Kenya’s BitPesa acquires European money transfer platform

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Kenyan bitcoin payments startup BitPesa has acquired Spain-based online money transfer platform TransferZero in a bid to further accelerate its growth across the world.

BitPesa, which raised two funding rounds last year to take its total secured investment to around the US$10 million mark, launched in Kenya in 2013 and also operates in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, the DRC, the UK and Senegal.

TransferZero was founded in 2016 and was the first fintech company licensed by the Bank of Spain as an authorized payment institution. The company is a partner of Bankia, Spain’s third largest bank, and has pioneered a number of innovations in the European fintech sector.

As BitPesa is one of the few global companies to have licensing and infrastructure in Africa and Europe, the partnership enables the fast-growing platform to plant deeper roots through UK and European licensing, bank accounts, and integrations.

“Europe is a hub for global remittance and payments companies,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of BitPesa.

“Digital currencies and decentralised technology have hit critical mass in the financial services and payments space. It is no longer a question of whether this technology will have staying power – rather, which specific technology and what product iteration will launch and scale first.”

Luis Cambronero, former CEO of TransferZero and now managing director (MD) at BitPesa, said BitPesa has the support of top-tier, institutional investors and a network that would help bring TransferZero’s technology to the next level.

“Traditionally, residents would have to go to an agency or office to send money in cash. We enable our customers to quickly send money across the globe for free. Our new smart phone application is designed for the next generation of users,” he said.

“This is truly a partnership where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, allowing BitPesa to solidify our leadership in this space,” said Rossiello. “By bringing our regional and technological expertise together, we will further accelerate our month-to-month growth,” Rossiello said.

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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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