Why Nigeria’s Paga is becoming a global mobile payments company
Yesterday, news broke that Nigeria’s mobile payments startup, Paga has raised $10 million in Series B2 funding, led by the Global Innovation Fund, bringing the total investment the company has raised since 2009 to $35 million.
The funding round is expected to further accelerate its growth in Nigeria and help it expand globally into other markets such as Ethiopia, Mexico and the Philippines.
If you were wondering why Paga chose to launch in those three countries located in three different continents — Africa, South America and Asia — the company explained in a Medium blog post that the problem it is solving in its home market, Nigeria (where it has built considerable scale), equally exists in other markets.
This is true, since most emerging markets lack easy access to and transfer of money for peer-to-peer transactions and digital payments, making it the biggest challenge that Paga wants to solve.
“Our purpose is to make it simple for one billion people to access and use money. To go after that ambition we are focusing on large markets where the problems we seek to solve — difficulty to transfer or leverage money — exist,” CEO Tayo Oviosu told Techloy in a Twitter message.
But Paga is not only targeting markets where mobile money exists or where it doesn’t exist. The company is focused on markets where its product would scale better.
“We are choosing to tackle markets where the scale is significant and we can have big impact on the global problem,” Oviosu told Techloy.
This makes a lot of sense since the product is scalable, platform-agnostic and multi-currency, so it can indeed “build a global payment ecosystem across many emerging markets.”
With this move, Paga is not only in the position to compete with regional and global payment players such as PayPal, Alipay, and M-Pesa, but appears to be going ahead of them with its unique product reach multiple markets.
Since launch, Paga has processed over 57 million transactions worth approximately $3.6 billion, with a network of 17,000 agents and more than 9 million users accessing funds in Nigeria.
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