A Francophone Africa’s startup that functions as a payment gateway that allows e-merchants and merchants to accept mobile money in addition to other forms of payments is reportedly backed by 4DX Ventures and Flutterwave in seed funding that saw the subject startup CinetPay land $2.4 million.
The pan-African Venture capital fund 4DX Ventures and unicorn Flutterwave are known to be the investors in the latest funding round, as such, an indication of two particular markers for the pair. Owing to the fact that CinetPay is currently their first investment in the Francophone region.
CinetPay, which was founded in 2016 by ‘Idriss Monthe’ and ‘Daniel Dindii’ actually evolved after the company CEO Monthe experienced issues collecting payments at his previous firm, CinetCore, a website that specialized in the sale of online domain names.
“When we launched our website to sell domain names online, we faced difficulty in collecting online payment after creating many PayPal accounts which were blocked by PayPal because we were in Africa”, according to the CEO.
“But the cost that we make is that in Francophone Africa 80% of the population have a mobile money account. And between 10 and 20% of people have a bank account and credit cards. We decided to explore the track of mobile money and create a payment gateway, where we aggregate all mobile money available in Francophone Africa to enable merchants to accept online payments”, ClinchBase has confirmed from a source familiar with the matter.
Currently, the Ivorian startup function as an online and point-of-sale payment solution basically for merchants to process payment from over 130 different operators – bank cards, mobile money, wallets precisely in nine French-speaking African countries. Namely: Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Congo, Guinea, Togo, and Benin.
Meanwhile, to navigate on the platform, merchants have to open an account and then upload their KYC, integrate Cinet’s APIs and start receiving payments. Moreover, every single merchant would have to pay an annual subscription fee of $20 a year while the subject startup collects a 1-1.5% commission on every transaction made.
Prior to this development (CinetPay landing), it’s what noting that the subject platform had since inception amass over 12,000 registered merchants on its platform. While these merchants range from e-commerce platforms and digital public services to insurance companies and schools. Yet, out of the registered number of merchants, only 400 are known to be active according to Monthe, noting that most active merchants have opened several accounts in the past until they decided to stick with one.
According to statistics, the company has so far processed more than 30 million transactions for these 400 merchants, which implies about $12.5 million transactions per month. With this, it all looks positive with the company.
“We’ve been tracking the Francophone Africa market for some time now, and have been impressed by CinetPay’s ambitious goal to digitize payments across the region”, co-founder and general partner at 4DX Ventures ‘Walter Baddoo’ said. “We look forward to partnering with the CinetPay team alongside our long-time portfolio company, Flutterwave, to help usher in the next phase of digital payments across the Francophone region”.
Flutterwave involvement in the latest round of funding is rather a continuation of the company’s partnership with CinetPay, however, the latest development is also viewed as an example of the duo’s shared vision to “simplify payments on the continent”, Flutterwave CEO ‘Olugbenga “GB” Agboola’ said.
Moreover, Monthe known to have spearheaded the startup maintained that despite the company’s size known to be relatively smaller when compared with its competitors, its geographical presence, technology, and mission to “simplify payment and make it accessible via all channels” makes it different from other players. Noting that the ultimate plan is to be at the foremost payment gateway in the next four years.
“Our vision is to be the first payment aggregator in Francophone Africa by 2025. First in terms of our geographical presence in 15 countries in Francophone Africa. First in terms of innovation, first in terms of market share”, Monthe remarked.
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