Today, Monday July 2, 2012, 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 Company to scale money transfer service nationwide.
With the advent of Mobile Money transactions in Nigeria, along came Paga — Nigeria’s leading money transfer service. Founded early 2009, Paga officially launched in February 2011 and in a couple of months recorded great success. By September of the same year the company had 20, 000 users and had done over 18,000 transactions and processed over N100 million transaction volumes. Presently, Paga has processed over 276,000 transactions worth more than N2.6 billion and has over 125,000 users and counting.
In line with their mission to deliver innovative and universal access to financial services for all Nigerians and to keep up with the phenomenal growth they have experienced so far, Paga today announced it has secured new investments from four new companies: Adlevo Capital, Omidyar Network, Acumen Fund, Capricorn Investment Group, and current investors Goodwell West Africa Microfinance Development Company.
Commenting on the purpose of the investment, Paga’s founder & CEO, Tayo Oviosu, said that the company was humbled by the interest they continually receive from both local and international investors.
‘The business opportunity for Paga is huge, and it follows that the capital requirement to achieve our mission is also significant. A key requirement for success in our industry is having investors who share our vision and have the financial fortitude for such an undertaking,’ Mr Oviosu said.
He added that the investment will enable Paga to scale their operations across Nigeria and allow them to build upon their front-runner position.
Also speaking on the new partnership and investment opportunity were representatives from the different investor companies. Arjuna Costa, director of investments at Omidyar Network – a philanthropic investment firm – praised Paga’s innovative mobile solutions for commerce. ‘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,’ he said.
Speaking further on Paga’s social impact, Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, said, ‘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.’ Godfrey Mwindaare, the director of Acumen Fund’s West Africa office, added that the Paga team was already working to deliver on its plans for low cost savings products, micro-insurance, and other financial services through its agent network and in partnership with strong local banks.
Tayo Oviosu, summed up, in a few words, the vision of Paga, and the role of innovation in accomplishing it: ‘innovation is at the core of Paga. Paga is a home-grown solution that overcomes a core challenge in Nigeria – how to transfer money or pay for anything without physically carrying cash.’
Paga enables 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 these transactions in their communities by visiting any agent in Paga’s growing network, comprising of more than 850 agents currently located in 19 cities.
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 organisations.
Customers can use Paga directly from their mobile phones or Internet-enabled devices by visiting the website or a Paga agent. Recipients of money sent can simply go to any Paga agent to collect the funds and do not need to be Paga customers to do so.