PawaPay, a pan-African payment startup, has secured a $9 million Seed raise.
The round was co-led by MSA and UK-based investment fund 88mph, with participation from Vunani Capital, Kepple Ventures, and Zagadat Capital. The capital will be deployed to scale pawaPay’s operational presence, find more talent to join the team, and expand into new markets on the continent.
Founded in 2020, pawaPay is focused on the mobile money infrastructure provided by telecommunications companies (telco) in Africa. Each telco in each country provides its own unique mobile money product, which makes the mobile money infrastructure as a whole – across borders and telcos – highly fragmented and opaque.
For merchants, this fragmentation means that it is unnecessarily expensive to use and frustratingly unstable. Through pawaPay’s simple API, merchants can access more than 300 million customers in more than ten markets and enjoy seamless, transparent and highly reliable payments.
PawaPay’s customers are large Pan-Africa/global merchants and companies needing to make payments to African consumers’ accounts. Payments in Africa have long been made difficult by large unbanked populations, declined credit card transactions, charge-backs, fraud, dropped and lost payments, and slow cross-border settlements.
What they are saying
Nikolai Barnwell, CEO of pawaPay said “We are excited to have world-class investors supporting our vision to connect every mobile money wallet in Africa to each other, and the rest of the world, as we continue to make it simpler to do payments.”
Kresten Buch, Founder of 88mph, added “When we first invested in Africa in 2010, one of the key drivers was that mobile money was a superior payment method to credit and debit cards when used for online payment. So, we are excited to be an investor in pawaPay’s journey and continue to witness the development of digital infrastructure in Africa.”
Mr. Eazi, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and Founder of Zagadat Capital, added: “Being investors hugely focused on Africa and very familiar with the landscape, we believe that mobile money-focused fintech is not just one of the most exciting places to invest but also one of the most important bridges to ensuring financial inclusion of the billions of people across the continent, the kicker for us was that we believe in the clear mission, vision and strategy & we are confident that the pawaPay team is the best team to achieve it.”