellulant and Stanbic to enable Artistes Access Loans Facilities from, SKIZA Ringtone Royalties - KassFM. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.]</ref>  The first mobile wallet for most major banks to run with or without internet connectivity was launched in 2009. Agency banking, money transfers, and bill payments were added to the Lipuka platform in 2010.
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In 2016, Cellulant delivered the Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda that contributes to economic resilience and inclusivity.<ref>[https://www.ifad.org/documents/38714170/39150184/Investing+in+rural+people+in+Liberia_f.pdf/0d3bdf17-46a8-48a3-8d21-a021ea8a3165/Liberia - IFAD. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.]</ref>In the same year, Cellulant had 350k farmers registered within 100 days and accessed $4.6M.
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Mula, a consumer product, was launched in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, and Mozambique in 2017 and on 8 October 2019, Mula rebranded to Tingg. <ref>[https://www.cellulant.com/our-story/From a business model scribbled on a napkin to a world-class business - Cellulant. Retrieved 4 November, 2019.]</ref>
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Tingg, Cellulant’s mobile money app, ensures access to fast, secure and cost-friendly payments. Users are able to make and receive card and bank payments, save, borrow and promote their business on a single platform. Tingg can be accessed by dialling *369# or downloading the app. It is available in Nigeria, Kenya,  Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana. <ref>[https://techmoran.com/2019/10/08/tingg-africas-first-payments-super-app-unveiled-in-8-countries-by-cellulant/Tingg, Africa’s first payments super app unveiled in 8 countries by Cellulant - Techmoran. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.]</ref>
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Cellulant lost six of its employees on 15 January 2019, during a terrorist attack at an office complex in Nairobi. The employees known as the Brave Six were trying to save their colleagues during the attack. The Brave Six are Ashford Kuria, Wilfred Kareithi, Kelvin Gitonga, Denis Mwaniki, Jeremiah Mbaria, and John Ndiritu.<ref>[https://qz.com/africa/1528791/kenyas-cellulant-lost-six-staffers-in-nairobi-riverside-attack/One of Africa’s most innovative fintech startups lost six colleagues in the Nairobi attack - Quartz Africa. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.]</ref> In honour of the Brave Six, Cellulant has created a fundraising channel using Mula (now Tingg). This is to ensure that The Brave Six’s children receive an education and that their families have access to healthcare and shelter.<ref>[https://techmoran.com/2019/09/13/cellulant-receives-africa-business-continuity-institutes-award-for-its-resilience/Cellulant Receives Africa Business Continuity Institutes Award for its resilience - Techmoran. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.]</ref> 
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Agrikore was launched on 20 September 2019. Its aim is to enhance sustainable agriculture and food systems using digital tools. Agrikore is a blockchain-based payment and online marketplace system for smallholder farmers, agricultural input and produce traders, created to tackle inefficient agricultural markets.<ref>[https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article-4-7-agrikore-going-live-how-does-compare-libra-akinboro/Article 4 of 7. Agrikore has gone live...How does it compare to Facebook’s Libra? - LinkedIn. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref>
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The GES e-wallet service is one of Cellulant’s Agritech solutions, where purchases and distributions of agricultural inputs are electronically distributed to registered farmers. Registered farmers are guaranteed redeemable e-wallet vouchers for fertilisers, seeds and other agricultural necessities at half the cost as the other half was paid by the Federal Government of Nigeria. 14.5 million farmers registered, over $30Bn was contributed to the Nigerian GDP and the farmers’ income increased from $700 to $1800.<ref>[https://www.cellulant.com/our-story/From a business model scribbled on a napkin to a world-class business - Cellulant. Retrieved 4 November, 2019.]</ref>
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The Cellulant wallet reminds customers of due payments and provides updates on their expenditures. Its services include balance inquiries and banks to mobile wallet transfers. 
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The Cellulant Payment Gateway provides a secure end-to-end channel for merchants allowing mobile users to pay for merchant services.<ref>[https://www.cellulant.com/services/The Payments Platform for businesses on the move - Cellulant. Retrieved 4 November, 2019.]</ref> 
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== Investments and Partnerships ==
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In 2003, Cellulant extended its services in Ghana together with Spacefon, a mobile provider in Ghana.
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Eight million customers were reached in 2005 when Cellulant extended its digital content solution to provide value-added services with Nation for Nation Mobile.
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In 2017, Cellulant joined Endeavour Global Entrepreneurs Network, an entrepreneurship movement.
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$47.5 million was raised by the Rise Fund, Endeavour Catalyst and Satya Capital,  in 2018.<ref>[https://endeavor.org/entrepreneur/bolaji-akinboro/Bolaji Akinboro - Endeavor. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref>
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Cellulant announced its partnership with Adyen, a global payments company, in 2019.<ref>[https://thepaypers.com/online-payments/adyen-expands-payment-offering-to-africa-with-celullant-partnership/779092-3/Adyen expands payment offering to Africa with Cellulant partnership - ThePaypers. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.]</ref>
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It partnered with PayU, a fintech company, on 4 June 2019.<ref>[https://techmoran.com/2019/06/19/why-accepting-mobile-money-in-sub-saharan-africa-is-a-game-changer-for-global-businesses/Why accepting mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa is a game-changer for global businesses - Techmoran. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref> 
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Stanbic Bank partnered with Cellulant on 12 November 2019.<ref>[https://www.kassfm.co.ke/home/2018/11/26/cellulant-and-stanbic-to-enable-artistes-access-loan-facilities-from-skiza-ringtone-royalties/Cellulant and Stanbic to enable Artistes Access Loans Facilities from, SKIZA Ringtone Royalties - KassFM. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.]</ref> 
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Cellulant’s other investors include Velocity Capital and Progression Africa, Velocity Capital Private Equity and TBL Mirror Fund. <ref>[https://weetracker.com/2019/07/26/these-soonicorns-could-be-the-next-billion-dollar-companies-in-africa/These ‘Soonicorns Could Be The Next Billion-Dollar Companies in Africa - WeeTracker. Retrieved 22 November, 2019.]</ref>
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== Awards ==
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Its first mobile banking solution was selected as one of the top ten medium-sized company finalists at the Legatum Pioneers of Prosperity Africa Awards in Kigali on 30 November 2007.<ref>[https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-story-documentary-on-legatum-pioneers-of-prosperity-africa-prize-released-involves-350k-award-for-east-african-entrepreneurship-sponsored-by-legatum-and-john-templeton-foundation/Microcapital Story: Documentary on Legatum Pioneers of Prosperity Africa Prize Releases, Involves $350k Award for East African Entrepreneurship Sponsored by Legatum and John Templeton Foundation - MicroCapital. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref> 
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Cellulant’s first mobile banking solution in 2008, using USSD, received recognition as the inaugural top medium-sized company in Kenya in the KPMG Top 100 medium-sized company contest in 2008.<ref>[https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/companies/Cellulant-on-global-list-of-top-innovators/4003102-4831192-x9pat1/index.html/Cellulant on global lists of top innovators - Business Daily. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref>
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Fintech 100 named Cellulant the Best Payments and Transfer Fintech in Africa in 2016.<ref>[https://www.techzim.co.zw/2018/11/press-release-digital-payments-firm-cellulant-listed-on-the-prestigious-kpmgs-2018-fintech100/{Press Release}: Digital Payments Firm, Cellulant Listed on the Prestigious KPMG’s 2018 FINTECH 100 - TechZim. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref>
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In February 2017, the London Stock Exchange Group listed Cellulant as one of the ‘Companies to inspire Africa.’ <ref>[https://socialfintech.org/cellulant-from-3000-and-a-napkin-to-a-47-5-million-series-c/Cellulant- From $3000 and a napkin to a $47.5 million Series C - Socialfintech.org. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref> 
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It was named Company of the year at the African Diaspora Awards in New York City on 2 December 2017.<ref>[ https://www.pr.com/press-release/738444/Cellulant honoured as “Company of the Year” at the African Diaspora Awards in New York - Press Release. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]</ref>
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Cellulant received the 2019 award from Africa’s Business Continuity Institute Awards in Johannesburg on 12 September 2019. The award was for resilience and business continuity after the 15th January terrorist attacks.<ref>[https://techmoran.com/2019/09/13/cellulant-receives-africa-business-continuity-institutes-award-for-its-resilience/Cellulant Receives Africa Business Continuity Institutes Award for its resilience - Techmoran. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.]</ref>
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== References ==
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{{Reflist| 3}}

