Chipper Cash: Finessing Cross-Border Transactions
Making online transactions is part of almost every person’s daily life. Whether to receive your monthly payment or purchase a product online—you constantly use a digital banking platform. Therefore, it’s essential to rely on a safe fintech service at hand.
Chipper Cash is one of the most well-known fintech platforms in the world, offering financial services and online and mobile payments round the clock. Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled launched the startup in San Francisco in 2018.
Chipper Cash provides various fintech services, such as free transfers all around Africa, with the lowest cross-border rates.
Co-founders Ham and Maijid are two young and goal-oriented inventors that wanted to fill the gap and offer a platform with more advanced banking services than its competitors. But how did this startup expand to reach a valuation exceeding $2 billion? Stay with us to find out.
The Young Inventors Behind Chipper Cash
Ham was born in Gayaza, Uganda, and is one of three brothers. His family lived on a farm for most of his childhood and led a peaceful, quiet life outside the city. However, Ham’s upbringing wasn’t easy at all.
His parents often struggled with money since they didn’t always have a steady job. Ham was a great swimmer as a kid and practiced almost daily in a swimming pool near his middle school in the city.
He spent all his days the same way—traveling to school, going for a swimming lesson, and at night doing his homework. Due to his family's financial problems, they often got their electricity cut, which made Ham study at night under a candle. Nevertheless, he was an exceptionally ambitious student that always strived to learn more.
Like Ham, Maijid was also born in Africa and had a childhood quite like his friend’s. The only difference is that Maijid’s parents were both entrepreneurs and ran their own company for a while.
Even though their empire didn’t last for many years, they taught their son all about being a leader and an entrepreneur. He often visited their office and wanted to engage in various activities to assist the professional purpose of the company.
Even as a kid, Maijid showed great enthusiasm for technology and was the best student in his class throughout high school. Always striving to learn more and educate himself on a more advanced level, young Maijid was a true entrepreneur at heart.
Since Maijid was a very ambitious student, he started his professional journey after high school while at college. He started working as an iPhone Developer to create an app for Apple devices.
Before obtaining a degree in Computer Science at Grinnell College in 2014, Maijid started his first company, where he served as a co-founder. As part of the Advisory Board at Grinnell Appdev, he raised $150K and helped other ambitious software developers participate in their group projects.
Maijid’s longest working experience is at Imgur, where he stuck around for three years. It was also his last before starting Chipper Cash. He also worked at Yahoo and Flickr for a while as an iOS software engineer.
Ham and Maijid met at college, only Ham, unlike his friend, got a Bachelor’s in Economics from Grinnell College. While studying, he served as a treasurer and oversaw the college's budget.
He interned in a few companies, including Fullbridge, Cleantech Open, and Facebook. Ham was a global accounts intern and had to manage finances and work on SQL databases.
Many people were satisfied with his work during his time working for Facebook. So, after finishing college, they asked him to return to Facebook. That was his most lucrative job, where he spent two years managing and publishing client verticals on the market.
Chipper Cash Founders Crossing Professional Paths
Even though Ham and Maijid met in college, where they became very close friends, their professional paths didn’t intersect until 2018. They ran into each other and discussed their lifelong dreams of becoming CEOs. Besides their profitable jobs at the moment, both of them decided to risk it all and start their own finance company.
Their firm Chipper Cash is a venture-backed financial tech platform developing software to provide people with free and quick cross-border payments. Initially, the platform only offered services across Africa since the co-founders didn’t have enough finances to expand the firm.
The company also offers financial solutions for companies and merchants to handle online and in-store payments. Its products and services are available in seven African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya.
After Ham and Maijid started partnering with some other companies and investors, the funding began, and Chipper Cash was also ready to expand in Europe. The firm started slowly extending to the United Kingdom in a year, letting consumers transfer money from the UK to Chipper Cash's African marketplaces.
In 2020, the company established a merchant-focused, fee-based payment solution called Chipper Checkout. This solution provides income to sustain Chipper Cash's accessible mobile-money business and runs alongside its P2P software. With the innovation of Chipper Checkout, the company has reached three million users, with an average of 80,000 transactions every day.
To this date, Chipper Cash has raised a total of $302.2 million in investment over seven rounds. Their most recent funding of $250M came from a Series C round on November 1, 2021.
A group of 24 investors financially backs the company. After the company's launch, some of the first significant investors were Deciens Capital, Raptor Group, and Ribbit Capital. They were the first individuals who saw potential in Chipper Cash and funded $6M, $13.8M, and $30M, respectively, in rounds A and B.
The most recent investors are FTX Exchange and SVB Capital, and they are the ones that have invested the most considerable sums. Both companies raised $150M and $100M in round C funding accordingly.
With this much funding invested in Chipper Cash, they have surpassed many competitor companies in Africa and on a global scale. Its main competitors include Interswitch, Stax, and Leaf Global Fintech. However, none of them boast as much capital as Chipper Cash.
Where Is Chipper Cash Today?
Fortunately, both co-founders Maijid and Ham are still a part of Chipper Cash and are going as strong as ever. Today the company has over a thousand staff members from 28 countries worldwide.
The company’s headquarters are in San Francisco, US, and Accra, Ghana. Due to the great demand for the services they offer in other countries, Chipper Cash also has offices in Cape Town, Lagos, London, and Nairobi.
The co-founders are currently working with Twitter on their Tip Jar integration. Their aim for Twitter and Chipper Cash is to provide different avenues for creators to get compensated for their work and contributions online. Maijid states that they intend to make the Tip Jar integration available to customers in the United States this year.
That’s not the only project for Chipper Cash since the co-founders have no plans to stop with its expansion and development. The goal is to further expand the company in other countries across Europe and, hopefully, Asia.
Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled are the finest examples of what a drive for success can do. Overcoming immigration struggles, these two devoted entrepreneurs built an empire from scratch. So, if you ever lack the motivation to become your own boss, just remind yourself of these two!