June 5, 2023
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Founded in 2019, Wapi Pay, which has offices in Nairobi, Singapore, and Tianjin (China), delivers platform-to-platform integrations, global accounts, and virtual wallets to offer its partners and customers convenient global payments and financial products.

In 2019, inspired and prepared by our background in the fintech and banking sector, we set out to start Wapi Pay – an Africa – Asia payment platform to help bridge the exchange of economic value between the two continents.

Initially focused on the China-Africa corridor, we have also added coverage for other major Asia economies that are trading with the continent, including India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

The payment flows from Africa to China are driven by African merchants and large corporations purchasing goods and services from China. This is an enormous stream of payments, estimated at $113 billion in 2019, supporting trade in items as diverse as clothing, consumer electronics, food, and telecom equipment.

In turn, large Chinese corporations operating in Africa remit a portion of their earnings back to their home country. 

Within Africa, it is estimated that more than 50% of infrastructure, mining, and energy projects are performed in partnership with Chinese corporations operating in Africa.

In 2019 the resulting total bilateral trade between Africa and China was estimated to be worth $209bn.

The traditional payment channels between Africa and China are wrought with pain points of slowness, high rates of transaction failure, and expensive transaction costs. 

A payment from Africa to China can take up to a week to process and costs up to 15% of the payment value due to fees and foreign exchange conversion to intermediaries along the traditional network path.

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To resolve this, they started Wapi Pay to facilitate a seamless, frictionless way to send money, for payments and remittances, between Africa and Asia, at a cheaper cost.

They hope that their product simplifies your remittance process and in turn, enhances trade between their continent and Asia.

How it Works

Wapi Pay provides a payment gateway for African businesses to receive and send money from Asia via mobile money platforms and bank accounts.

Most of the focus on remittance has been the flow of money into Africa for sustenance.

Therefore, digitizing has been mostly around delivery rather than building new infrastructure and payment processing models for African individuals and businesses to make cross-border payments.

Financial institutions are left with traditional systems and correspondence models to offer service to their customers. 

These transactions are inherently complex, given their compliance requirements. The lack of new infrastructure or processes makes them further opaque, longer to process, and far too expensive. Crypto remittance startups claim to solve this problem, but no one has successfully scaled to effective usage.

Wapi Pay bypasses traditional payment networks, optimizing efficiency and cost for their customers. 

Users choose the delivery channels they want, such as a bank to bank, wallet wallet, bank to wallet and wallet-to-bank options to transfer funds as well as make merchant payments, with settlement done within 24 hours.

Presently, Wapi Pay works with local banks and platforms in China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. 


Eddie Ndichu 

eddie ndichu

Eddie Ndichu is the current Co-Founder and CEO of Wapi Pay.

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 He previously worked at OPay as a Managing Director. 

Eddie Ndichu attended Murdoch University.

Paul Ndichu 

Paul Ndichu 

Paul Ndichu is the current Co-Founder of Wapi Pay. 

He previously worked at Safaricom Limited as a Principal Advisor.

 Paul Ndichu attended Curtin University.

Investors & Funding Rounds

MSA Capital, EchoVC Partners, Kepple Africa Ventures, Future Hub, Transsion, Gobi Ventures

Wapi Pay, which also has operations in Singapore, has raised a US$2.2 million pre-seed funding round to help it engage regulators for licensing across Africa, and drive higher and sustained growth.

The pre-seed funding will be used to scale up global payments and remittances between Africa and Asia. Investors include EchoVC and China-based global fund MSA Capital, as well as Kepple Africa Ventures and current angel investors. 

The non-equity pre-seed raise will be used by Wapi Pay to help it engage regulators for licensing across Africa, and drive higher and sustained growth.

These funds will help Wapi Pay diversify its product range and drive growth so that we can evolve remittances into real-time global cross-border payments, starting with Africa and Asia. 

All while minimizing the cost of transactions, it needs to be as easy as sending M-PESA.

The company claims to be growing at 396% year-on-year since it was founded in 2019 and has hopes to continue in that fashion. 

Wapi Pay wants to process $500 million in remittances and increase the number of African merchants and Asian suppliers to half a million and 100,000, respectively.

Additionally, the $2.2 million pre-seed investment will be vital to meeting those targets to scale up global payments and remittances between Africa and Asia.

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The round is one of the largest of its kind in East Africa and the continent. The venture firms that took part include China-based fund MSA Capital, known to have invested in unicorns Meituan, Nubank, and Klarna; Pan-African and Africa-focused firms EchoVC, Kepple Africa and Future Hub; and Pan-Asian firms Transsion Holdings and Gobi Ventures.

Wapi Pay will use the investments to engage regulators for licensing across Africa and for scale, product, and geographical expansion.

Main Competitors

Finja: This is a financial services platform that offers payments, lending, and collection services to professionals and SMEs.

Up ‘n go – Pay at the table for restaurants: It is a payment solution that brings speed and consistency to contactless dining payments.

Wave Money: This is a digital payments company that provides financial payment services across Myanmar.


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