Photograph — Let's Talk Payments

One of Nigeria’s leading financial technology startups, Paga has raked in $10 million in a Series B2 funding round led by Global Investment Fund (GIF). The funding round also included investments from its existing investors Adlevo Capital, Goodwell (managed by Alitheia Capital), Unreasonable Capital and Omidyar Network.

Paga which was founded in 2009 by technology expert, Tayo Oviosu is now eyeing opportunities in the global market with plans to expand its operations beyond the borders of Nigeria. According to Oviosu, the funds obtained from this round will be injected to propel the expansion plans in Ethiopia, Mexico, and the Philippines.

In its last funding round (Series B1) in October 2015, Paga raised $15M in investments from four investors led by Adlevo Capital. Nearly a decade since it was launched in Nigeria, Paga still remains at the top despite competition in the evolving market, making it one of the oldest financial startups in Africa’s largest economy. In 2011, Paga received a full license from the Central bank of Nigeria to become one of the pioneering mobile money operators in the country.

“At Paga, we are building an ecosystem that enables people to digitally send and receive money, and creating simple financial access for everyone. We do not seek to be a bank, but rather to partner with banks and financial institutions in the markets we operate,” said, Tayo Oviosu, founder/CEO, Paga.

The proliferation of FinTech startups has ultimately disrupted the cash-driven economy in Nigeria as they continue to introduce innovative ideas that are technology based. These startups are driving financial inclusion by reducing the constraints involved in the process of paying and receiving money in Nigeria while attracting investors.

In May alone, Lidya, Piggybank, and Cellulant recorded a huge funding series led by investors. Lidya secured $6.9m funding which allowed it expand its loan book across Africa in a series A funding while Piggybank also raised $1.1M in a seed funding round. In a report released by Techpoint Africa, over 20 foreign investors were at the fore, staking huge cash on Nigerian startups.

Mines, a credit payment digital platform also announced that it would scale up activities across Africa after raising $13 million in a series A funding round led by The Rise Fund. Paystack also secured $8m Series A funding led by a foreign investor last month.

Investments in FinTech startups based in Nigeria and other parts of Africa have outgrown other startups accounting for a third of all the venture funding in Africa last year. Since the dawn of this new era, the wave continues to rise as investments in FinTech startups reportedly moved from about $198 million in 2014, to $800 million in 2016.

The African FinTech market is expected to reach $3 billion by 2020 as global investors continue to prioritize investments that focus on the B2B market, including payment platforms and other SME lending platforms.

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