African payments company MFS Africa raises US$4.5mn in series B funding

M PesaMFS Africa will work with investors to grow its operations in countries targeted by China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. (Image source: Development Planning Unit University College London/Flickr)Mobile payment gateway provider MFS Africa said it has raised US$4.5mn in a Series B funding round led by Chinese venture capital LUN Partners Group

The company, which connects more than 170mn mobile wallets across 55 markets, will work with its investors to boost operations in countries targeted by China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

“The continent remains fragmented with no single network able to serve the region. Organisations that want to transact with African consumers and businesses need to secure agreements with each and every provider, stunting competition and growth. MFS Africa has spent years connecting these mobile money services to create one Pan-African network which can substantially boost cross border trade and open up new opportunities for Chinese as well as global firms,” said Peilung Li, Chairman of LUN Partners Group.

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative is a trade and investment drive to connect China with other parts of Asia, Africa and Europe.

The trillion-dollar initiative follows an acceleration of engagement between Chinese companies and African governments in the form of loans and infrastructure projects.

“MFS Africa plays a key role in our investment strategy. It is uniquely placed to accelerate the speed and scale of delivering financial services to those that need them most across Africa and beyond,” said Wim van der Beek, founder of Goodwell Investments, which was part of the funding round.

“By connecting mobile money users to each other, we have effectively built the biggest digital payments network in Africa and we’re now perfectly positioned to drive financial inclusion, accelerate the African digital economy, and connect millions of African consumers and businesses to the global economy,” Dare Okoudjou, CEO of MFS Africa, said.

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