INTERSWITCH CONFIRMS $1B VALUATION IN NIGERIA AFTER VISA INVESTMENT
Nigeria digital payments firm Interswitch confirms $1B valuation, this came after the Nigerian-based payments firm in its today’s publication, confirmed it has reached unicorn status after visa’s acquisition of minority equity stake in the firm became a success.
Responding to this development, Interswitch made it clear that, “The investment makes Interswitch one of the most valuable African fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion”. This implies that the Visa could potentially create the first of two market distinctions for the firm (Interswitch) – on the other hand, this shouldn’t change the Lagos-based company’s plans in going public.
At this point, the value of Visa’s investment is still based on Sky News pegging, this is because Interswitch is yet to reveal the amount Visa invested. With all things being equal, the firm cannot confirm Sky News Monday reports, which claim that the investment was valued at $200 million for 20 percent (20%).
With less emphasis placed on Visa’s value, it’s also important to note here that Interswitch’s confirmation of a $1 billion valuation establishes the fact of another milestone in Africa tech. on the other hand, reports from a reliable source maintained that “An IPO is still very much in the cards; likely sometime in the first half of 2020”.
As Interswitch confirms $1B, it’s important to note, at this moment – the firm stands as Africa’s sole tech-unicorn, though the likes of Jumia could have top the list. But, Jumia’s volatile share-price and declining market since an April IPO did drop the company’s value below Interswitch’s confirmation figure. This is because the e-commerce venture (Jumia) has generated enough capital and revenue that could practically place the company in a ten-figure valuation.
Looking at the company’s history, it’s understood Interswitch was founded in early 2000, precisely 2002 by ‘Mitchell Elegbe’, with the primary objective of putting the infrastructure that will digitize Nigeria’s traditional paper-ledger and cash-based economy.
Meanwhile, the firm (Interswitch) has expanded its physical presence and services from Nigeria to Kenya, Uganda, and The Gambia. While in Nigeria, the company now offers several online banking systems that serve Africa’s most populous and largest economy, coupled with the fact that, it also offers a number of personal and business products, such as the Quickteller payment app and Verve cards.
Interswitch and Visa see the equity investment as a strategic collaboration between the two companies. Based on this, the press has it, “The partnership will create an instant acceptance network across Africa to benefit consumers and merchants”.
Lastly, the subject company also sells its product in 23 African countries, coupled with its August partnership with Verve cardholders to make payments on Discover’s global network.
- What’s your take as Interswitch confirms $1B valuation?