Nigerian mobile payments company Paga raises $13m in funding

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Nigerian mobile payments company Paga has announced the completion of a US$13 million Series B funding round led by Adlevo Capital to help it build its agents network and continue to innovate its product.

Founded in 2009, Paga provides Nigerians with safe and convenient ways of making payments, allowing money to be sent to any phone number for the beneficiary to redeem at a Paga agent or at an ATM via a cardless withdrawal. Customers can also use Paga to deposit money to bank accounts in Nigeria, pay their bills, or top-up mobile phone airtime.

The US$13 million round is led by Adlevo Capital, a previous investor in Paga, but also includes Omidyar Network, Goodwell West Africa, Acumen Fund and Capricorn Investment Group. Individual investors include Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Yelp and one of the early team members at PayPal.

“Our recent financing will help us continue to build towards our vision and support the strengthening of our agent network,” said Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of Paga.

“Of course, we must continue to innovate on our payment offerings for small and medium enterprises and consumers. In addition, through our agent network today, we already offer more physical service points than all the bank branches in Nigeria put together, so we are actively working on partnerships with banks to offer our agent network for use by their customers.”

Folabi Esan, managing partner at Adlevo Capital, said when his company made its first investment in Paga in Paga in 2012 the company had processed only about 270,000 transactions, totalling just over US$15 million in value.

“The company has experienced an impressive compounded annual growth rate of about 150 per cent since Adlevo invested – today, having processed over 17 million transactions worth over a billion dollars,” Esan said.

“Paga’s sustained leading position in a competitive market is a testament to the strength of their team – and I think there’s even more to come as they unlock other areas of the business. I’m confident in Paga’s ability to drive growth of their sector in the coming years and continue to have a significant positive impact on the Nigerian economy.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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