Orange invests in South African payment service Yoco

payment 12Yoco’s mPOS allows merchants to accept card payments using a smartphone or tablet. (Image source: lau rey/Flickr)Orange Digital Ventures Africa, the Orange Group’s venture capital investment fund for Africa, has made a second investment in one of the continent’s most promising fintech companies, the South African Yoco

Yoco is a leading company in mobile points of sale (mPOS) in South Africa, allowing merchants to accept card payments using a smartphone or tablet as well as manage their day-to-day activities using POS software.

Since their launch in 2015, 27,000 small and medium-sized enterprises have chosen Yoco. It has managed to create a genuine services ecosystem and intends to replicate the model in other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

After this Series B funding round led by Partech, an internationally-renowned investment fund, and with the participation of FMO, Quona Capital and Velocity Capital, the total investment raised by Yoco to date amounts to US$23mn, which makes it a textbook example for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Yoco must capitalise on this investment to consolidate its position and expand its merchant network in South Africa, improve its product and conquer new markets, notably in East Africa.

This investment confirms Orange Digital Ventures Africa’s ambition to support the start-up ecosystem and drive innovation forward in Africa.

Marc Rennard, CEO of Orange Digital Ventures, stated, “Payment digitalisation for merchants is a major challenge in Africa where financial inclusion is developing more than ever thanks to innovative solutions. Orange is already a leader in financial services in Africa with Orange Money, and it is on the lookout for solutions that can lead to genuine revolutions in use, both amongst customers and merchants. This is the case with Yoco.”

In addition to payment methods, Yoco has developed a software suite and services to allow merchants to manage their business and admin activities, such as stock management, invoicing and even cash advances. With 27,000 customers, the company has experienced dramatic growth since its launch in 2015. In the medium-term it intends to be the no. 1 partner of SMEs in Africa, by providing the means to help them grow and boost their earnings.

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