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Paystack acquired by Stripe for a reported $200 million in the biggest fintech acquisition in Nigeria’s history

Nigerian fintech startup, Paystack has been acquired by global fintech giant, Stripe.

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Paystack acquired by Stripe for a reported $200 million in the biggest fintech acquisition in Nigeria's history

PayStack, a Nigerian fintech startup, has been acquired by global fintech giant Stripe, in the biggest M&A deal in Nigerian tech and one of the biggest in Nigerian corporate history. Paystack was founded in 2016 by Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade.

This was disclosed in a press release seen by Nairametrics. The statement read in part:

“In order to help grow Africa’s online GDP, Stripe has entered into an agreement to acquire Paystack, a technology company based in Lagos that makes it easy for organizations of all sizes to collect payments from around the world.

READ: Nigerian Fintech Startup, Piggybank.ng, secures $1.1M Seed Funding

READ: How these healthcare startups are changing the narratives in the ecosystem

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“Today, more than 60,000 businesses in Nigeria and Ghana use Paystack to securely collect online and offline payments, launch new business models, and deepen customer relationships.

“Incredibly, Paystack already processes more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria.
Paystack has ambitious plans to expand across the continent and recently started a pilot with businesses in South Africa.

“Stripe and Paystack have been working closely together for some time. In 2018, Stripe led Paystack’s Series. A financing round and has provided ongoing guidance as the company rapidly scaled.”

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READ: FairMoney secures EUR 10 million seed funding, to widen mobile banking services in Nigeria 

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Following the announcement, TechCrunch on Thursday afternoon reported that Stripe had raised $600 million to invest and acquire payments companies in developing nations. It disclosed that the Nigerian startup had been on Stripe’s bucket list for a while since 2018 when Stripe led an $8 million funding round for PayStack.

Paystack Co-founder Sola Akinlade told TechCrunch that the company was not up for sale when Stripe initially approached for the acquisition; however, the founders are mission-driven and believed Stripe could accelerate it. Akinlade also disclosed PayStack investors, VISA and Tencent also approached to acquire the company.

READ: 3 startup lessons from Kobo360’s $30 million fund raise

“Paystack was not for sale when Stripe approached us.

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“For us, it’s about the mission. I’m driven by the mission to accelerate payments on the continent, and I am convinced that Stripe will help us get there faster. It is a very natural move,” Akinlade said.

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READ: The “EndSARS” protests and the problem of police reform in Nigeria

Backstory

Nairametrics reported in 2016 when Paystack raised its initial $1.3 Million Seed Funding from both international and homegrown investors.

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Founders Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade were the toast of the tech space when their company became the first Nigerian tech startup to be accepted into the world-famous Y Combinator program, based in Silicon Valley. They obtained an initial $120,000 seed funding and further technical advice at the program.

READ: #EndSARS: Nigerian firms, Start-ups donate millions in support of protests

READ: E-Settlement Partners Seriate for acquisition and deployment of 20,000 mPOS

What they are saying

Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, told TC that the deal with PayStack is an enormous opportunity, as African e-commerce grows by 30% every year, which would give Stripe an early footing in the region.

“This is an enormous opportunity,” he said.

“In absolute numbers, Africa may be smaller right now than other regions, but online commerce will grow about 30% every year. And even with wider global declines, online shoppers are growing twice as fast.

READ: New report details how Nigerian fintech companies are expanding their business scopes

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“Stripe thinks on a longer time horizon than others, because we are an infrastructure company. We are thinking of what the world will look like in 2040-2050.”

He added that Stripe is also planning  on understanding the ecosystem and keep its eyes  open so it can see where help is needed, as the company does not tie up its investments into “complicated strategic investments.”

Collison said that many companies depend on Stripe’s infrastructure, but with PayStack, the founders have organic input in running their operations.

READ: Meet Sola Akinlade, co-founder of Nigeria’s foremost payment platform Paystack

READ: Paystack explains how it will use Truecaller to verify merchants

Stripe said the announcement of the acquisition was delayed due to the #EndSARS protests across the country.

“A lot of companies have been, let’s say, heavily influenced by Stripe.

“But with Paystack, clearly they’ve put a lot of original thinking into how to do things better. There are some details of Stripe that we consider mistakes, but we can see that Paystack ‘gets it’. It’s clear from the site and from the product sensibilities, and that has nothing to do with them being in Africa or African.”

