Paga a fintech company out of Nigeria has raised $10m as it plans to expand services outside Nigeria. The series B round of funding was led by the Global Innovation Fund(GIF). The fintech company seeks to take its services into the international digital payments space. Paga is reportedly exploring the launch in Mexico Ethiopia and the Philippines.
Many emerging markets across the world are embracing digital payments more and more. As a result the fintech company is looking to take advantage by building a global payment ecosystem across these markets. Paga will be in line to compete with widely accepted digital payment companies. Global fintech players like Paypal Airpay and Safaricom are some of the companies already in this space.
Paga launched operations in 2012 creating a multi-channel network and platform to transfer money pay bills and buy things digitally. According to the CEO Tayo Oviosu Its payment product has served a customer base of up to 9 million including 6000 businesses.
Paystack another Nigerian fintech company allows businesses to accept payments via credit cards debit cards. money transfer and mobile money on their websites or mobile apps. It is also looking to expand outside Nigeria.
The Lagos based startup created a unique Application Programming Inerface (API). This has seen it grow to process 15 percent of all online payments in Nigeria since its inception in 2015.
The funding was led by Stripe a company similar to Paystack out of California USA. This shows that Stripe recognises the potential that Paystack has of being a major player in Africa. Stripe will also be looking to break ground in this region by partnering with companies like Paystack. The other investors were Visa and Tencent the parent company of WeChat.
Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa but even so it is only just getting the ball rolling on digitising commerce. There have been other payment providers operating in the market — Interswitch being perhaps the biggest — but [Shola] Akinlade who founded the company along with Ezra Olubi describes Paystack as a more modern take on payments. Specifically saying that its focus is on integrating the wide range of payment options that Nigerians (and soon those in other countries in Africa) use both to accept payments and make them and making each of them equally easy to use.
While Africa is still behind many other regions in the area of technology we are seeing a massive shift with companies like Paga and Paystack. The digital financial services sector is a highly competitive one with African companies now making headway globally. The interest and investments from international companies shows the potential that exists within the region.