Revision as of 10:02, 3 December 2019

Cellulant
Industrydigital payments
Founded2014; 5 years ago (2014)
FounderKen Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro
Headquarters
Nairobi
,
Kenya
Number of locations
Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia
Websitecellulant.com

Editor: Charissa Cassels Cellulant is a Nairobi-based digital payment service provider that collects, settles and regulates payments in real-time.[1] It is a payment gateway that connects buyers, sellers and other stakeholders enabling them to make and receive payments. Cellulant serves banks, markets, mobile network operators and local and international merchants.[2] Cellulant digitises payments for Africa’s largest economies, through targeting regions where financial inclusion is restricted and to ensure that mobile money is provided as an alternative to traditional banking. [3]Cellulant started its targeting through its Lipuka platform, Tingg app, and its Agrikore online platform. It operates in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.[4] Ken Njoroge and Bolaji Akinboro conceptualized Cellulant on a napkin in 2001 and founded Cellulant Corporation in 2004. Njoroge and Akinboro are both CEO and Co-Founders of Cellulant.[5]

History

The Lipuka platform was launched in 2004, allowing subscribers to download their favourite ringtones while ensuring that artists earn royalties, paid to them by Cellulant. [6] The first mobile wallet for most major banks to run with or without internet connectivity was launched in 2009. Agency banking, money transfers, and bill payments were added to the Lipuka platform in 2010.

In 2016, Cellulant delivered the Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda that contributes to economic resilience and inclusivity.[7]In the same year, Cellulant had 350k farmers registered within 100 days and accessed $4.6M.

Mula, a consumer product, was launched in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, and Mozambique in 2017 and on 8 October 2019, Mula rebranded to Tingg. [8] Tingg, Cellulant’s mobile money app, ensures access to fast, secure and cost-friendly payments. Users are able to make and receive card and bank payments, save, borrow and promote their business on a single platform. Tingg can be accessed by dialling *369# or downloading the app. It is available in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana. [9]

Cellulant lost six of its employees on 15 January 2019, during a terrorist attack at an office complex in Nairobi. The employees known as the Brave Six were trying to save their colleagues during the attack. The Brave Six are Ashford Kuria, Wilfred Kareithi, Kelvin Gitonga, Denis Mwaniki, Jeremiah Mbaria, and John Ndiritu.[10] In honour of the Brave Six, Cellulant has created a fundraising channel using Mula (now Tingg). This is to ensure that The Brave Six’s children receive an education and that their families have access to healthcare and shelter.[11]

Agrikore was launched on 20 September 2019. Its aim is to enhance sustainable agriculture and food systems using digital tools. Agrikore is a blockchain-based payment and online marketplace system for smallholder farmers, agricultural input and produce traders, created to tackle inefficient agricultural markets.[12]

The GES e-wallet service is one of Cellulant’s Agritech solutions, where purchases and distributions of agricultural inputs are electronically distributed to registered farmers. Registered farmers are guaranteed redeemable e-wallet vouchers for fertilisers, seeds and other agricultural necessities at half the cost as the other half was paid by the Federal Government of Nigeria. 14.5 million farmers registered, over $30Bn was contributed to the Nigerian GDP and the farmers’ income increased from $700 to $1800.[13]

The Cellulant wallet reminds customers of due payments and provides updates on their expenditures. Its services include balance inquiries and banks to mobile wallet transfers. The Cellulant Payment Gateway provides a secure end-to-end channel for merchants allowing mobile users to pay for merchant services.[14]

Investments and Partnerships

In 2003, Cellulant extended its services in Ghana together with Spacefon, a mobile provider in Ghana.

Eight million customers were reached in 2005 when Cellulant extended its digital content solution to provide value-added services with Nation for Nation Mobile.

