In 2018, Carbon, a Nigerian fintech startup, made its financials public for the first time. Although typical for foreign private startups, it’s almost an anomaly in Africa. There have been rare cases in the past, for instance, when Rocket Internet had to include Jumia’s financials in its yearly reports after going public. At the time, the German investment outfit was a founding shareholder in the African-based unicorn.
While Carbon has been hailed for transparency and openness, it remains to be seen if it’s a trend other African startups are willing to follow. Posting audited financials can prove detrimental for a private African company for several reasons, ranging from bad marketing and PR if huge losses are incurred to regulatory clampdown if the company performs well.
A $15.8 million VC-backed company, Carbon was founded by Chijioke Dozie and Ngozi Dozie in 2012. The brothers started the company in a niche digital lending market, but now, the company offers a plethora of services from savings to payments and investments.
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