Nigeria’s Interswitch secures US$110M funding from LeapFrog and Tana Africa

NIGERIA –Africa’s top technology-driven enterprises focused on payment digitization, Interswitch has secured US$110 million in joint investment from LeapFrog investments and Tiana Africa Capital.

The digital payment company is Africa’s second unicorn, and its latest investment will help it to scale digital payment services across the continent.

This news is coming almost three years since Interswitch’s last disclosed funding round when Visa paid US$200 million for a 20% stake in the company.

Founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch disrupted Nigeria’s traditional cash-driven payments system, introducing electronic payments processing and switching services to the market.

When Interswitch entered Nigeria’s financial scene, it was estimated that there were less than 200,000 Nigerians with internet access, with many still adjusting to their newly acquired mobile phones.

Despite the existence of other e-payment services that had received operating licenses 6 years before Interswitch was established, Interswitch became Nigeria’s first e-payment service to be connected to all banks.

The fintech powers much of the rails for Nigeria’s online banking system and is well known for its point-of-sale terminals

Interswitch operates two flagship brands, Verve, a debit card scheme operating across Africa, and Quickteller, a popular multichannel consumer and business payments platform.

Led by a highly experienced management team, Interswitch is committed to being a responsible business, focused on employee wellness and talent development with 948 full-time employees across Africa.

The fintech also maintains an inclusive culture and is gender-balanced across the business, with women making up approximately 40% of employees across Africa, and 38% of the management team.

Amidst conversations about the proliferation of fintech companies in Nigeria and Africa, Interswitch is strengthening its pan-African expansion strategy which includes acquiring new customers and expanding financial inclusion on the continent

At last count, Africa had 350 million unbanked adults and recent data from the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) shows that 70% of the world’s $1 trillion mobile money market is in Africa.

The evolution of fintech in Nigeria and the broader sub-Saharan region has been driven by the need to solve challenges and barriers that exist within the traditional financial system,” said Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch Group CEO.

Interswitch was born from the need to develop solutions that match the unique needs of local customers and merchants.”

Alongside existing investors, LeapFrog and Tana will work with management to continue to drive Interswitch’s pan-African strategy.

The fintech aims to access new customers across the continent, innovate with new products and services, and support its financial inclusion strategy.

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