African payments firm Interswitch has secured a $110 million joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital to scale its digital payment services across the continent, the two private investment firms said in a statement Wednesday.
Interswitch has not confirmed the amount it has received from the companies. “The exact terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. We can’t comment on that for now,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch when asked about Interswitch’s investment and new valuation.
However, Mitchell Elegbe, CEO of Interswitch Group, said in a statement that the company was “excited to welcome LeapFrog and Tana on board as we continue our work to advance the future of the African payments landscape.”
This news comes nearly three years since Interswitch’s last funding round, when Visa paid $200 million for a 20% stake in the company. At $1 billion (latest known valuation), Interswitch is one of Africa’s largest electronic payment and infrastructure companies. Powering much of the rails for Nigeria’s online banking system, the fintech is known for its point of sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller and Verve, the largest domestic debit card system in Africa, with more than 35 million active cards since its launch.
In 2016, Interswitch taunted the idea of going public. In an interview that year, CEO Elegbe told TechCrunch that the company would pursue a dual listing on the London and Nigeria stock exchanges.
Subsequent reports of the 20-year-old fintech listing on a major exchange also surfaced in 2019 and 2020; but that plan seems to have been pushed to the back seat after Visa’s investment.
Just as an exit from Interswitch is a victory for the African tech ecosystem, it is also a victory for the company, its executives and, in particular, its largest shareholder, UK-based Ignite Holdco Limited (consisting of Helios Investment Partners and TA Associates). But since that will not happen, the holding has immediately found an alternative. In addition to pumping new capital into Interswitch’s business, part of the new investment will involve LeapFrog and Tana acquiring shares from existing shareholders, including Ignite Holdco Limited.
In addition to existing investors, LeapFrog and Tana plan to work with management to continue to drive Interswitch’s pan-African strategy, which includes acquiring new customers and building new products to support a financial inclusion strategy.
“Interswitch, a pioneer in the African payments ecosystem, has been disrupting the money economy for 20 years, driving digital payments and promoting fair financial inclusion in Nigeria. This investment by LeapFrog confirms the formidable talent at Interswitch and how well placed it is to seize the important opportunities in Africa’s evolving digital payments landscape,” said LeapFrog Investments, partner, head of African financial services, Karima Ola, in a statement. .
This post Interswitch receives $110 million investment from LeapFrog and Tana Africa Capital – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/12/interswitch-receives-110m-investment-from-leapfrog-and-tana-africa-capital/”