Africa’s Untapped Potential for Fintechs and Payments with Marek Zmyslowski

One area of the world that does not get nearly enough business and finance attention is Africa. With many nations and millions of people, it’s an area with tremendous untapped potential, particularly in the worlds of payments and fintech.

Joining us on the show to explore this is someone who is very familiar with the business side of Africa, Marek Zmyslowski. Marek is a Polish-born entrepreneur and executive, focused on online businesses in Frontier and Emerging Markets.

He co-founded Jumia Travel – Africa’s Biggest Hotel Booking Portal listed on NYSE as part of Jumia Group, and HotelOnline.co – a Travel Technology Company. In 2014, he was chosen as one of the Ten Most Important People in Tech by IT News Africa Magazine.

He’s recently published a book entitled Chasing Black Unicorns: How building the Amazon of Africa put me on Interpol’s Most Wanted list, a fascinating tell-all about his triumphs and challenges in business abroad.

Listen in for his unique story, and insight!

Payments & Fintech Insights In This Episode:

  • How Marek went from a career in finance in Poland, to being a successful entrepreneur in Africa, to being on Interpol’s most wanted list, to a published author…. and what’s next for him.
  • Why Africa is uniquely positioned to be the next hub of growth and innovation in many industries, particularly fintech and payments.
  • What challenges entrepreneurs starting a new fintech company or payments business have to navigate in Africa.
  • What the payments, banking, and financial services landscape looks like in Africa now, and where it’s all heading.
  • With much more!

Featured on the Show:

Payments & Fintech Spotlight: Chasing Black Unicorns: How building the Amazon of Africa put me on Interpol’s Most Wanted list

Silicon Valley meets Indiana Jones – Chasing Black Unicorns is an autobiography written by Marek Zmysłowski, one of Poland’s most respected internet entrepreneurs. Witty and humorous, the book covers many dramatic and often dangerous events. Before moving to Nigeria to set up the ‘Amazon of Africa’, Zmysłowski worked for one of Poland’s biggest financial services companies, and is the founder of many online ventures in Central Europe. While establishing the first, online network of funeral services in Poland, he had to overcome challenges from criminal gangs running the market sector. His businesses in Nigeria have also made him enemies, powerful individuals who have corrupted police and government officials to stand against him. Overnight, Marek became an international fugitive and was put on the most wanted list by Interpol, an organization with a history of being manipulated by corrupt regimes. Zmysłowski describes this and many other events, putting them in the context of African history and cultures, a continent he is now deeply in love with.

All of the author’s book profits support impactful charity initiatives in Africa.