Interswitch, an integrated payment and transaction company led by Nigerian tech tycoon Mitchell Elegbe, has received a $110-million joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital, a private equity firm linked to South African billionaire Nicky Oppenheimer.
Karima Ola, partner and head of Africa financial services at LeapFrog Investments, said the investment validates Interswitch’s formidable talent and position to capitalize on the significant opportunity in Africa’s evolving digital payments landscape.
Interswitch was founded in 2002 by Elegbe as a transaction switching and processing company that operates and maintains a payment ecosystem enabling commerce to evolve, businesses to grow, and individuals to thrive.
Today, Interswitch is a leading player with critical mass in Africa’s rapidly developing financial ecosystem and is active across the payments value chain, providing a full suite of omni-channel payment solutions.
Its recent investment will be used to scale digital payment services across the continent, as the integrated payment company continues to disrupt Africa’s cash-driven economy with consumer-facing products such as Quickteller, an online consumer services platform for bill payments, and Verve, its pan-African debit card scheme, which is presently available in 185 countries.
Apart from being Africa’s second unicorn after Visa acquired a minority 20-percent stake in the company in 2019 in a $200-million deal, the digital payment company has evolved to become Nigeria’s first e-payment service to be linked to all banks in the country.
Elegbe, Interswitch’s CEO, said in a statement that the company was pleased to welcome LeapFrog and Tana as the integrated payment and transaction company works to advance the future of the African payments landscape.
According to the strategic agreement that accompanies the $110-million investment, LeapFrog and Tana Africa intend to collaborate with management to continue driving the company’s pan-African strategy, which includes acquiring new customers and developing new products to support a financial inclusion strategy.