READ: Nigerian fintech companies raised $600 million in five years – McKinsey Report 

Shola Akinlade said the payments ecosystem is still broken and PayStack is still in its early days. PayStack provides payments API for companies and takes a cut from every transaction. The company has 60,000 customers so far, from SMEs to large cooperation,s and would continue to run independently.

Techcrunch said the full terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, TC confirmed that it is worth over $200 million, making it the largest tech acquisition in Nigerian corporate history.

READ: CBN to sanction exporters who default on export proceed number

What you should know

According to Crunchbase, PayStack has raised $11.7 million so far.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. TAAKANJI

    October 15, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Thank goodness that these two guys had not been arrested by SARS and harassed or probably killed as they were going around in Lagos with their laptops and IT Gear in the infancy of their putting the Start-Up together.

    Goodness knows how many young chaps with similar ideas and potentials that have been killed by SARS operatives in the past simply because they had laptops, wore dreadlocks and had sneakers and jeans on.

  2. Mal

    October 18, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Why it’s the most idiotic dumbest decision these two bright minded African young men may have made in their life. We just don’t see it, but Stripe does as they said in the piece we are looking at year 2040 and 2050. I am not naive about this at all as l am sure that the pressure to sell must have been tremendous – at the end of the day selling for 200million their future is bleak to say the least. They definitely didn’t take in the bigger picture seriously enough. Not to mention that they see it as a economic win for the country

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Corporate deals

DEAL: Heirs Holdings acquires 45% of OML 17 from Shell, Total and Eni

Heirs Holdings has acquired 45% of OML 17 from Shell Nigeria as part of its expansion into the oil and gas industry.

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UBA’s Tony Elumelu, Wizkid

Heirs Holdings has expanded its Oil and Gas portfolio, as it acquired 45% of OML 17 from Shell Nigeria.

The company acquired related assets, through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI.

This was disclosed by the company in a statement issued on Friday and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the statement, TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will have sole operatorship of the asset in a transaction that is one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in over a decade.

  • “With a financing component of US$1.1 billion, provided by a consortium of global and regional banks and investors. OML 17 has a current production capacity of 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and according to our estimates, 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential. The investment demonstrates a further important advance in the execution of Heirs Holdings’ integrated energy strategy and the Group’s commitment to Africa’s development, through long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth.”

What they are saying

In the statement, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, said:

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  • “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.
  • “As a Nigerian and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.”

The President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp, Owen Omogiafo, explained that the deal further demonstrates the company’s integrated energy strategy and its determination to power Africa.

  • “Heirs Holdings was advised by Standard Chartered Plc, as Global Coordinator, and United Capital Plc, with a syndicate of lending institutions including Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and global asset management firm, Amundi. The deal also involves Schlumberger as a technical partner, as well as the trading arm of Shell as an off-taker.
  • “Heirs Holdings has created one of Africa’s largest, indigenous owned, oil and gas businesses, headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria and led by a board and management team with significant regional and global experience in production, exploration, and value creation in the resources sector.”

What you should know

  • Two years ago, Nairametrics reported that Elumelu’s Heir may acquire Shell, as the Royal Dutch Shell Plc was reportedly considering the possibility of selling its two oil mining licenses in the oil-rich Niger-Delta.
  • According to reports, Heirs Holding Ltd was already raising funds to acquire the two oil mining licenses 11 and 17 valued at $2 billion. The assets include a natural gas-fired power plant which will be managed by Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc.
  • Transnational Corporation Plc in its Half year results for the period ended 31 June 2018, recorded a 44.8% increase in revenue from its Power segment of operation from N27.97 billion in half-year 2017 to N46.08 billion half-year 2018. The largest of its five revenue segments.
  • According to the report, the decision to sell off these assets is triggered by the continued unrest in the oil-rich region and age long accusation of environmental pollution levelled against the Dutch oil firm.
  • Shell has over the years faced stiff opposition in operating within the Niger-Delta region, with several reports of pipeline vandalism and youth restiveness in the region. This situation has left the oil company with undeveloped oil and gas reserves.

