Nigerian fintech startup, Paga has announced plans to build a global payment ecosystem across emerging markets.
CEO, Tayo Oviosu who made this known in a chat with TechCrunch at Disrupt San Francisco revealed that the company is planning to release its payments product in Ethiopia, Mexico and the Philippines. Following a $10 million funding led by the Global Innovation fund, the digital payments company is gearing up for an international expansion.
With this move, Paga will be going head to head with regional and global payment players such as Paypal, Alipay and Safricom’s M-Pesa. Founded in 2012, the company works with a created multichannel network and platform to transfer money, pay bills and buy things digitally. With the help of its 17, 167 agents and its mobile apps, Paga is already serving 9 million customers in Nigeria with over 6000 businesses. Paga products work on iOS, Android and the increasingly accessible USSD option and has remittance partnerships with the likes of Western Union and Moneytrans; with an added service of allowing third-party integration its apps.
“People sit in California and listen to Spotify that was developed in Sweden. And Uber started somewhere before going to different countries and figuring out local markets… The team behind this business has worked globally for some of the top tech names. This platform can stand shoulder to shoulder with any payments company built somewhere else”
– Tayo Oviosu (CEO Paga)
Having built a considerable scale in the home market in Nigeria—Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, Oviosu added that the startup has since inception processed 57 million transactions worth $3.6 billion. To bring more Nigerians onto digital commerce, it recently launched a new money transfer app that further simplifies the P2P payment process from mobile devices.
As part of the $10 million dollar round, Global Innovation partners will take a board seat. Other investors in the round include Goodwell, Adlevo, Capital, Omidyar Network and Unreasonable capital. The Series B2 funding brings paga’s total funding to $35 million).
The company plans to grow its core development team of 25 engineers across countries and continues, as it continues its due diligence on global expansion—though no official dates have been announced.
The recent investments beam the spotlight on the African Fintech sector where for a nearly a decade, Kenya’s M-pesa has dominated discussions of Mobile money on the continent with about 20 million active users. Cellulant raised $47 million dollars this year on its business procession $350 million in payment transactions across 33 African countries while Nigerian payment Infrastructure Company Interswitch has expanded across the borders and is pursuing an IPO. Flutterwave and Paystack—which was recently in the news for a new round of investment—have also digitized volumes of B2B transactions while gaining global investment.