Paystack, the Nigerian fintech start-up providing payments tools to businesses across Africa, has raised $8 million in Series A funding. The round was led by U.S.-based online payments software company Stripe, and includes Tencent and Y Combinator, as well as angel investors Tom Stafford, Managing Partner at DST Global, Gbenga Oyebode The Founding Partner of Aluko and Dale Mathias Co-founder at Innovation Partners Africa).
Paystack has so far raised more than $10 million in investment. The start-up´s existing investors include Tencent, Y Combinator, Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Blue Haven Ventures, and Ventures Platform.In 2016, Paystack secured $1.3 million seed investment from international and regional investors including Tencent and Comcast Ventures.
Paystack enables online payments across Africa, overcoming many of the barriers businesses face in terms of accepting payments online. The company provides powerful APIs to help developers quickly build modern payments experiences online. With only a few lines of code, developers can create custom checkout experiences, build automated recurring billing systems for subscription products, instantly send bulk transfers to any bank account in Nigeria, verify the identity of customers through five different verification APIs, and much more.
Through the company’s payments interface, customers can pay with local and international cards, or directly from their bank accounts. Paystack also supports localized payment channels, including mobile money, QR code, and USSD payments. Every payment is screened by sophisticated fraud-monitoring systems to protect merchants from chargebacks, and Paystack’s direct bank integrations ensure the highest transaction success rates.
Paystack is one of those start-ups within Africa fintech space, which have delivered outstanding milestones in the last two years. The start-up is a graduate from Y Combinator in 2015, and has an office in San Francisco. In fact Paystack was the first Nigerian company to be invited by the Silicon Valley-based incubator. Within a little over two years, the start-up has grown to process nearly 15% of all online payments in Africa’s largest economy, powering tens of thousands of businesses of all sizes including telcos, airlines, and government agencies.
“As recently as 2015, it was really difficult for a developer or business owner in Nigeria to quickly start accepting online payments,” says Shola Akinlade, CEO and co-founder of Paystack. “We started Paystack because we believe that better payments tools are one of the most important things that African businesses need to unlock their explosive potential. We think of Paystack as an amplifier of the incredible work that African business owners are already doing. With better technology tools, African businesses can be better equipped to play a growing role in the global economy.”
Paystack will invest the new round of funding in scaling its engineering team, further deepening its payments infrastructure, and accelerating its expansion across the continent. Akinlade adds: “As Paystack looks to expand rapidly across the continent, we’re thrilled to have the benefit of the deep experience of Stripe, Visa, and Tencent. Our ambition is to give African merchants the tools and services they need to go toe-to-toe with the best businesses in the world, and win.”