Nigeria’s Paga looks to dominate even further after securing $10m investment

Nigeria’s leading mobile payment company Paga has just announced a $10 million Series B2 round. According to Paga CEO, Tayo Oviosu, the fund generated by the round led by the Global Innovation Fund (GIF) will be utilised for international expansion; specifically into Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines.

“Paga will use the Series B2 to grow its core development team of 25 engineers across countries and continents,” Tayo Oviosu, the company’s founder and CEO, to TechCrunch at the Disrupt San Francisco event. The company is looking to channel the funding towards global expansion with Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines. Additionally, they are looking to continue with product development.

The company commenced commercial operations in August 2012, and recently revealed that since then it has served 9 million customers and created over 10,000 jobs through its 17,000 agents who hire staff to run their stores, offering a wider reach than all banks in Nigeria combined. “GIF is proud to lead Paga’s Series B2 round,” said Alix Peterson Zwane, GIF’s CEO. “Paga’s mission of helping people ‘make life possible” aligns with our core mission of supporting entrepreneurs and innovators that seek to improve the lives of those living on less than $5 per day.

Since launch in 2009, Paga has created a multi-channel network and platform to transfer money, pay-bills, and buy things digitally. In 2016, the company was said to process 9.5 million transactions worth over ₦156 billion, recording 100 percent year on year (YoY) growth in transactions since launching in 2009.

As part of the $10 million round, Global Innovation Partners will take a board seat. Other round participants include Unreasonable Capital as well as existing investors; Goodwell Investments, Adlevo Capital and Omidyar Network.

This recent round brings Paga’s total amount of funding raised to date to at least $35 million. In the past few weeks, three payments startups raked in a combined total of $34 million. Paystack raised $8 million a week ago while South Africa’s Yoco raised $16 million.

In October 2015, the mobile money platform closed a $15 Series B in a round led by Adlevo Capital, with participation from Goodwell Investments, Omidyar Network and Capricon Investment group. Its expansion will see the platform go against the likes of PayPal, Alipay, and Safaricom’s M-Pesa. Not only that, it will also continue to challenge the standard of retail banking operations in Nigeria.