Nigerian fintech startup Paystack, announced today that it has closed in on $1.3 million in seed investment.
Co-founded by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, the funds will go to building out its engineering team in Lagos, Nigeria; grow sales and marketing operations; and accelerate product development and customer on boarding, according to the company’s press release.
Paystack offers a centralized way for African online merchants to accept online payments from a variety of methods—a process that has been somewhat fragmented across the African continent.
“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, e-commerce, travel and hospitality, financial services, or entertainment,” says Akinlade in a released statement.
“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.”
Nigeria is currently undergoing a business boom. The country collected $150 billion in business revenues last year, although those transactions were mostly in shops and in physical business establishments.
With Paystack, Nigerian businesses are poised to add a significant amount of revenue through online transactions to its economy.
Nigeria has a rapidly growing digital mobile economy. Online shopping and payments are expected to increase, with 400 million more smartphone connections in Nigeria by 2020.
Africa now has the fastest growing middle class in the world. Some 313 million people, 34% of Africa’s population, spend USD 2.20 a day, a 100% rise in less than 20 years, according to the African Development Bank.