Nigeria’s Paga Acquires Apposit, Plans Expansion into Mexico, Ethiopia

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Nigerian digital payments startup, Paga has acquired Apposit, a software development company based in Ethiopia, for an undisclosed amount.

According to the CEO of Paga, Tayo Oviosu, the acquisition came amidst plans by the payment start-up to expand operations to Mexico and Ethiopia

Founded by Adam Abate, Eric Chijioke and Simon Solomon in 2007, Apposit has racked up an impressive list of clients most notably the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange. It has also employed their IT and software solutions with a focus on building large-scale enterprise software for Africa.

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Prior to the acquisition, Apposit has been in partnership with Paga since 2010, with their dedicated engineering team building Paga’s payment platform and supporting product development.

With the acquisition, Paga absorbs Apposit’s tech capabilities personalised in a team of 63 engineers. It will thus will leverage the team’s expertise to support its expansion into Ethiopia and Mexico.

However, CEO of Apposit, Adam Abate will become CEO of Paga Ethiopia when the fintech finally goes live as soon as it gains a local banking license.

With a population of over 100 million, less than 1% of Ethiopians use mobile money. Oviosu believes Paga can leverage its system to help improve the slow adoption of digital finance in the East African country.

“The goal is straight-forward. We want Ethiopians to use the Paga wallet as their payment account. So it’s about digitizing cash transactions and driving financial services,”

He added that the company is intent on building its payments business in parts of Africa and Latin America where financial inclusion problems exist. He also revealed plans to expands into Mexico before the end of 2020.

 “There are several very large countries around the world in Africa, Latin America, Asia where these [financial inclusion] problems still exist. So, our strategy is not an African strategy…We want to go where these problems exist in a large way and build a global payments business,”

About a year ago, Paga raised $10 million in a Series B round raising its total funds raised to about $34 million, according to Crunchbase.

Currently, it has over 14 million customers and about 24,000 agent in Nigeria. It has also processed over 104 million transactions worth $6.6 billion.

With the addition of Apposit, Paga may have gained a much-needed boost to expand within Nigeria as increased competition due to deep pockets of new entrants like Opay and PalmPay will influence the markets.

Juliet Ekwebelam

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