Nigerian fintech startup Baxi, one of the country’s leading super-agent networks, has been acquired by the pan-African payments company MFS Africa to enable the latter’s expansion into Nigeria.
Founded in 2014 by Degbola Abudu and Folu Majekodunmi, Baxi provides a cash-in/cash-out offering as well as value-added services – account opening, money transfer, bill payment and more – to the last mile through its network of more than 90,000 agents.
The startup has already processed over US$1 billion in transactions this year, and has now been acquired by MFS Africa, the largest pan-African digital payments hub. MFS Africa, which acquired East African payments management startup Beyonic last year, plans to build Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, allowing customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria.
The deal, which is subject to approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, sees MFS Africa expand into Nigeria for the first time, having had a limited presence thus far due to the country’s small number of mobile wallets. MFS Africa will also expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s footprint of 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the MFS Africa team to expand our service offering for individuals and SMEs. We believe that we’ve barely scratched the market’s potential. Only three per cent of Nigerian SMEs have access to credit products. By teaming up with MFS Africa, and with the strong support of our local commercial banking partners, we can offer more value-added products and services, such as cross-border payments, to support Nigerian SMEs in their growth,” said Degbola Abudu, Baxi chief executive officer (CEO).
“This deal is a pivotal step in our journey. By combining Baxi’s network of SMEs operating as agents with our pan-African network, we aim to take Nigeria’s SMEs to the rest of Africa and the world. Our expansion into Nigeria brings us one step closer in our mission of making borders matter less,” said Dare Okoudjou, MFS Africa’s founder and CEO.