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Paystack leads acquisition of struggling fintech startup, Brass

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Nigeria’s fintech company and payment giant, Paystack, has led an investment consortium to acquire the struggling startup, Brass, for an undisclosed sum.

Joining Paystack in the acquisition are other prominent players like PiggyVest, Ventures Platform, P1 Ventures, and angel investors Oo Nwoye and Olumide Soyombo. The deal sees Brass’ founders Sola Akindolu and Emmanuel Okeke, as well as head of product Tolulope Saba, depart the company they established just four years ago.

Brass and Paystack have had a long working relationship, and we’re thrilled to announce this new chapter. Each member brings years of financing and building reliable fintech products. With new capital, we’re excited for Brass’ next growth stage,” stated Paystack COO, Amandine Lobelle. “

Akindolu expressed confidence that the investor group would continue Brass’ “mission of enabling entrepreneurship for Africans” through its suite of business banking tools like payment processing, payroll, expense management and credit offerings.

The acquisition provides a lifeline for Brass after a turbulent period that saw prolonged transaction delays last year spark concerns over its financial standing. The startup had also recently laid off some staff citing economic conditions.

Sources indicate Brass was pursuing bridge funding of up to $500,000, with one investor alleging the company withheld key financial information during that process. There are also unconfirmed reports of a significant hole in Brass’ balance sheet that new owners will inherit.

However, the investor consortium downplayed those issues, stating: “With a healthy investment of new capital, Brass is in an incredible position to deliver a world-class financial operations stack for businesses in Africa.”

Read also: Nigeria to open Startup House in San Francisco Tech Hub

For Paystack, a subsidiary of U.S. payments giant, Stripe, the deal expands its product offerings beyond core payments processing into adjacent services like expense management. This could boost cross-selling opportunities and strengthen its value proposition to fast-growing African businesses.

As funding for African startups dries up amid global economic headwinds, industry watchers expect further mergers and acquisitions in the months ahead as stronger players look to scoop up distressed but promising assets and talent. Brass’ sale may prove the opening salvo in this new wave of consolidation.

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