Verdant Capital has successfully completed its fourth major fintech transaction in the last 12 months. The debt and equity raise for leading challenger fintech, Zeepay, head-quartered in Ghana, follows a USD 20 million equity and debt capital raise for Tugende, an East African technology-enabled asset financing business, an USD 11 million debt capital raise for Retail Capital a technology-driven SME-lender in South Africa, and a USD 13 million equity and debt raise for Planet42 an innovative car subscription business in South Africa.
Zeepay is a pioneer of digital remittances from the diaspora to mobile wallets, bank accounts and visa cards across 20 markets in Africa, where it either operates a mobile money business or has approved partnerships. The business is successfully transitioning into an integrated omni-channel digital payments and value-added financial services provider operating across the continent. Verdant Capital positioned Zeepay’s USD 7.9 million equity and debt raise as Series A.0.
Zeepay, prior to the fund raise, had efficiently deployed a total of about USD 450,000 since its go-to-market in May 2016 to achieve a cumulative average growth rate of about 146 percent in the following five years. Zeepay has achieved this growth rate while maintaining operating profitability and reinvesting the profits.
In Verdant Capital’s view, Zeepay has the potential to transform how Africans implement payments across borders and domestically; and how these payments are integrated into value-added services such as credit and insurance. Zeepay has built a formidable market position in its anchor market of Ghana, which it is now replicating in synergistic markets across the continent. Verdant Capital expects this strategy to continue driving rapid revenue growth, profitability and financial inclusion.
The lead investor arranged by Verdant Capital was Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P). I&P is an impact investing group with over USD 250 million in assets under management. Other investors in the round included the holding company of the Managing Director, Andrew Takyi-Appiah and his wife Zoe Takyi-Appiah, GOODsoil VC, Absa Ghana and FNB Ghana. Verdant Capital is financial advisor to Zeepay. The lawyers for Zeepay were JLD & MB.
Bank of America, Coinbase Ventures Invested in Paxos’ $300M Funding Round
Paxos – a provider of blockchain infrastructure – said Bank of America, crypto exchange FTX, Founders Fund and Coinbase Ventures were among a heavyweight list of investors in its $300 million Series D funding round, the firm disclosed on Thursday.
Oak HC/FT led the funding round, which the nine-year-old company announced in late April at a valuation of $2.4 billion. The round also included PayPal Ventures and Mithril Capital, among others. The firm has raised more than $540 million over multiple funding rounds.
The company noted that Bank of America joined the Paxos Settlement Service earlier this year. The platform uses blockchain technology to achieve the same-day settlement of stock trades.
“We’re defining this space and are excited to grow our enterprise solutions besides these market leaders,” Paxos CEO and co-founder Charles Cascarilla said in a press release.
Paxos started providing infrastructure for PayPal’s crypto service last year, which has extended to PayPal’s Venmo payments app. Credit Suisse, fintech Revolut and Societe Generale are among other customers.
In an April interview with CoinDesk, Cascarilla called the latest funding round “confidence capital” that would give customers certainty that Paxos would “be around for the next five to 10 years.”
In a statement, Founders Fund partner Napoleon Ta called Paxos “a trusted operator in blockchain-based financial market infrastructure,” highlighting “its commitment to regulation, reliability and security for enterprises entering digital asset markets.”
African e-Wallet Startup PayQin Closes €300k Seed Investment Round, Plans To Expand in Africa
PayQin, a cross-border payment startup that operates a comprehensive e-wallet service for the underbanked in West Africa, is announcing a new €300,000 seed investment round that takes the company’s funding up to $1 million. The company aims to reach one million daily transactions in a year and envisions a single payment area for the West African countries.
PayQin is among the alumni of the Estonia-founded Startup Wise Guys accelerator’s first fintech batch powered by Swedbank. The company is also backed by several business angels and VC companies from the Baltic countries (United Angels VC, Startup Wise Guys), and venture capitalist investors from the US and Africa, including Planet42 co-founder Eerik Oja; and Jānis Krūms, the founder of PlanGrid (acquired by AutoDesk).
Founded in 2017 by Fabrice Amalaman and Pierre-Antoine Sesque, PayQin is driving financial inclusion in Africa’s vast underbanked markets, where the mobile phone penetration is twice the rate of banking access.
PayQin’s customers can store mobile money, use cross-border debit cards, make payments, and manage crypto transactions from a single app.
Launched in the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, and Mali, which together represent over 22 percent of the people in West Africa, PayQin is moving towards developing a single payment area for West African countries, home to 400 million people. PayQin is the first company in the West-African francophone countries to offer crypto for cross-border payments. The company currently has plans to open the platform to remittances from Europe, making for a large inflow of transactions that totaled $48 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa alone in 2019.
The company is working with Producement, a product engineering company founded by Wise alumni, to enhance the quality of the PayQin platform to a world-class level. The founders have gathered a tight circle of advisers to foster their ambitions. For their growth strategy, the company is advised by Iliana Björling Lindeberg, the head of marketing for Jumia Food and Jumia Travel Africa.
“The Sub-Saharan market is really one of a kind with leapfrogging technology such as mobile money and a young population eager to explore what companies like PayQin have to offer. Since PayQin fills an interesting gap in this space, I’m excited to be a part of their journey. Concepts like this are giving the banks a good run for their money,” Lindeberg commented.
The company is giving out free virtual cards in strategic partnership with Africa’s largest fintech company, Flutterwave, to open small local business owners up to the world of online ads to promote their products and services for increased sales. “We are building a safe and secure environment for online transactions, giving the unbanked access to products and online services that are not available locally,” said Fabrice Amalaman, PayQin cofounder and CEO.
Seplat Energy’s Subsidiary Westport Oil Raises US$50 Million Offtake Facility
Seplat Energy Plc, a leading Nigerian independent oil company listed on both Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Westport Oil Limited, has successfully raised a US$50 million offtake facility due April 2027.
The oil company disclosed in a statement signed by Mr. Emeka Onwuka, the Chief Financial Officer, Seplate Energy Plc.
According to the company, the US$50 million (offtake facility) is subordinated to the US$100 million senior reserve-based lending facility (the “RBL”).
The initial interest on the offtake facility is Libor + 10.5 percent payable semi-annually and the repayment is scheduled to commence in March 2023.
“The statement reads, Seplat Energy Plc (“Seplat” or the “Company”), a leading Nigerian independent energy company listed on both the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Westport Oil Limited, has successfully raised a US$50 million offtake linked reserved based lending facility due April 2027 (the “Offtake Facility”).
“The Offtake Facility is subordinated to the US$110 million senior reserve-based lending facility (the “RBL”). The Offtake Facility carries an initial interest of Libor + 10.5% payable semi-annually and is scheduled to commence repayment from March 2023.”
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