LAGOS-BASED PAYMENT STARTUP PAGA ACQUIRES APPOSIT, A CONFIRMATION OF ETHIOPIA AND MEXICO’S MARKET
A Lagos-based digital payment startup Paga has acquired Apposit, the latter which is understood to be a software development company is based in Ethiopia. However, the figure for the deal is still undisclosed.
The latest news comes a year after the subject startup had raised $10 million Series B round, while in the same vein the company CEO ‘Tayo Oviosu’ had also announced previously at Disrupt San Francisco – the company’s intent to expand globally.
It’s understood, Paga will potentially influence Apposit, a company with United States registration, operating in Ethiopia capital, Addis Ababa – all in a bid to support its expansion in East Africa and Latin America.
Interestingly, Apposit and Paga have something in common, and this is based on the fact that both CEO’S were repatriate entrepreneurs. According to reports, ‘Adam Abate’ Apposit CEO returned to Ethiopia 17 years ago for an assignment in the country’s Ministry of Finance, after his studies at Brown University and also worked with a fintech in New York.
In the same vein, Paga’s CEO ‘Tayo Oviosu’ also had his MBA at Stanford University and prior to his return to Nigeria, he worked with Cisco Systems.
Responding to this development, Abate gave little insight about his team “I put together a team…to build…public financial management systems for the country. And during the process…brought in my best friend Eric Chijioke…to be a technical engineer”, adding they eventually teamed up with ‘Simon Solomon’ in 2007 to co-found Apposit, with the aim of developing large-scale enterprise software for the continent.
Meanwhile, before the latest story from the payment startup Paga, it was figured out Paga had been in partnership with Apposit since 2010. This led to Apposit dedicating a team of engineers with the aim of building a payment platform for Paga.
At the moment, Apposit has developed into a team of over 63 technicians and engineers, partnering with a good number of clients. However, in Ethiopia, Apposit has helped the country digitize its Commodity Exchange coupled with IT and software solutions with banks, profit, and non-profit companies.
The subject startup ‘Paga’ has emerged a multi-channel network through which money is transferred, items are bought, and bills are paid digitally. At the moment, the company currently boasts of 14 million customers in Nigeria who on daily basis transfer funds from one of the startup’s 24,411 agents or via Paga’s mobile platforms.
Paga has remittance partnerships with Western Union which allow a third-party integration of its application. Based on this, the company’s product can be accessed on Android, iOS, and USSD phones with the aid of a star and hashtag option.
The acquisition of Apposit by the payment startup Paga will see the later absorb Apposit’s engineering team and potentials. According to Paga’s CEO, he claimed that the company has processed 104 million transactions worth $6.6 billion, and plans its Latin American launch this year.
‘Tayo Oviosu’ also stated in a broader perspective, the company’s intent, adding that, “There are several very large countries around the world in Africa, Latin America, Asia where these [financial inclusion] problems still exist. So our strategy is not an African strategy…We want to go where these problems exist in a large way and build a global payments business”.
But there is a challenge, being that Ethiopia has been slow to adopt digital finance. According to statistics, 1% of the country’s population uses mobile-money, compared with Africa’s mobile-payments leader – Kenya (73%).
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