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国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务投融资

非洲最大数字支付运营商MFS Africa获450万美元融资

据外媒DealStreetAsia报道,中国风险投资公司友仑资本近日领投了非洲金融科技公司MFS Africa高达450万美元的B轮融资。

根据这周三发布的一份声明,作为非洲最大的数字支付网络运营商,MFS Africa在完成此轮融资后,成为了首家获得中国风险投资公司融资的非洲金融科技公司。

位于荷兰阿姆斯特丹的投资公司Goodwell Investments和几位天使投资人共同参与投资了MFS Africa的B轮融资。MFS Africa宣称,凭借55个市场中的100多位合作伙伴,其移动钱包资金总额已经突破1.7亿美元。

这家金融科技公司还表示,这笔高达450万美元的投资将推动其商业网络在非洲及其它地区的扩张,并助力于包括商户服务在内的新功能研发。如此一来,那些大型零售商和互联网公司将能够通过MFS Africa的移动钱包,获得消费者的付款。

MFS Africa公司在声明中表示,“借助我们公司,商家、银行、移动运营商和汇款公司获得了使用无所不在的移动钱包的机会,而这无疑是一种非常安全、便捷、划算的交易渠道。”

最近的这轮投资,使得MFS Africa与中国友仑资本和相关投资者的合作前所未有地密切,而这也大大提高了中国“一带一路”战略的目标国家之间的金融包容性。

同时,友仑资本也将与MFS Africa一同帮助中国和其他亚洲企业,特别是金融科技和电子商务公司,提高它们在非洲的金融包容性,促进其交易便捷性。

中国投资者致力于通过提供一个单一的移动货币网络访问点,在整个非洲大陆推广数字服务,并将数字服务变现。

友仑资本集团创始人兼董事长李培隆表示,“中国这片土地孕育了众多全球最引人瞩目、增长最快的科技公司,而非洲则是移动货币的摇篮。但与此同时,非洲大陆的移动货币网络仍然四分五裂,缺少一个能够服务于该地区的单一网络。”

他指出,MFS Africa可以极大地促进跨境贸易,为中国乃至全球的企业提供新的机遇。

该公司的创始人兼首席执行官戴尔·奥古迪表示,本轮融资获得资金数目以及投资者的战略性质,无不证明了MFS Africa无与伦比的表现和独一无二的潜力。

全球知名管理咨询公司麦肯锡去年发布的一份报告显示,移动货币已经成为非洲地区金融服务领域的重要组成部分,在这一领域,非洲已经全球领先。

该报告补充称,在过去的10年中,移动网络运营商一直主导着非洲的移动货币服务。近段时间,金融科技公司终于在这一市场上站稳了脚跟。麦肯锡的数据显示,在2017年,非洲最为领先的两家移动金融服务供应商每年的移动金融服务收入分别为5.5亿美元、2.2亿美元。

LUN Partners Group, a Chinese venture capital firm that primarily invests in overseas firms, has led a $4.5-million Series B funding round in pan-African fintech firm MFS Africa.

The funding round makes MFS Africa, operator of the largest digital payments network in Africa, the first African fintech company to receive funding from a China-based VC, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Amsterdam-based investment firm Goodwell Investments and several angel investors joined the Series B funding round in MFS Africa, which claims to connect over 170 million mobile wallets through more than 100 partners across 55 markets.

The fintech firm said the investment will fuel the expansion of its network in Africa and beyond, and help unlock new capabilities including a merchant services offering, which will allow major retailers and internet companies to accept payments from consumers via their mobile wallets.

“The company allows merchants, banks, mobile operators and money transfer companies to take advantage of the ubiquity of mobile wallets as safe, convenient, and cost-effective transaction channel,” MFS Africa said in the statement.

The latest investment calls for MFS Africa to work closely with LUN Partners, its portfolio companies, and investor base to boost financial inclusion in countries targeted by China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

In return, LUN Partners will work with MFS Africa to help Chinese and other Asian enterprises, especially fintech and e-commerce firms, drive financial inclusion and trade more easily in Africa.

The Chinese investor aims to do this by providing a single access point to scale and monetise digital services across the continent using mobile money networks.

“China is home to some of the most exciting and fastest growing technology firms in the world, and Africa is the birthplace of mobile money. At the same time, the continent remains fragmented with no single network able to serve the region,” said Peilung Li, Founder and Chairman of LUN Partners Group.

MFS Africa, he said, can substantially boost cross-border trade and open up new opportunities for Chinese and global firms.

The company’s founder and CEO, Dare Okoudjou, said the funding round, and strategic nature of the investors, is a testament to MFS Africa’s performance and unique potential.

A McKinsey report released last year showed that Africa is the global leader in mobile money, which has become an important component of the region’s financial services landscape.

While mobile network operators have dominated mobile money services in Africa for the past decade, fintech firms have established a solid footing in the market recently, the report added.

Africa’s two leading mobile money providers earned $550 million and $220 million in annual mobile financial services revenues in 2017, according to McKinsey.


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