Easier payments and remittances for emerging markets

Last Funded November 2020


raised from 239 investors


Faster and 90% cheaper than competitors
Customer base growing 35% per month since January launch
CEO with decades of experience building technology projects in emerging markets
Fully operational and outperforming in first West African market

Our Team

Income inequality is one of the most important challenges of our time. Technology allows us to address financial inclusion. We are in business to make money, but to do so in a socially responsible way. We go beyond moving money forward for our customers and offer them innovative products that solve their most acute pain points.

We enable emerging markets to transact securely without credit cards or cash

We've built a financial ecosystem that combines point-of-sale payments and money transfers into a platform that is lightning fast, highly secure, and very low-cost.

The Opportunity in Africa

While the Makeba opportunity is global, we're first targeting Africa where the demand is high and our team is experienced.

Remittance Costs
• The average cost of remittance to Africa is very high at 9.5% on average.
• Despite high fees $65 billion was sent to Africa in 2018 alone.

Cash Transactions

• The informal sector in Africa is huge, close to $1 trillion in 2016.
• 80% of transactions are still done entirely in cash, which is unsafe and unpractical for both individuals and businesses.

Credit Cards

• Only 21% of the sub-Saharan population in Africa have a bank account.
• In regions where card payments are available, high transaction fees for businesses are prohibitive.

Smartphone Explosion
• Sub-Saharan Africa has an estimated 500 million low-cost smartphones today & climbing.
• Ever faster mobile networks are rapidly rolled out to meet the increase in demand.

Young and Growing

• 70% of Africa’s 1.2 billion people are under the age of 30.
• Increasingly educated and tech-savvy consumers are entering the job market.
• Africa’s economy is on an upward trend, GDP grew by 3.8% in 2018.

Where Makeba Comes In

By cutting out the middlemen, Makeba transactions are able to move between sender and recipient instantly. Without the need for credit cards, wire transfers or cash.

Having no costly payment networks or slow third parties to deal with means we can offer a better and cheaper service to our customers.

The goal is for our customers to pay for everything in their lives with Makeba - from sending and receiving remittances to buying groceries and shopping online.

Makeba price advantages. Left: Average remittance cost from US & EU to Africa compared to Makeba. Right: Average credit card fee compared to Makeba US transaction fees.

We've Proven That Makeba Works

To test our technology we launched Makeba in the West African country of Cabo Verde earlier this year and we are off to a strong start.

We already have over 4,500 customers and our month-to-month customer growth is 28% despite the Corona lockdown.

Customer growth in Cabo Verde since launch

We’ve had great feedback from businesses and from the government in Cape Verde. For instance, we have recently partnered with the Post Office to deliver pension payments using Makeba.

Together with our local bank partner Banco BAI we are currently offering our customers:
• mobile payments
• domestic money transfers
• airtime purchases
• payment of government taxes
• pension deposits

How We Make Money

We want to grab a share of the remittances market going to and within Africa, collecting a fee on every transfer. At the same time, we want to gain a share of in-person and online point-of-sale payments in Africa; collecting a transaction fee for every payment.

With remittances and payments as our foundation, we aim to create additional sources of revenue by adding to our financial services offering.

In the first year of operation we expect our sources of income to be:

We aim to establish a reliable flow of revenue by encouraging our customers to subscribe to our monthly plans that lower their per-transaction fees. 

Breakdown of our expected revenue stream in the first year.

Our Product

We're creating a complete financial ecosystem where our customers pay for everything in their lives with Makeba.

The cornerstones of our platform are three tightly integrated products:

Our Product: Makeba Money App

Average money transfer fee to Africa using traditional remittance methods compared to the Makeba Plus plan

Money Transfers
Lets customers send money instantly to other Makeba users. 


Secure payments in stores and online without Credit Cards.

Customers can chat securely to friends and family as well as request and attach money.

Cash Services

Allows customers withdraw and deposit cash at partner banks and at local businesses who are using Makeba Merchant.

Bill Pay & Airtime
Customers can buy airtime directly from the app as well as pay bills from Makeba Merchants, and more.


There is no monthly fees for Makeba although customers can select a monthly plan to further lower their remittance fees. It’s always free to receive money, chat and make payments.

View in: App Store | Play Store

Our Product: Makeba Merchant App

Average credit card transaction fee in the US compared to Makeba's POS transaction fees.

Point of Sale
Makeba Merchant is a free POS app for accepting payments from Makeba Money customers.

Manage Employees

Merchants can track their employees sales in real time and set customized permissions for each employee.

Fast & Secure

Unlike with credit cards there are no unexpected chargebacks, and payments are deposited in full instantly.


There are no set-up cost, monthly minimums and no subscription fees - although customers can select a monthly plan to further lower their transaction fees.

Our Product: Makeba Payment SDK

We are currently in the testing phase of our Payment SDK which will allow third party apps and websites to accept Makeba as a form of payment.

The SDK can be adapted by any approved third party providers that connects to the internet - ranging from e-commerce websites to in person payment kiosks and more.

We're developing a payment SDK that lets third parties charge thru Makeba

Security Is Our Top Priority 

With Makeba, fraudulent charges are near impossible as each payment requires the user’s explicit approval to be processed. Unlike credit cards, Makeba transactions can’t be made without the customer agreeing to it.

Also, all our customers must pass through the same KYC process, so we know who is behind each transaction and can better monitor each account for suspicious activity.

All our customer deposits are held by our bank partners in insured bank accounts that follow the same regulation and security protocols as normal bank accounts do.

In times of Corona virus Makeba's touch-less payments are also a benefit to personal health and safety.

How We're Growing and What's Next

Our immediate goal is to raise $700,000 in funding with WeFunder to help us launch in the US and Senegal by the end of 2020

Through the bank partnerships we have in place, we aim to quickly launch in 14 additional West African countries and EU regions with an African diaspora.

Looking further ahead, our long term objective is to have 9 million subscribers and $ 1 billion in revenue by 2025.

Near term expansion goals with our bank partners

We have a robust customer acquisition strategy:

Leveraging our Merchant Network
We will focus on first building a strong network of merchants that accept Makeba through regional sales teams, social media campaigns and referral programs.

Strong Referral Program

We have a generous incentivized referral program for merchants and individuals who refer new subscribers to Makeba.

Community Events

Partnerships with local diasporas to gain exposure and turn users into brand ambassadors.

E-mail marketing
To promote referral program & downloads

Social Media & Advertising
Educate and expose the audience to the Makeba services. Reinforce the emotional connection to financial inclusion and empowerment.
Efforts will be targeted through ads on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Influencer Marketing and PR Buzz
Build relationships with individuals who have influence with our target groups. Consistently pitching local and diaspora press outlets to cover Makeba stories.

By keeping administrative costs low and focusing on viral marketing efforts to drive user growth, margins can exceed 50%, while still being the lowest cost remittance and POS service available. *The above chart contains future-looking projections which cannot be guaranteed.

Let's Move Money Forward Together

The market is ready:

By creating a low-cost and easy to use financial platform we can give more people and economies a chance to develop and grow stronger. It’s time to bring millions of people into the modern economy.