MFS Africa: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
MFS Africa is the leading digital payments gateway supported by a multicultural, multi-talented, agile team from over 30 different nations that is driven to create access to a borderless world – a world where access overcomes borders.
Consistently at the forefront of relevant, timely tech innovations, we connect people across Africa – to each other and the global digital economy. They transform payment systems, processes, mindsets, lives, and realities for the better. Conquering the barriers that foster exclusion and stifle opportunities.
It’s no secret that mobile money has revolutionized access to certain financial services in Africa and much of the rest of the world. MFS Africa has been driving the next step in this revolution since its founding – to bring more possibilities, more connections, and more interoperability to the mobile money user.
Through their digital payments hub, their business portal, and expanding partner network, they provide access to a world of innovative, simple, convenient, secure, affordable, and compliant mobile financial solutions for all.
At MFS Africa, they believe that making a payment should be as simple as making a phone call. They also believe that this access can open up markets and connect people to a world of opportunities.
Their work transforms the lives and realities of Africa and the diaspora, overcoming borders, overturning injustices, and rendering borders insignificant.
In a rapidly changing Africa, where inclusion and scale accelerate development, they know the full potential of mobile money and its potential to make borders matter less.
By truly unleashing Africa’s potential, they can unlock growth, progress, and prosperity – for people, for business, for society – through access to impactful, affordable, and interoperable mobile solutions.
Supported by their extensive, constantly growing, and trusted partner ecosystem, advanced API, and rigorous compliance standards, the MFS Africa Hub enables interoperability across borders, currencies, and payment systems.
The MFS Hub is connected to 170 million mobile wallets in Sub-Saharan Africa offering unparalleled reach into the growing African middle class.
The company allows merchants, banks, mobile operators, and money transfer companies to take advantage of the unique ubiquity of mobile wallets as a safe, convenient, and cost-effective transaction channel.
MFS Africa works in close partnership with players across the ecosystem to bring simple and secure mobile financial services to un- and under-banked customers.
MFS Africa was recently named by the international business magazine Fast Company as one of Africa’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies.
How it Works
MFS Africa’s full-service digital network connects over 320 million mobile money wallets to enable cross-border payments for remittance companies, financial service providers, and global merchants.
Beyonic, their flagship business suite, brings digital traceability, control, and seamlessness to SMEs, enterprises, and impact organizations across the continent.
In the African market, they simplify transactions through cashless payments that enable real-time business growth with quick, scalable options.
With reliable digital payment solutions their blue-chip partnerships with MTN, Vodafone, Orange, Airtel, Ecobank, and others, enable borderless access to mobile financial solutions based on our fully compliant, interoperable cross-border digital payments framework.
Dare Okoudjou is the Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, a leading Pan-African Fintech company, operating the largest digital payments hub on the continent.
Before founding MFS, Dare worked at MTN Group, where he developed its mobile payment strategy and led its implementation across the company’s operations in 21 countries throughout Africa and the Middle East.
He began his career as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris.
He has an MSc in Telecom Engineering from ENST-Paris and an MBA from INSEAD.
Investors & Funding Rounds
Eight Tunisian startups have secured US$65,000 each in funding after being selected to take part in the seventh edition of the Flat6Labs Tunis seed accelerator program.
Flat6Labs is the MENA region’s leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm, running a host of startup programs and investing in more than 100 startups each year.
Its four-month accelerator programs help entrepreneurs develop their business skills and provide them with a supportive environment to build their products, test market fit, improve their business models, and pitch to external investors.
Each participating startup receives TND200,000 (US$72,000) in equity funding, as well as various kinds of support via the Flat6Labs network of experts, coaches, and mentors.
Eight startups have now been selected to take part in the seventh edition of the Tunis program.
They include Ahkili, a mobile application for appointment booking that connects patients to psychologists; E-stores Factory, a web platform that helps rent and manage e-shops for enterprises seeking to sell online; Hanoutify, a website generator that helps shops in the Maghreb region to develop their online presence; and Ms. Marion, a ready-to-wear label for women working in a formal workspace.
Also selected are Lamma, a web and mobile platform reinventing urban movement for package delivery through an extended carpooling network; Proservy, a web platform that digitizes an enterprise’s administrative and logistics management; Reedz, a mobile application for podcasts in Arabic and interactive book summaries in text and audio forms; and WeMove, a marketplace for daily gym passes.
Additionally, MFS Africa is on a roll after the mobile payments fintech announced the acquisition of US-based Global Technology Partners, MFS Africa is announcing the close of a $100 million Series C extension. The new financing doubles its initial Series C raise of $100 million.
The round, a mixture of equity and debt, was led by the private equity firm, Amadeus Capital Partners, while Vitruvian Partners and the alternative investments arm of AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM Alts) were new investors in the extension funding round.
Some existing investors, AfricInvest FIVE and CommerzVentures, also put up more money, while Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria and Symbiotic provided the debt financing.
For Vitruvian Partners, a European private equity firm focused on middle markets, this is its first investment in Africa.
Other previous investors in MFS Africa include LUN Partners Group, Goodwell Investments, Allan Gray Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst and Endeavor Harvest, Equator Capital Partners, Ulme B.V., and Vlemeij B.V.
Since closing a Series C fundraise in November 2021, MFS Africa has completed the acquisition of BAXI in Nigeria and secured licenses from the Central Bank of Nigeria, including a Payment Service Solution Provider (PSSP) license and a Payment Terminal Service Provider (PTSP) license. PSSP licenses are issued to companies building underlying digital-payment infrastructures in Nigeria.
They allow these firms to build payment processing gateways and aggregate merchants, while PTSP licenses are required to deploy the point-of-sale terminals used in agency banking.
MFS Africa also plans to use this recent funding to drive growth in its newest market, Nigeria.
To help the firms become one, MFS Africa hired Meghan Taylor, a former partner at Boston Consulting Group as Chief of Staff to lead the process of integrating the triune companies.
MFS Africa also added Julian Adkins, previously Africa CFO at Millicom (Tigo), to its leadership team as the new Chief Financial Officer.
The round closed and was announced in November 2021, in a different market environment with tech stocks on a high, and capital flowing freely to venture firms. But with the macro outlook changing, especially for growth-stage companies with significant capital requirements like MFS Africa, Okoudjou’s company decided to take the extra money.
This latest $100 million extension round drives it home. MFS Africa connects more than 400 million mobile wallets in 35 African countries, is building out an agent banking business, and working on plans to enable cross-border payments between Africa and China, an important trading partner for African SMEs.
Indeed, to fund an extension round after the first close means that despite a changing macro-finance environment, MFS Africa’s investors are betting on getting essentially the same goods they were promised in better times and it is a striking endorsement of the company and the African fintech opportunity at large.
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