East Africa

BitPesa closes a $2.5M round to expand digital payments business beyond Africa

BitpesaBitPesa, the leading frontier market digital currency payments company, has closed a $2.5 million Series A round to expand its services in the UK, Europe as well as further across West and Southern Africa – Andrew Fassnidge.

Having initially launched in Kenya in 2013, BitPesa has rapidly expanded its footprint both in Africa and around the world. BitPesa operates in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the DRC, the UK and Senegal. In addition, it has direct integrations to transact with over 30 currencies and 2016 saw the launch of its API platform, which enables the fastest settlement and best pricing between African and Chinese banks. BitPesa focuses on B2B customers operating in and across its key markets and offers FX, Treasury, and Settlement products via API or live OTC trading.

As reported last year the BitFury Group, the world’s leading Bitcoin Blockchain infrastructure provider and transaction processing company made an investment in BitPesa, which has now raised a total of nearly $6 million since launching in Kenya in 2013.

BitPesa’s clients includeFortune 50 multinationals, award-winning social enterprises, and some of the fastest-growing wholesale remittance companies around the world. This funding round accompanied a migration of its Group Holdings to Luxembourg. It is licensed in the UK as an FCA Authorized Payment Institution.

The round was led by US-based Draper VC with participation from new shareholder Greycroft LLC and existing investors Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital Management, Blockchain Capital, Zephyr Acorn, FuturePerfectVC and BnkToTheFuture.

Speaking on the fundraising round with AppsAfrica, BitPesa CEO, Elizabeth Rossiello shared “we are delighted to welcome our new investors, all who have a deep knowledge of our region and an expertise in the payment sector. We work in unique markets with huge untapped opportunities for the right teams and shareholders that can execute on a vision. Our new investors share our vision and are able to add value to our team in our current and expansion markets.

We have started out 2017 with continued customer acquisition and growth, especially in our largest market of Nigeria. We are well on our way to achieving our goal of becoming the largest licensed payment company in the UK, Europe and Africa that offers real-time settlement at wholesale FX rates to frontier and emerging markets, with best in class compliance and customer service.”

Tim Draper states that “BitPesa is well positioned to dominate the huge market opportunity for digital payments across Africa and beyond. It takes a locally-based team to work in the evolving landscape of frontier market financial services, and BitPesa’s approach to investing in teams, infrastructure, and compliance from Lagos to London gives them a strong advantage.”

According to Alan Patricof, who led the round for Greycroft, “The unusual energy and talent of Elizabeth Rossiello in leading BitPesa, with her objective of breaking through all barriers being put before the company, coupled with the huge market potential for local payments in Africa, make this a compelling opportunity for us.”



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