• Africa-focused fintech plans expansion, recruitment of talent
  • Executes $1.25bn transactions since launch

PawaPay, an Africa-focused fintech company has raised $9 million in seed funding from five investment firms led by UK-based 88mph, a company that invests in web and mobile-centric technology solutions, and Chinese venture capital (VC) firm, MSA Capital. The funding, according to the fintech founder, will help build up its mobile money payment solutions team, scale operations, and expedition into new markets.

Other participants include Zagadat Capital, an investment firm owned by Oluwatosin Ajibade, popularly known as Mr Eazi in the Nigerian music scene; Kepple Ventures, an African VC firm; and South African Vunani Capital.

The fintech company, founded in 2020, was set up as a subsidiary of betPawa, an online betting platform, to enable mobile payments for local and international transactions and financial activities by integrating data from telcos into one mobile money API.

The new merchant can make their products available to 250 million new customers with a unified mobile payments APi; the firm claims to have processed 257.4 million transactions valued at $1.25 billion since launching.Nikolai Barnwell CEO PawaPay, in a statement said the mobile money platform was at the start, set up to help people send and receive money around the globe using mobile money.

“We’re making a very heavy bet on the rise of mobile money and all the complexities that arise out of mobile money and the entire infrastructure that needs to be built around payments with mobile money at its core. And the way we’re looking at the continent, we’re looking at adoption rates for mobile money growing at an insane speed. It has become quite obvious that this is a very significant financial infrastructure, and there’s a lot of it that’s been missing if you want to work [with] serious volume and businesses on mobile money,” Barnwell said.

Examining the rigid regulatory African fintech space, the CEO holds the belief that the platform can scale through, gaining more traction than it has currently, and overcoming the challenge. “We’ve gone in and decided we want to be completely regulated. We want to be completely covered in all the markets, with full licensing and be a very stable, reliable premium product in these markets,” he said.

In the meantime, the fintech company’s beta version is currently available in ten African countries: Nigeria, Cameroun, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

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