Nigerian fintech startup, Paystack, this week got a significant financial jumpstart from investors. The payments solution firm, which is still in its beta stage, received seed funding worth up to $1.3 million from a host of companies, led by Chinese investment company Tencent. Investors throwing their weight behind Paystack also include Comcast Ventures, M &S Partners, Tokyo Founders Fund, Rave Investments and KIBS-CPY Partners.
The Nigerian online payments sector is expanding rapidly; a number of startups have joined the race to provide convenient ways for people to carry out cross-border, distance-defying transactions in real time. Paystack, though still in its early stage of development, has attracted considerable attention from those desiring a forward-looking change in the status quo as far as payments systems are concerned. Its founders, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, say they founded the company a year ago because they “knew the online payments system in Africa was essentially broken.” They decided to do the “hard work of fixing it.”
Akinlade says Paystack will use the investment it has just received to build its product and marketing team. He explained that the platform has a thousand active users and has handled transactions worth a total of $3.1 million. Its latest round of seed funding should help it improve upon this performance and raise the quality of service it delivers.
The backing received by Paystack from its new international partners is recognized as a nod to Nigeria’s growing fintech sector, and perhaps to its burgeoning tech industry.
Paystack will have a full launch in the first quarter of 2017 if its founders’ plan unfold as they expect.