SendSprint, a payments and money transfer startup, launched yesterday in the UK with a service that will target Africans living in the diaspora. The new startup—cofounded by former Flutterwave executive—will leverage Flutterwave’s digital payments infrastructure to process cross-border payments for transactions coming into Africa.
Over the past decade, migration has taken millions of people away from Africa. While this contributes to the existing brain drain narrative, the silver lining lies in the remittances being made into the continent by Africans in the diaspora. Regrettably, sending money into Africa from abroad has been far from seamless, but SendSprint is trying to change that.
The novel startup is launching 2 products that will connect the African diaspora to loved ones at home. The first is Send Money, which enables seamless transfers into African countries; and the other is Sprint Connect, a gifting solution that connects the African diaspora to retailers across the continent.
Within 18 months, the fintech will target 300,000 customers out of the estimated 1.7 million pool of African diaspora in the UK.
To kick-start operations, SendSprint will enable money transfers to the 3 biggest economies in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. The list is expected to grow as the company expands.
With it’s launch in the UK, SendSprint is now playing in a remittance market dominated by industry behemoths like MoneyGram and Western Union, and other relatively new fintechs like Remitly, Wise, and Zeps (formerly WorldRemit).
However, unlike the older players in the ecosystem, SendSprint’s Money Transfer product will offer a flat fee of $5 for international transfers into Africa, against the prevalent sliding scale which can sometimes rake up to 5% of the sum to be sent.
To offer Sprint Connect, SendSprint’s other product, the startup is partnering with over 3,000 retailers operating in Africa—including big names like Shoprite, FilmHouse Cinemas, Jumia, and HealthPlus—to make it possible for users to send gift cards to recipients in Africa.
This allows recipients to use the remittances directly for things that matter to them, such as groceries, healthcare, and fashion and beauty products, reflecting the nuance of how remittances are spent in Africa. According tho the world bank, over 75% of remittances are used for sustenance through the purchase of daily necessities like food and medicines.
“The UK launch represents a significant step for SendSprint as we look to expand and connect people across the globe to their homes in Africa. We have ambitious growth targets which will be supported by scaling up our team across both product and customer service,” said SendSprint founder and CEO, Damisi Busari, in a statement shared with TechCabal
Busari has previously worked as a Flutterwave executive, where she headed customer experience and strategic alliances. Now, she will be partnering with Flutterwave, which already supports international transfers to 34 of the continent’s 54 countries. The partnership will help SendSprint comply with regulations in the countries it will operate in.
According to Busari, SendSprint is designed to connect the African Diaspora to loved ones at home by enabling seamless transfers and innovative gifting.
SendSprint became incorporated in April, and the company has established the UK as its international headquarters, with presence in the US and Nigeria.