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Corporate deals

Deal: Ardova to acquire Enyo

Ardova Petroleum Plc (AP) has announced plans to acquire oil and gas retail outlet Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

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Olumide Adeosun, Forte Oil Plc,

Ardova Petroleum Plc (AP) has announced plans to acquire oil and gas retail outlet Enyo Retail and Supply Limited. This was announced via the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

Nairametrics reported in September 2019 that Ardova had obtained its board approval to acquire downstream assets in the country in line with its expansion plans.

According to the information contained in the press release, Enyo accepted Ardova’s acquisition offer in a deal that is still subject to completion of a due diligence exercise and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

Ardova share price rallied during the day as news of the deal reached some investors and closed at N20 per share. The share price of Ardova has rocketed this year gaining 47.6% year to date as of Wednesday.

This will be the second major acquisition by Ardova Plc after its majority shareholders Prudent Energy Services, using a vehicle Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, acquired majority shares in Forte Oil Plc from billionaire Femi Otedola in 2019. In the 2019 deal, Mr. Otedola sold 970,166,694 units of Forte Oil Plc in off-market trades at a price of N66.25 per share and valued at about N64 billion. Ardova share price was about N32.3 per share when it was acquired by Prudent Energy Services.

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The CEO of Ardova Mr. Olumide Adeosun informed the Exchange that immediately following completion, AP will look to retain the Enyo branded stations which will operate side by side with the AP brand “whilst leveraging the strengths of AP and its group companies” in a move that is typical with such acquisitions.

Enyo was established in 2017 as a downstream energy player and is majorly owned by Folawiyo Energy, a notable player in the oil and gas industry. The Chairman of ENYO is Mr. Tunde Folawiyo. Ardova indirect majority shareholder Prudent Energy Services is owned by a Nigerian businessman and oil mogul Abdulwasiu Sowami.

Ardova reported a profit after tax of N1.8 billion in the first 9 months of the year compared to N2.5 billion the year before. Full-year profit in 2019 was N3.9 billion and it is very likely profits will fall when the company reports its results this year.

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Access Bank completes acquisition of Zambian Cavmont Bank Ltd

Access Bank has completed the acquisition of Zambian Cavmont Bank Ltd, in a bid to strengthen its operational base in the continent.

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Access Bank Plc has announced that its Zambian subsidiary (Access Bank, Zambia) has completed the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited, following the fulfilment of pre-requisite conditions, including regulatory approvals.

The tier-1 bank made the disclosure through a press statement signed by the Bank’s secretary, Sunday Ekwochi and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that Access Bank had reached a definitive agreement with Cavmount Capital Holdings Zambia Plc (CCHZ) to acquire Cavmount Bank Ltd, in a bid to diversify and expand its operational base in the continent.

In a recent development, the financial giant through a press statement released today stated that the merger between the aforementioned firms is set to take place before the end of January 2021.

What this means: The deal is a highly complementary transaction that is expected to combine Access Bank Zambia’s wholesale and trade finance capabilities with Cavmont Bank’s retail and commercial banking operations.

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In addition, the deal has the potentials to enlarge Access Bank Zambia as a stronger and well-capitalized banking franchise with improved scale and capacity to deliver sustainable and best-in-class financial services in the Zambian market.

What you should know:

  • As part of the terms and conditions of the deal, Nairametrics learnt that Access Bank Zambia will acquire the entire issued ordinary share capital, assets and liabilities of Cavmont Bank while Capricom Group Limited, the ultimate majority shareholder of CCHZ will invest at least ZMW300 million ($16.5 million) of preference shares into Access Bank Zambia. Capricorn will hold preference shares in the enlarged Access Bank Zambia for a period of five years, after which the preference shares will be acquired by Access Bank Plc.
  • The deal was originally scheduled to be completed by Q4 2020, but was later moved to the first quarter of 2021 (Q1, 2021).

What they are saying

Excerpts of the press release read thus: ‘’Sequel to our announcement of August 6, 2020, the Board of Access Bank Plc (‘’the Bank’) today announces that its Zambian subsidiary, Access Bank (Zambia) Limited has completed the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited (‘’Cavmont’’), following fulfilment of the key conditions precedent including regulatory approvals.

‘’Growing our presence in Zambia remains a strategic priority for Access Bank and with the conclusion of the proposed merger with Cavmont, the Bank looks forward to realising the synergies from the transaction and achieving further growth of the combined platform to the benefit of all stakeholders.’’

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