Nigerian fintech startup OneFi acquires fee firm Amplify – TechCrunch


Lagos based mostly on-line lending startup OneFi is shopping for Nigerian fee options firm Amplify for an undisclosed quantity.

OneFi will take over Amplify’s IP, workforce, and consumer community of over 1000 retailers to which Amplify offers fee processing providers, OneFi CEO Chijioke Dozie advised TechCrunch.

The transfer comes as fintech has develop into one in every of Africa’s most lively funding sectors and startup acquisitions—which have been uncommon—are choosing up throughout the continent.

The acquisition of Amplify caps off a busy interval for OneFi. During the last seven months the Nigerian enterprise secured a $5 million lending facility from Lendable, introduced a fee partnership with Visa, and have become one in every of first (recognized) African startups to obtain a global credit rating. OneFi can also be dropping the title of its signature product, Paylater, and can merely go by OneFi (for now).

Collectively, these strikes signify a pivot for OneFi away from working primarily as a digital lender, towards turning into a web-based client finance platform.

“We’re not a financial institution however we’re providing extra banking providers…Clients at the moment are coming to us not only for loans however for cheaper funds switch, extra handy invoice fee, and to know their credit score scores,” stated Dozie.

OneFi will add fee choices for shoppers on social media apps together with WhatsApp this quarter—one thing wherein Amplify already holds a specialization and consumer base. By its Visa partnership, OneFi can even supply shoppers digital Visa wallets on cellphones and begin offering QR code fee choices at supermarkets, on public transit, and throughout different POS factors in Nigeria.

Based in 2016 by Segun Adeyemi and Maxwell Obi, Amplify secured its first seed funding the identical 12 months from Pan-African incubator MEST Africa. The startup went on to scale as a funds gateway firm for retailers and has partnered with banks, who supply its white label mTransfers social fee product.

Amplify has differentiated itself from Nigerian opponents Paystack and Flutterwave, by committing to funds on social media platforms, in response to OneFi CEO Dozie. “We favored that and thought funds on social was one thing we wished to supply to our prospects,” he stated.

With the acquisition, Amplify co-founder Maxwell Obi and the Amplify workforce will keep on underneath OneFi. Co-founder Segun Adeyemi gained’t, nonetheless, and advised TechCrunch he’s taking a break and can “doubtless begin one other firm.”

OneFi’s buy of Amplify provides to the tally of exits and acquisitions in African tech, that are much less widespread than in different regional startup scenes. TechCrunch has lined a number of of latest, together with Nigerian data-analytics firm Terragon’s buy of Asian cell advert agency Bizsense and Kenyan connectivity startup BRCK’s recent purchase of ISP Everylayer and its Nairobi subsidiary Surf.

These acquisition occasions, together with OneFi’s buy, bump up efficiency metrics round African tech startups. Although quantities aren’t undisclosed, the Amplify purchase creates exits for MEST, Amplify’s founders, and its different traders. “I imagine all of the stakeholders, together with MEST, are snug with the deal. Exits aren’t that commonplace in Africa, so this one seems like a standout second for all concerned,”

With the Amplify acquisition and pivot to broad-based on-line banking providers in Nigeria, OneFi units itself as much as maneuver competitively throughout Africa’s huge fintech house—which has develop into infinitely extra advanced (and crowded) because the rise of Kenya’s M-Pesa cell cash product.

By quite a lot of estimates, the continent’s 1.2 billion individuals embody the largest share of the world’s unbanked and underbanked inhabitants. An bettering smartphone and mobile-connectivity profile for Africa (see GSMA) turns that drawback into a possibility for cell based mostly monetary options. Lots of of startups are descending on this house, trying to supply scaleable options for the continent’s monetary wants. By stats provided by Briter Bridges and a 2018 WeeTracker survey, fintech now receives the majority of VC capital to African startups,

OneFi is trying to increase in Africa’s fintech markets and is contemplating Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ghana and Egypt and Europe for Diaspora markets, Dozie stated.

The startup is at present fundraising and appears to shut a spherical by the second half of 2019. OnfeFi’s transparency with efficiency and financials via its credit standing is supporting that, in response to Dozie.

There’s been sparse official or audited monetary info to assessment from African startups—apart from e-commerce unicorn Jumia, whose numbers had been previewed when lead investor Rocket Web went public and in Jumia’s latest S-1, IPO submitting (covered here).

OneFi gained a BB Secure score from World Credit score Score Co. and confirmed optimistic working earnings earlier than taxes of $5.1 million in 2017, in response to GCR’s report. Although the startup continues to be a non-public firm, OneFi seems to challenge a 2018 monetary report within the second half of 2019, in response to Dozie.

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