Nigerian mobile payments company Paga is set to expand into East Africa and Latin America after founder and CEO Tayo Oviosu revealed plans to launch its payment products in Ethiopia and Mexico this year.
Paga will use the Addis Ababa-based Apposit acquisition to support its expansion into Ethiopia and Mexico — its first markets outside of Nigeria.
With more than 14 million customers, Paga allows people to digitally send and receive money while providing access to other financial services through its digital wallet. It claims to have processed 104 million transactions worth $6.6 billion.
Founded in 2007 by CEO Adam Abate, Eric Chijioke and Simon Solomon, Apposit builds large-scale enterprise software for African businesses.
Apposit’s Abate and Paga’s Oviosu both studied in the U.S. before returning to their African countries to start businesses.
Abate studied at Brown University and worked in fintech in New York before returning to Ethiopia. Oviosu earned an MBA at Stanford University and worked at Cisco Systems before he went back to Nigeria.
The two entrepreneurs connected through mutual friend Chijioke, who would become Paga’s chief technology officer while maintaining a partner role at Apposit — which dedicate an engineering team to build and support Paga’s payment platform, Techcrunch reports.
The acquisition allows Paga to absorb Apposit’s tech capabilities and its team of 63 engineers.
Paga’s workforce of around 530 people will now focus on expansion into Mexico in 2020 and Ethiopia as soon as local regulatory approval is acquired, according to Medium. Abate will then be the CEO of Paga Ethiopia.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 07: Tayo Oviosu
Jamarlin Martin catches up with Tayo Oviosu at SXSW 2018. Oviosu is the Founder and CEO of Paga, the leading mobile payments company in Nigeria.
The company has raised $34.7 million over four rounds since 2010, with the most recent being a September 2018 Series B investment amounting to $10 million, according to Crunchbase.
Oviosu has discussed the possibility of an IPO for his company, though he believes that Paga will remain private for the next two to four years, according to Techcrunch.