Interswitch, an African fintech company has raised $110 million joint investment to push its digital payment services across Africa.
The company said in a statement that the fund was raised from Tana Africa Capital, and Leapfrog Investment, and it will be used to broaden Interswitch’s reach across Africa, in its quest to access new customers across the continent, innovate with new products and services, and support its financial inclusion strategy.
“It’s a new day, and the start of an exciting chapter as LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital join forces with Interswitch Group as we forge ahead to actualize our vision of a prosperous Africa, driven by a seamless exchange of value and commerce,” the statement reads partly.
Speaking on the investment, Karima Ola, Partner, and Head of Africa Financial Services at LeapFrog Investments said:
“Interswitch, a pioneer in the African payments ecosystem, has been disrupting the cash economy, driving digital payments and promoting equitable financial inclusion in Nigeria for two decades. This investment by LeapFrog affirms the formidable talent at Interswitch, and how well-placed it is to seize the significant opportunity in Africa’s evolving digital payments landscape. LeapFrog is proud to be partnering with Interswitch to further enhance their innovative, digital capabilities to deliver sustainable scale, whilst positively impacting the lives of millions of people and businesses across the region.”
CEO and Managing Director at Tana Africa, Mark Tindall, said:
“Interswitch has developed a strong position at the nexus of Nigeria’s payments ecosystem, underpinned by an offering which is primed for continued growth. The business’ evolution is testament to management’s track record and tenacity. Alongside LeapFrog, we look forward to supporting Interswitch’s next chapter through continued product innovation and growth across the African continent.”
Interswitch CEO, Mitchell Elegbe expressed open delight at the investment partnership with Tana and Leapfrog.
“We are excited to welcome LeapFrog and Tana on board, as we continue our work to advance the future of the African payments landscape. The evolution of fintech in Nigeria and the broader sub-Saharan region has been driven by the need to solve challenges and barriers that exist within the traditional financial system. Interswitch was born from the need to develop solutions that match the unique needs of local customers and merchants,” Elegbe said.
Interswitch was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe. The company brought innovation into Nigerian financial sphere, with the introduction of its electronic payment system. This sets the foundation for electronic payment services in the country.
In 2019, Interswitch, which is one of the largest payment platforms on the African continent, had 20% of its shares acquired by Visa for $200 million. Going by its last valuation, Interswitch was valued at over $1 billion.
Currently, Interswitch operates two Fintech products: Verve – a debit card scheme that operates across Africa, with over 35 million cards issued since it began operations; as well as Quickteller, a popular multichannel consumer and business payments platform.
Interswitch announced for the first time in 2016 that it was pursuing a public listing. The CEO, Elegbe said the company was pursuing a dual listing in the London and Nigerian stocks exchange. The plan, however seems to have been shelved, as an aftermath of Visa’s 20% acquisition of the company.