Payhippo, Nigeria’s Credit-led SME Fintech Startup is Acquiring Maritime Microfinance Bank

Payhippo, Nigeria’s Credit-led SME Fintech Startup is Acquiring Maritime Microfinance Bank

Payhippo, Nigeria’s credit-led SME fintech, has today announced its proposed acquisition of Maritime Microfinance Bank (MFB), a financial institution specializing in saving products, demand deposits, and investments as well as micro and SME loans.

The acquisition is subject to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s approval, and both parties are working together to obtain the regulator’s approval.

Maritime Microfinance Bank was founded in 2014 to provide quality, tailored financial products and services to meet the needs and expectations of every Nigerian. The bank has developed specific lending products for SMEs to empower entrepreneurs in the maritime and other microeconomic sectors. This acquisition will provide Payhippo with direct access to Nigeria’s Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) while also catalyzing MFB’s product and service expansion in line with Payhippo’s goal of reaching a broader range of SMEs from various sectors by providing access to quick and seamless financing.

Speaking on the soon-to-be-completed acquisition, Adetola Atekoja, Chairman of Maritime Microfinance Bank said “Nigeria has an ever-growing need for SME lending solutions to help businesses meet their financial needs. We believe Payhippo is well-positioned to develop new and customized financial products for SMEs in the country. The team is incredibly talented, and resilient and exudes excellent leadership. I am very excited to welcome them onboard and look forward to supporting them in achieving their goals.”

Also speaking, Zach Bijesse, Co-founder and CEO of Payhippo on his part stressed “At Payhippo, our mission is to provide seamless financial services for merchants throughout Africa. We are making this investment to enhance products and services for our customers and in turn enable us to reach a wider customer base. We are very excited to work with Maritime Microfinance Bank to revolutionize the SME financial service through digital innovation.”

What you should know about Maritime Microfinance Bank s’ Acquisition

Payhippo will expand its team with experienced professionals from the MFB team, bringing in-depth experience from the banking and finance sector that will be of long-term value to Payhippo’s growth. Payhippo will be able to continue its mission of expanding access to finance for SMEs through digital technology thanks to the extensive knowledge of the bank’s employees.

It will also allow the fintech startup to accept customer deposits and integrate with NIBSS, allowing the fintech to provide a more comprehensive experience to its rapidly growing customer base. With the integration of NIBSS, Payhippo can now facilitate the sending and receiving of inter-bank transfers for its merchants. This means that merchants will soon be able to perform all critical financial functions through their Payhippo app.

Payhippo, which was founded in 2019 by Zach Bijesse, Chioma Okotcha, and Uche Nnadi, has so far disbursed over 25,000 loans to Nigerian small and medium enterprises. Payhippo distributed 6,726 loans in the third quarter of the year, a 39% increase from the previous quarter’s 4,842 loan origination. The company’s annual revenue exceeds $4 million.

Payhippo has experienced tremendous organizational growth since raising a $3 million seed to improve access to finance for SMEs in Nigeria last year. It recently opened an office in London to attract Africans in the diaspora and global talent to help the Nigerian team grow the fintech’s products and services for SMEs.

In London, the startup has hired Dami Olawoye as its Head of Corporate Finance to support the fintech to tap into global capital markets that enable them to fund its loan books for its credit-led business model. The firm currently has 76 employees in Nigeria, the UK, Portugal, Kenya, and South Africa.