Digital payments company, Interswitch has secured a $110 million in joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital to scale its digital payment services across Africa.
The two investors confirmed this in a statement. Interswitch Group CEO, Mitchell Elegbe, also confirmed this, saying that the company was “excited to welcome LeapFrog and Tana on board, as we continue our work to advance the future of the African payments landscape.”
LeapFrog and Tana plan to work with management to continue to drive Interswitch’s pan-African strategy, which includes acquiring new customers and building new products to support a financial inclusion strategy.
What they are saying
LeapFrog Investments, partner, head of Africa financial services, Karima Ola, in a statement in the statement announcing the investment said: “Interswitch, a pioneer in the African payments ecosystem, has been disrupting the cash economy, driving digital payments and promoting equitable financial inclusion in Nigeria for two decades. This investment by LeapFrog affirms the formidable talent at Interswitch and how well-placed it is to seize the significant opportunity in Africa’s evolving digital payments landscape.”
Mark Tindall, Managing Director and CEO, Tana Africa said: “Interswitch has developed a strong position at the nexus of Nigeria’s payments ecosystem, underpinned by an offering which is primed for continued growth. The business’ evolution is testament to management’s track record and tenacity. Alongside LeapFrog, we look forward to supporting Interswitch’s next chapter through continued product innovation and growth across the African continent.”
Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Chief Executive of Interswitch said: “We are excited to welcome LeapFrog and Tana on board, as we continue our work to advance the future of the African payments landscape. The evolution of fintech in Nigeria and the broader sub-Saharan region has been driven by the need to solve challenges and barriers that exist within the traditional financial system. Interswitch was born from the need to develop solutions that match the unique needs of local customers and merchants.”
What you should know
- This news is coming almost three years since Interswitch’s last disclosed funding round when Visa paid $200 million for a 20% stake in the company.
- At $1 billion (its last know valuation), Interswitch is one of Africa’s largest electronic payments and infrastructure companies.
- The fintech powers much of the rails for Nigeria’s online banking system and is well-known for its point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller, and Verve, the biggest domestic debit card scheme in Africa, issuing over 35 million active cards since launch.
- In 2016, Interswitch taunted the idea of going public.
- Subsequent reports of the 20-year-old fintech listing on a major exchange also surfaced in 2019 and 2020, but that plan seems to have been shovelled into the back seat following its investment from Visa.