South Africa’s Silvertree Acquires Leading Nigerian FinTech Firm

Silvertree Internet Holding, a South African venture capital Firm, has acquired Nigeria’s online financial services firm, TopCheck.

This is the third time the Cape Town based firm is investing in start-ups in the West African country. In 2015 it acquired from Spark, and Dealday in 2016 from Kinnevik. Silvertree is one of the leading internet platforms in Africa. The acquisition of TopCheck, which is generally regarded as Nigeria’s leading price comparison website for financial services, makes Silvertree perhaps the largest price comparison group in the continent.

Silvertree has yet to make the amount of the purchase public. The merger will see TopCheck join Silvertree’s subsidiary Compare Africa Group (CAG). CAG is active in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, and offers online price comparison of goods and services.

European entrepreneurs, Christian Wiesner Jose Figueiredo and Thomas Pilar, founded TopCheck in 2014. The firm has its headquarters in Lagos and Berlin, and offers free online comparison for insurance products, loans, and broadband internet plans.

“The TopCheck team is excited to join forces with Compare Africa Group. Together, we are forming Africa’s undisputed leader in price comparison”, said TopCheck co-founder, Thomas Pilar.

‘‘With TopCheck’s market position in Nigeria, and Silvertree’s wide reach throughout Africa, we look forward to further accelerating the company’s growth across the continent.”

Manuel Koser, co-founder and MD of Silvertree, explained the enormous potential in the comparison space: “We want to replicate the success of Check24 in the German financial services and insurance comparison space. TopCheck joining our portfolio is another step in building Africa’s largest comparison conglomerate.”

Christian Wiesner and Thomas Pilar will step aside as managing directors, but will continue to work with CAG as advisors.

Ryan Marx, CAG’s MD, will be heading TopCheck with immediate effect.

“I am very happy that Christian and Thomas will continue to advise Compare Africa Group with their vast expertise in the Nigerian financial sector”, said Marx.