THE FOUNDERS of Nigeria’s answer to PayPal have received investment of $1.3 million from international investors and become the country’s first company to be accepted into the world-famous Y Combinator progam, based in Silicon Valley.
Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi launched Paystack, is a revolutionary payment system that allows African businesses to accept payments from customers all around the world, in 2015.
The company’s ultimate goal is to solve the various problems surrounding online payments in Africa.
The Y Combinator-backed online payments platform is solving the considerable challenge of online payment transactions in Nigeria, by seamlessly connecting all multi-channel payment options with merchants across the country, enabling them to accept payments from around the world, via credit card, debit card, and direct bank transfer on web and mobile.
It is a revolutionary payment system that allows African businesses to accept payments from customers all around the world. The company’s ultimate goal is to solve the various problems surrounding online payments in Africa.
Led by co-founders Shola and Ezra, the Paystack team will use the investment to build out its engineering team in Lagos, as well grow its sales and marketing operations, to accelerate product development and customer onboarding.
Shola said: “Having painstakingly identified the many barriers that merchants on the continent have when it comes to online payments, we have built and refined a product for Africa that we hope will act as a catalyst for the continent’s online economy, be it on-demand services, ecommerce, travel and hospitality, financial services or entertainment.
He added: “We know Africa’s digital economy has potential, many billions of dollars of potential, we simply need to unlock it and make businesses work better, faster and more effectively. Paystack will do this. Thanks to the backing from our investors with today’s announcement, and our time spent with Y Combinator, we are now in the strongest position yet to resolve the disconnect between African businesses and accepting payments.”
Paystack is launching its service in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous economy, before rolling out the service across the continent.
Nigerian businesses collected about $150B last year, most of which was collected offline. However the digital economy on the continent is growing fast, and Nigeria alone currently sees 6 million new Internet users every year.
As mobile adoption continues at a torrid pace, with 400 million more smartphone connections by 2020 expected, the continent will need a reliable payments platform to support growth in online transactions.