Home Technology Interswitch, Others, Raise $360M, Becomes Nigeria’s First Unicorn, as Fintech Attract China Money

Interswitch, Others, Raise $360M, Becomes Nigeria’s First Unicorn, as Fintech Attract China Money

by Ayodeji Onibalusi
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Nigeria’s FinTech industry is attracting the right attention — and the most funding to Africa. TechCrunch reports that the Nigerian fintech industry has raised a whopping $360 million, with China playing the most role in bringing these funds in.

Interswitch, one of Nigeria’s leading financial and wire processing tech firms, just saw its valuation reach $1B after the confirmation of an undisclosed sum was invested in it.

SkyeNews reported that the sum Interswitch grabbed was as much as $200million – – in exchange for 20%, which in effect sees its valuation rise to $1B.

Nigeria is unarguably the tech hub of Africa, after attracting the most funding and investment in its tech ecosystem in the continent. According to Pertech Partners’ reports, the sums the fintech industry in Nigeria raised in November of 2019 is roughly $360m. It is equivalent to one-third of the funding to the continent in 2018.

Interswitch raised the sum of $200million from Visa – an international credit card and payment processing company.

Chinese Money

The presence of China’s funding is felt in Nigeria’s fintech industry as nearly fifty percent of that funding is drawn from Chinese VC’s. The sum of $170 million of the entire $360 million of funding received in November of 2019 came from the Chinese – marking a huge 47 percent of the total funding received.

China continues to pour money into Africa in an effort to see its influence grow on the continent. China is still in a trade dispute with America – a dispute that has continued to linger and see rising tensions between both of the world’s largest economies.

Booming tech industry

While Nigeria’s government continues to grapple with a slow economy and a rising debt profile, it’s tech industry is on the rise. In the ride-hailing sector, players from different countries have wrestled to claim their bite of the pie. Nigeria has the largest booming population in Africa – – and thus its biggest market too.

This presents an opportunity for tech startups in the ride-hailing industry to flourish. Opay, a subdivision of the Opera group, has continued to raise millions of dollars from investors to expand its reach in Nigeria.

Opay, in its second series of funding, secured $120million just days after PalmPay raised $40m, another fintech startup backed by a group of Chinese-based tech companies, makers of Techno, MediaTek and NetEase.

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