The neobank wave is beginning to take shape in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, where new fintechs are trying to take on legacy banks by providing cheaper and more personalized banking services.

Sparkle, founded by an ex-CEO of a former Nigerian incumbent bank, is one such fintech, and it has closed a seed round of $3.1 million to scale operations.

Nigerians have a love-hate relationship with traditional banks. Even though the number of active bank accounts in the country is above 100 million (from a population of about 200 million), problems around inefficient service delivery, serial downtimes, and bad loans and experiences have made many people distrust banking services.

Neobanks sensed an opportunity and are vying for the attention of these banked but unsatisfied customers. Sparkle, like any neobank in the market, is counting on standard features such savings, bill payments, top-ups, requesting or sending funds, as well as…

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