For its first ever engagement in Africa, The Rise Fund is managing $ 47.5 million for Cellulant, Africa’s leading provider of online payments.
The Rise Fund, a global investment fund committed to achieving social and environmental results, managed by TPG Growth, is making its debut on the continent and is investing in an online payments provider, which is transforming technology financing services across the globe. ‘Sub-Saharan Africa
The Rise Fund, a global investment fund managed by TPG Growth, an equity investment platform, announced today the signing of an agreement to acquire a stake in Cellulant, a leading payments provider online, which already reaches 40 million people in 11 African countries. The Rise Fund is investing today alongside Endeavor Catalyst and Satya Capital.
The transaction is the largest of its kind, dedicated exclusively to financial technology and the African payments sector. It offers Cellulant a competitive position in a rapidly developing sector in which it is already taking a precursor position.
« In Africa, expanding mobile, easy-to-use, low-cost banking has huge potential impact, and Cellulant is at the forefront of this, » said Bill McGlashan, CEO and co-founder of The Rise Fund. « We are delighted to invest with African entrepreneurs such as Ken and Bolaji to help them grow their businesses and increase their impact on society. Cellulant is an ideal partner for the first investment of The Rise Fund in Africa. »
Cellulant’s online payment platform offers connected and flexible payment options for consumers and businesses and works with financial institutions, governments and mobile network operators to increase transparency and extend its reach in Africa. Based on an economic model set up in Kenya and Nigeria in 2004, the company has since expanded its services to 11 African markets, including: Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi and Liberia.
« Cellulant is uniquely positioned in Africa’s financial technology ecosystem and has the potential to provide better access, savings and revenue for tens of millions of users across the continent, » said Yemi Lalude. , associate director of TPG in Africa. « With more and more smartphones with Internet access in Africa, Cellulant makes it easy for customers to increase their revenues. We look forward to working with the company’s management team to grow the business and expand its social impact. »
Cellulant offers the potential to create transformational growth for African economies by expanding financial inclusion on a continent where almost two-thirds of the population does not have a bank account. This includes easy-to-access online payment solutions, interoperable financial services and mobile banking solutions that can help « unbanked » accounts, reduce fees and save money for the future, but also help SMEs to extend their reach through easy-to-access financial services. More than 94% of Cellulant’s customer base did not have a bank account before registering.
« The payments industry in Africa is not new. With two-thirds of Africans having no opportunity to open a bank account, we believe that building a connected payments infrastructure is a prerequisite to solving real challenges and accelerating growth and development in Africa. This investment from The Rise Fund, managed by TPG Growth, will allow us to build a global payments team that will open our next stage of growth. It means entering new markets, but also consolidating our presence in existing markets, « said Ken Njoroge, co-founder and CEO of Cellulant.
« With this new capital, and as part of our scaling strategy, we are leveraging the growth of mobile phone penetration in Africa to expand our reach and expand our existing payments products in the wireless industry. » agriculture, digital payments and digital banking; and introduce consumer products to complement the business products we already offer. This will allow us to increase access to payments for millions of Africans who are still unbanked, despite the revolution of financial inclusion, « said Bolaji Akinboro, co-founder of Cellulant Nigeria’s Cellulant and CEO.
« We are delighted that Endeavor Catalyst is participating in this new phase for Cellulant, » said Linda Rottenberg, CEO of Endeavor. « With Cellulant, Ken, Bolaji and the team offer a remarkable example of what we hope to see happen more and more in the years to come: real big changes in Africa! »
The Rise Fund, Satya Capital, and Endeavor Catalyst join stakeholders in Velocity Capital Private Equity, Progression Capital Africa Limited, and TBL Mirror Fund. Representatives of The Rise Fund will also join Cellulant’s Board of Directors to leverage the company’s experience, in-depth knowledge of the industry, and international experience to contribute to increased value creation, the company and its mission.
This investment will also enable the development of already existing Cellulant products, such as Agrikore. Agrikore is a blockchain-based platform that has helped more than 7,000 farmers on the continent, improving their connections to the market and helping them sell their goods to a wider range of buyers. It has also improved access to government grant programs to help reduce costs for farmers and increase their yields and incomes.
Magister Advisors was the transaction advisor for Cellulant, and Orrick and KPMG handled the audit for The Rise Fund.
Cellulant is the largest pan-African online payments company in Africa, for Africa, by Africans, connecting everyone. Cellulant is developing to solve the continent’s payments problems by connecting 700m of laptop users to payments they can use for their everyday lives. By supporting a converged financial ecosystem and digitizing end-to-end payments, Cellulant has enabled different players in the financial sector to expand their reach through a single mobile platform, which has empowered end-users offering them flexible access to a wide range of services on a single platform. To date, 12% of online payments in Africa are through Cellulant’s payment gateway. The payment platform covers 50% of the major banks in Africa, which meet the needs of 10% of the African population with a bank account, and offers eWallet solutions to 15% (or 17 million) of farmers who do not have a bank account in Africa. Based on an economic model initially set up in Kenya and Nigeria in 2004, the company has since expanded its services to 11 African markets, including: Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana , Mozambique, Malawi and Liberia.
About The Rise Fund
The Rise Fund is the largest fund in the world committed to measurable and socially and environmentally positive outcomes, as well as competitive financial returns, which we call « total returns ». The Rise Fund is managed by TPG Growth, TPG’s global equity platform and TPG mid-market buyout platform. The Rise Fund is led by a group of influential leaders with deep personal and professional commitment to encourage social progress in the environment. The committee includes: Bill McGlashan, Founder and Associate Director of TPG Growth; Bono, Jeff Skoll, Mo Ibrahim, Laurene Powell Jobs, Anand Mahindra and Pierre Omidyar. The objectives of The Rise Fund are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Rise Fund invests in education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, development infrastructure, healthcare, and technology, media and telecommunications companies that provide « Complete returns ». For more information, please visit: therisefund.com.
About TPG Growth
TPG Growth is TPG’s mid-market equity investment platform, an international private equity firm. With over $ 13 billion in assets under management, TPG Growth focuses on investing in a broad range of industries and geographies. TPG Growth has in-depth knowledge of the industry, operational resources and international experience needed to create value and help businesses realize their full potential.
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