Ghanaian fintech Dash raises US$32.8M to enhance interoperability of mobile wallet-based transactions across Africa

GHANA – Dash, a Ghana-based unified payments app has closed a US$ 32.8 million oversubscribed seed round to build a connected wallet for Africans.

The round was led by New York-based Insight Venture Partners, with participation from  Global Founders Capital and 4DX Ventures, ASK Capital, Techstars, Guillaume Pousaz’s Zinal Growth Partners, and others.

The deal, which ranks among the largest in Africa, will help in building a Mastercard and Visa sort of intermediary services for mobile payment wallets across Africa.

The startup will use the fund to expand to new markets such as Tanzania and South Africa, get the licenses needed to operate there, build out its team, invest in technology, and launch new features.

The startup was founded by Prince Boakye Boampong in 2019, who was inspired by the boom of mobile wallets-based payments he witnessed in Kenya back in 2014.

Boampong, who is also the founder of OMG Digital, a YC-backed Ghanaian media startup, saw the lack of interoperability in the booming mobile wallet-based transactions across Africa as huge friction that needs to be fixed.

There are over 200 mobile money wallets and 100 banks across the continent that [do] not work with each other,” said Prince Boakye Boampong, CEO Dash.

Mr. Boampong reported a case where M-Pesa users in Kenya find it difficult to send money to a Ghanaian who uses MTN MoMo in Ghana because both mobile money operators don’t permit transactions between each other.

Dash’s idea is to create a network where mobile money and traditional banks can rapport and facilitate transactions for consumers and businesses.

Just like Visa or Mastercard, Dash routs payments through banks and telcos regardless of who issued it.

This means mobile wallet users in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, where Dash’s service is operational for now, can connect their bank or mobile money accounts to Dash, pay bills, and send and receive money to other users while the platform handles currency conversions.

We’re building this interoperability so a Kenyan traveling to Ghana or Ghanaian traveling to Kenya would be able to pay for stuff without having to change currencies or setting up accounts when they touch the ground,” said Boampong.

The revenue from these avenues paints a bright future for the startup as its volume of transactions increases.

The startup has processed over US$1 billion since its launch in 2020 from 1 million customers the company has acquired from Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.

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