Nigeria’s leading money transfer service Paga announced it has secured new investments from Adlevo Capital, Omidyar Network, Acumen Fund, Capricorn Investment Group, and current investors Goodwell West Africa Microfinance Development Group to boost its capacity and extend mobile money technology across the country.
The value of the investment was not disclosed.
Launched in February 2011, Paga’s mission is to deliver innovation and universal access to financial services for all Nigerians. The company plays a critical role in enabling a cashless Nigeria and delivering access to finance to the over 80% of Nigerians that are un-banked or under-banked.
Paga is available on all mobile networks and is delivered to customers in collaboration with strong local banks (including microfinance institutions), retailers, and various other private and public sector organizations.
Using the service, any person with a mobile phone or Internet access to send cash to anyone in Nigeria, buy or send airtime credit, pay bills, pay both online and physical retail stores (without cash notes or a debit card), and perform a variety of other transactions. Individuals can also perform transactions by visiting any agent in Paga’s growing network, currently comprising of more than 850 agents in 19 cities, or online.
“A key requirement for success in our industry is having investors who share our vision and have the financial fortitude for such an undertaking,” said Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga, on the purpose of the investment.
Investors praised Paga for its capacity to provide financial inclusion for all Nigerians, including those living on less than $1 a day.
“What we like about Paga is their holistic approach to servicing merchants by providing a secure and simple solution for both banked and un-banked users to pay for goods and services,” said Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner at Adlevo Capital.
“The company’s innovative mobile solutions for commerce combined with its potential to enable financial inclusion broadly could be key factors in driving large scale social impact. By replacing cash as the primary method of payment, Paga enables real-time transactions that are more accessible, transparent, and inclusive. We believe Paga has the potential to rapidly scale and improve the lives of millions across Nigeria and the region,” said Arjuna Costa, Director of Investments at Omidyar Network.
“We think Paga’s innovative offerings will go a long way in bringing new economic opportunities to people that have been underserved by traditional financial services,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen Fund.
Since launching to the general public, Paga has processed over 276,000 transactions worth more than N2.6 billion. Today, Paga has over 125,000 users.
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