Pan-African digital payments firm MFS Africa acquires US-based Global Technology Partners (GTP) in a $34 million cash and stock deal, FT. informed Today.
There are very few such transactions; that is, an African technology company buys an American one. While it may seem like a boast to some, MFS Africa made the deal out of necessity for its next phase of growth.
The MFS Africa infrastructure connects disparate and disparate payment schemes across Africa into a single seamless network so that individuals and businesses in mobile money ecosystems can transact across borders and currencies. The Africa-focused, London-based company connects over 320 million mobile money wallets across over 35 African countries and 700 corridors.
But despite these cross-border connections, millions of Africans are still unable to use their mobile money accounts to pay for subscription-based services provided by international companies such as Netflix and Amazon.
GTP is a software developer for prepaid and mobile payments. According to Pitchbook, its prepaid and mobile payment platform integrates multiple prepaid cards with a single bank account and allows users to make prepaid payments for online shopping and ATMs. According to the FT report, the acquisition gives MFS Africa the ability to issue prepaid cards for its customers to complete these tasks.
“This is mainly for international e-commerce platforms that are unable or unwilling to create a user experience that will be accepted by mobile devices,” CEO MFS Africa. Dare Okju said. He also mentioned that MFS made a deal with Spotify to allow the music subscription company to accept mobile payments from customers in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.
Over 500,000 customers in over 30 countries use GTP prepaid cards. After the MFS Africa merger, the total customer reach could reach several million, Okudjou said. The acquisition also helps MFS “expand its operations in the US,” he added.
Unlike other African fintech companies that enter new markets on their own, MFS is known for its expansion through acquisitions. Fintech, which raised $100 million in equity and debttook several such steps in his quest to become a true pan-African player. for example, the acquisition of Baxi, an agent banking platform, but the purchase of GTS is its first purchase outside the continent. Other African fintech companies such as Chipper Cash and Flutterwave are exploring the possibility of expanding into the US.
The GTP deal is the mobile money ecosystem’s second win – for online payments – in days. Visa last week partner with safaricom, M-pesa mobile money operator will issue virtual cards for 30 million M-Pesa users to make digital payments worldwide. Users can activate the virtual card through the M-Pesa mobile app or USSD. Previously, M-Pesa users could only make mobile money payments on the platform’s network of 400,000 merchants.
Credit: techcrunch.com /