Pan-African fintech startup, PawaPay, raises $9m seed for expansion
African Fintech startup, PawaPay, has announced it secured $9m in a seed funding round.
The round was co-led by MSA and UK-based investment fund 88mph, with participation from Vunani Capital, Kepple Ventures, and Nigerian-Ghanaian music star, Tosin Ajibade, otherwise known as Mr. Eazi’S Zagadat Capital.
Pawapay was founded in 2020. The startup started as an online sports betting company, betPawa, before expanding its focus on the mobile money infrastructure provided by telecommunications companies (telco) in Africa.
The company seeks to create an efficient cross-border payment and act as creative solutions to other payment issues facing Africans.
PawaPay’s easy-to-use platform enables merchants to access more than 300 million customers in more than 10 markets and enjoy seamless, transparent, and highly reliable payments.
Speaking on the funding, Mr. Nikolai Barnwell, CEO of PawaPay said that the startup has more prospects to grow and enhance its services.
“We’re making a bet that this infrastructure will continue to grow and offer a superior experience than traditional financial infrastructures such as card and banking.
“With more than 500 million registered users on the continent, 200 million of which are active frequent users, this isn’t a fringe fad or a stepping stone to cards and swift payments. This is an example for the rest of the world of how payments could – and should look.
“Most of our competitors are largely focused on bank and card payments, but over the past many years, we have been laser-focused on addressing the unique set of challenges that accompanies specializing in mobile money”.
Co-investor Mr. Eazi also stated that it is not just about the investment but also about the solutions that Fintechs provide for Africans.
“Being investors hugely focused on Africa and very familiar with the landscape, we believe that mobile money-focused fintech is not just one of the most exciting places to invest but also one of the most important bridges to ensuring financial inclusion of the billions of people across the continent, the kicker for us was that we believe in the clear mission, vision, and strategy and we are confident that the PawaPay team is the best team to achieve it”.
The seed fund will be used to scale the startup’s services, find more talent to join the team, and expand into new markets on the continent.