Mike Quinn was co-founder and CEO of one Africa’s earliest major financial technology (FinTech) companies, Zoona. He raised over 35 million dollars of international investment for this Zambian startup – before its heartbreaking crash and Mike’s exit from the company.
In the conversation today, Mike shares how this Canadian engineer found himself leading a Zambian mobile money company. He opens the door to the power and pressures of international financing, and the toll it takes on African entrepreneurs. In just a few years, Mike grew Zoona to a company that served millions of unbanked consumers in Zambia and Malawi. But that all changed when their Series C round of financing fell through at the last minute.
This is a classic David vs. Goliath story. Mike and his co-founders were a group of young, ambitious techies who wanted to make life easier for millions of Zambians. To do this, this small company needed to go head-to-head with billion-dollar international phone companies.
The craziest part? They almost won.
Want to hear more?
All of this and more is covered in Mike’s recently published tell-all book, Failing to Win, available around the world through Amazon (available in audio, paperback and kindle format) or in South Africa at Takealot and Exclusive Books.
If you enjoyed Mike’s story as a tech entrepreneur in Africa, you might also enjoy these interviews with other African tech founders: