Pan-African digital payments network MFS Africa has raised $100 million in equity and debt, additional funding that takes its Series C round to $200 million. African investment manager Admaius Capital Partners led the new round.
Investors from its first Series C round like AfricInvest FIVE and CommerzVentures doubled down while the fintech also received capital from new investors: Vitruvian Partners and AXA Investment Managers. Debt financing came from Stanbic IBTC Bank, a Lagos-based bank, and Symbiotic.
Per MFS Africa’s statement, the new investment will allow it to achieve four objectives. First, continue its expansion plans across Africa. It will also help it further integrate into the global digital payment ecosystem, then expand into Asia and create cross-border payments synergies with Africa via a joint venture with LUN Partners and, finllay, carry out its growth plans for BAXI, a startup it acquired late last year.
These plans mirror what founder and CEO Dare Okoudjou told TechCrunch last November when the company announced its first $100 million tranche. At the time, the Baxi acquisition was still pending approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the country’s apex bank. Not only has the purchase been approved, BAXI now possesses two licenses to operate in the country: The Payment Service Solution Provider (PSSP) and Payment Terminal Service Provider (PTSP) licenses. The PSSP license allows BAXI to build gateways that process payments for third-party merchants, and the PTSP license gives BAXI the go-ahead to deploy its point-of-sale terminals for agency banking.
MFS Africa, known for its acquisition-led expansion plays, just last week acquired U.S.-based Global Technology Partners (GTP) in a cash-and-shares deal worth $34 million. The Africa-focused and London-based company connects over 320 million mobile money wallets across 35+ African countries and 700 corridors. But despite these connections across borders, millions of Africans can’t use their mobile money accounts to pay for subscription-based services run by international companies such as Netflix and Amazon.
GTP is a developer of prepaid and mobile payment software. According to PitchBook, its prepaid and mobile payment platform integrates several prepaid cards with a single bank account and allows users to make prepaid payments for online shopping and ATMs. The acquisition gives MFS Africa an avenue to issue prepaid cards to its customers so they can perform these tasks -- and also serve the African diaspora market in the U.S.
“The strength of our business model is grounded on building a lasting digital infrastructure that unleashes and simplifies economic activities across the continent through any-to-any interoperability,” Okoudjou said in a statement. “Our multiple initiatives and solutions are providing access to Africans, at home and in the diaspora. We are building MFS Africa into a safe, sound, scalable and high-impact pan-African payment infrastructure that will facilitate Africa’s rapidly growing commerce, both now and in the future.”
The fintech also highlighted its efforts in bringing in two hires to chart its next growth phase: Meghan Taylor, an ex-partner at Boston Consulting Group, who is now its chief of staff, and Julian Adkins, ex-Africa CFO at telecom operator Millicom, who operates as the company’s group chief financial officer.