Wapi Pay, the First Africa-Asia Payments Gateway has raised $2.2 million pre-seed for cross-border payments between Africa and Asia. The round is one of the largest of its kind in East Africa and the continent.
The venture firms that took part include China-based fund MSA Capital, known to have invested in unicorns Meituan, Nubank, and Klarna; Pan-African and Africa-focused firms EchoVC, Kepple Africa, Future Hub; and Pan-Asian firms Transsion Holdings and Gobi Ventures.
Founded in 2019 by brothers Paul Ndichu and Eddie Ndichu, Wapi Pay provides a payments gateway for African businesses to receive and send money from Asia via mobile money platforms and bank accounts.
“Wapi Pay bypasses traditional payment networks, optimizing efficiency and cost for our customers. Users choose the delivery channels they want, such as bank to bank, wallet to wallet, bank to wallet and wallet to bank options to transfer funds as well as make merchant payments, with settlement done within 24 hours,” CEO Eddie Ndichu told TechCrunch
Wapi Pay currently works with local banks and platforms in China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Phillippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The company claims to be growing at 396% year-on-year since 2019 and has hopes to continue in that fashion. By the end of next year, Wapi Pay wants to process $500 million in remittances and increase the number of African merchants and Asian suppliers to half a million and 100,000, respectively.
This new investment will be used to engage regulators for licensing across Africa and for scale, product, and geographical expansion.
According to Eddie, “These funds will help Wapi Pay diversify our products range and drive growth so that we can evolve remittances into real-time global cross-border payments, starting with Africa and Asia. All while minimizing the cost of transactions, it needs to be as easy as sending M-PESA,”
What they are saying about Wapi Pay
Tim Chen, vice president at MSA Capital, said, “Africa to Asia is a large trading corridor overlooked and underserved by tech today. We believe Wapi Pay is the best team to build the necessary infrastructure to support its growing trade volumes. We are excited to support them with our extensive China fintech network and playbook.”