Challenger banks, such as Monzo, N26 and Starling, have steadily grown in number and popularity, disrupting the traditional banking system with data-driven features and a mobile-first strategy that suit today’s consumers. More recently, these companies are stretching beyond accepting deposits, offering a wider range of products and services, such as loans, and many are well on their way to becoming fully-fledged banks in the West.
One region in particular which has lagged behind with regards to consumer lending is the continent of Africa. I met with two brothers looking to challenge this head-on—Ngozi and Chijioke Dozie, founders of Carbon, formerly known as Paylater.
The Dozie brothers spent their formative years in Nigeria, moving at the age 11 to attend boarding school in the U.K. Although they have always been close, their interests differed greatly. After leaving school, Ngozi went on to study Economics at the University of Reading, whilst Chijioke studied Physics at Imperial College London, followed by a Masters in Computation at Oxford University.
After graduation, their career paths converged with both brothers pursuing careers in finance; Ngozi working for Arthur Anderson in the Risk department, whilst Chijioke focused on Emerging Markets Investing, namely in Africa for Zephyr Management and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank. The two brothers then went…