Ghanaian fintech Waya sees strong growth propel it into other African markets

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Ghana-based payments startup Waya is seeing month-on-month growth of between 20 per cent in its three existing markets, prompting it to launch expansion activities into three additional African countries.

Founded in 2018 after co-founder Delali Anku-Adiamah faced a challenge sending money back to Ghana while travelling around Africa, Waya provides seamless local and international payments and transfers through an interoperability platform that connects with banks, mobile money operators and other digital payments providers from all over the world, to serve Africa.

It achieves this by providing its users, both individuals and merchants, with access to a multi-currency, multi-channel application with intelligent routing capabilities that ensures funds are processed in the most cost-effective, secure and reliable way possible. Only the sender needs to have the app.

“The gap we found was the problem of high charges, long settlement times and difficulty in making cross-border transfers across Africa due to the non-existence of a singular financial platform that can connect to multiple financial sources. To compete with cash, digital payments and transfers have to be instant. With Waya, transactions are instant,” Anku-Adiamah told Disrupt Africa.

Up against the likes of ChipperCash, Eversend, SimbaPay, MamaMoney, and, more locally, BitSika, Waya is in a busy market. Yet it already has around 8,000 customers across Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, and is seeing growth of between 20 and 30 per cent month-on-month. This growth has prompted it to start expansion into South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda as well.

“We are looking at further expansion into East and North Africa with a possible direct financial bridging of East Africa and China,” said Anku-Adiamah.

The startup, which earns money through a fee-based model and has been profitable since December 2020, raised a pre-seed of US$50,000 last year from a network of angel investors from the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US) and Switzerland. It has also established a local partnership with Africa World, one of the biggest Africa-based airlines, to handle its mobile money ticket sales. The only way, it seems, is up.

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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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