In 2017, Cellulant joined Endeavour Global Entrepreneurs Network, an entrepreneurship movement. $47.5 million was raised by the Rise Fund, Endeavour Catalyst and Satya Capital, in 2018.[15] Cellulant announced its partnership with Adyen, a global payments company, in 2019.[16] It partnered with PayU, a fintech company, on 4 June 2019.[17] Stanbic Bank partnered with Cellulant on 12 November 2019.[18] Cellulant’s other investors include Velocity Capital and Progression Africa, Velocity Capital Private Equity and TBL Mirror Fund. [19]

Awards

Its first mobile banking solution was selected as one of the top ten medium-sized company finalists at the Legatum Pioneers of Prosperity Africa Awards in Kigali on 30 November 2007.[20]

Cellulant’s first mobile banking solution in 2008, using USSD, received recognition as the inaugural top medium-sized company in Kenya in the KPMG Top 100 medium-sized company contest in 2008.[21]

Fintech 100 named Cellulant the Best Payments and Transfer Fintech in Africa in 2016.[22]

In February 2017, the London Stock Exchange Group listed Cellulant as one of the ‘Companies to inspire Africa.’ [23]

It was named Company of the year at the African Diaspora Awards in New York City on 2 December 2017.[24]

Cellulant received the 2019 award from Africa’s Business Continuity Institute Awards in Johannesburg on 12 September 2019. The award was for resilience and business continuity after the 15th January terrorist attacks.[25]

References

  1. FinTech Company Cellulant Raises $47.5 million - Forbes. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.
  2. - LinkedIn. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.
  3. Njoroge - Endeavor. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.
  4. - Africa Outlook Magazine. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.
  5. journey so far: Ken Njoroge, CEO, Cellulant Corporation - How We Made It In Africa. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.
  6. and Stanbic to enable Artistes Access Loans Facilities from, SKIZA Ringtone Royalties - KassFM. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.
  7. - IFAD. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.
  8. a business model scribbled on a napkin to a world-class business - Cellulant. Retrieved 4 November, 2019.
  9. Africa’s first payments super app unveiled in 8 countries by Cellulant - Techmoran. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.
  10. of Africa’s most innovative fintech startups lost six colleagues in the Nairobi attack - Quartz Africa. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.
  11. Receives Africa Business Continuity Institutes Award for its resilience - Techmoran. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.
  12. 4 of 7. Agrikore has gone live...How does it compare to Facebook’s Libra? - LinkedIn. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.
  13. a business model scribbled on a napkin to a world-class business - Cellulant. Retrieved 4 November, 2019.
  14. Payments Platform for businesses on the move - Cellulant. Retrieved 4 November, 2019.
  15. Akinboro - Endeavor. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.
  16. expands payment offering to Africa with Cellulant partnership - ThePaypers. Retrieved 11 November, 2019.
  17. accepting mobile money in Sub-Saharan Africa is a game-changer for global businesses - Techmoran. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.
  18. and Stanbic to enable Artistes Access Loans Facilities from, SKIZA Ringtone Royalties - KassFM. Retrieved 12 November, 2019.
  19. ‘Soonicorns Could Be The Next Billion-Dollar Companies in Africa - WeeTracker. Retrieved 22 November, 2019.
  20. Story: Documentary on Legatum Pioneers of Prosperity Africa Prize Releases, Involves $350k Award for East African Entrepreneurship Sponsored by Legatum and John Templeton Foundation - MicroCapital. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.
  21. on global lists of top innovators - Business Daily. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.
  22. Release}: Digital Payments Firm, Cellulant Listed on the Prestigious KPMG’s 2018 FINTECH 100 - TechZim. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.
  23. From $3000 and a napkin to a $47.5 million Series C - Socialfintech.org. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.
  24. [ https://www.pr.com/press-release/738444/Cellulant honoured as “Company of the Year” at the African Diaspora Awards in New York - Press Release. Retrieved 6 November, 2019.]
  25. Receives Africa Business Continuity Institutes Award for its resilience - Techmoran. Retrieved 5 November, 2019.