Mobile Money Fintech pawaPay Hauls US$9 Million Seed Funding

Mobile Money Fintech pawaPay Hauls US$9 Million Seed Funding

by 30 August 2021

London-based payments company pawaPay, which focuses on the Africa market, has raised US$9 million in a seed round, according to an announcement.

China’s MSA Capital and UK-based 88mph led the round. Participating investors included Vunani Capital, Kepple Ventures and Zagadat Capital. Funding will be used to expand pawaPay’s operational presence and market reach across Africa, while boosting hiring efforts.

The 2020-founded company provides a unified API that interfaces between different, fragmented mobile money infrastructures of African telecoms. The API allows merchants to access these mobile money systems in one place, sending and receiving payments to large numbers of people.

pawaPay caters to large Pan-Africa/global merchants and companies, and has a presence in 10 countries. The company handles local operations, compliance, regulatory cover and bank accounts, to streamline onboarding requirements for its B2B customers.

pawaPay is disrupting mobile money

Nikolai Barnwell, CEO of pawaPay said that Africa’s alternative financial infrastructure is growing rapidly, especially with a substantial consumer base of active mobile money users. With pawaPay’s competitors largely focusing on bank and card payments, Barnwell noted that pawaPay’s focus on mobile money gave it a “good position to explore the opportunities that are coming up.”

Nikolai Barnwell, CEO of pawaPay

Nikolai Barnwell

“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,”

Barnwell explained.

There are 850 million mobile connections in Africa, helping to provide financial services to Africa’s unbanked population. Telecoms companies largely tap into this network as a result, creating their own systems to process payments.

Currently, the mobile money market in sub-Saharan Africa sees annual payment flows of US$500 billion through the accounts of about 300 million active monthly users. Airtel Africa recently received an investment of US$200 million for its mobile money business from QIA, while Vodafone launched Mondia Pay and M-Pesa Payment options in Tanzania.

 

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