Interswitch Secures $110 Million in Investment from LeapFrog and Tana Africa Capital
Africa’s payment company, Interswitch, has raised $110 million in investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital.
The investment will boost Interswitch’s plans to expand the digital payments ecosystem across sub-Saharan Africa. A portion of the investment has been acquired from existing shareholders, with Ignite Holdco Limited, made up of Helios Investment Partners and TA Associates, remaining the largest shareholder in the business following the transaction.
Alongside existing investors, LeapFrog and Tana will work with management to continue to drive Interswitch’s pan-African strategy, as it looks to access new customers across the continent, innovate with new products and services, and support its financial inclusion strategy.
“We are excited to welcome LeapFrog and Tana on board, as we continue our work to advance the future of the African payments landscape,” Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Chief Executive of Interswitch said. “The evolution of fintech in Nigeria and the broader sub-Saharan region has been driven by the need to solve challenges and barriers that exist within the traditional financial system. Interswitch was born from the need to develop solutions that match the unique needs of local customers and merchants.”
Founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch disrupted Nigeria’s traditional cash-driven payments system, introducing electronic payments processing and switching services to the market. Today Interswitch operates two flagship brands, Verve, a debit card scheme operating across Africa and Quickteller, a popular multichannel consumer and business payments platform.
Led by a highly experienced management team, Interswitch is committed to being a responsible business, focused on employee wellness and talent development with 948 full-time employees across Africa. Interswitch also maintains an inclusive culture and is gender-balanced across the business, with women making up approximately 40% of employees across Africa, and 38% of the management team.
Partner and Head of Africa Financial Services, LeapFrog Investments, Karima Ola said the investment by Leapfrog affirms the formidable talent at Interswitch and how well positions it is to disrupt Africa’s evolving digital payment landscape.
“LeapFrog is proud to be partnering with Interswitch to further enhance their innovative, digital capabilities to deliver sustainable scale, whilst positively impacting the lives of millions of people and businesses across the region,” he added.
Commenting on the deal, Mark Tindall, Managing Director and CEO, Tana Africa said “Interswitch has developed a strong position at the nexus of Nigeria’s payments ecosystem, underpinned by an offering which is primed for continued growth. The business’ evolution is testament to management’s track record and tenacity. Alongside LeapFrog, we look forward to supporting Interswitch’s next chapter through continued product innovation and growth across the African continent.”
This news is coming almost three years since Interswitch’s last disclosed funding round, when Visa paid $200 million for a 20% stake in the company. At $1 billion (its last know valuation), Interswitch is one of Africa’s largest electronic payments and infrastructure companies. The fintech powers much of the rails for Nigeria’s online banking system and is well-known for its point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller, and Verve, the biggest domestic debit card scheme in Africa, issuing over 35 million active cards since launch.