In a funding round co-led by Chinese investment firm MSA and U.K.-based investment fund 88mph, Africa-focused payments firm PawaPay secured a $9 million seed injection to expand its team and scale its business across the continent.
In a press release announcing the capital raise on Thursday (Aug. 26), Nikolai Barnwell, CEO of PawaPay, said the company is betting on the mobile money infrastructure in Africa, which “will continues to grow and offer a superior experience than traditional financial infrastructures such as card and banking.”
Barnwell added that the payments firm has over the years focused on addressing challenges specific to mobile money infrastructure and is “excited to have world-class investors supporting our vision to connect every mobile money wallet in Africa to each other, and the rest of the world, as we continue to make it simpler to do payments.”
Just founded last year, the U.K.-based startup takes the mobile money infrastructure of telecommunications companies across the fragmented region and provides a unified API infrastructure so customers can access all telco mobile money systems in one location.
Merchants for instance, hugely benefit from this single API centralization, which gives them access to seamless and reliable payments from more than 300 million customers in 10 markets.
The Africa-focused payments software firm was spun out as a standalone business from online sports betting provider BetPawa last year and currently processes more than 100 million mobile money transactions on its rails per year.
Co-investor and U.K.-based investment firm 88mph has over 10 years of experience investing in Africa and shared its excitement in investing in PawaPay’s journey and its commitment to the development of digital infrastructure in Africa, said Founder Kresten Buch. The company invests in early-stage mobile-web startups targeting the African market.