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国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务投融资

腾讯参投,非洲版“Stripe”Paystack获800万美元A轮融资

国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务投融资

腾讯参投,非洲版“Stripe”Paystack获800万美元A轮融资

Paystack是一家类似于Stripe的创企,它位于尼日利亚的拉各斯。公司为商家提供了提供线上支付功能,今日它宣布获800万美元A轮融资。这家公司在尼日利亚非常活跃,它的支付API集成了数万家企业,在历史两年的发展后,现在它处理的线上支付数量占总量的15%。Paystack计划在国内持续发展的同时,同时进入其他国家,加纳会是它的第一个目标。

Paystack是一家“Stripe式”的创企,本轮融资的领投方正是Stripe。这不仅仅是Stripe对远在大洋彼岸的“同类”进行的一次投资,更说明了它理解进入非洲这类市场的困难程度。

“Paystack的创始人们对技术非常熟悉,高度地关注客户。我们很高兴能投资全世界发展最快地区的这样一支团队。”Stripe的首席执行官Patrick Collison说道。

“想要为非洲的企业打造业务,你需要考虑大量的本地化差异。Paystack似乎是唯一一家能做到这一点的公司。”Paystack的联合创始人Shola Akinlade说道,另一位联合创始人Ezra Olubi目前是公司的首席执行官。

2016年,Paystack成为了第一家参加Y Combinator的尼日利亚创企,这家孵化器也参与了本轮投资。其他战略投资人还包括Visa以及中国互联网巨头腾讯。另外腾讯还在之前的融资中投资过Paystack,后者的融资总额已经达到1000万美元。

Stripe在西方的金融服务领域取得了巨大的成功,它将一种便捷简单的支付方式推广到所有应用和网站上,将繁琐的集成、协商过程简化为几行代码。它出现的时机正好是手机应用的起步阶段,人们感觉线上交易变得更加舒适、简单。Paystack就想要模仿这种模式,并让它更加本地化。

尼日利亚是非洲最大的经济体,但即便如此,它只是勉强跟上数字化经济的潮流。这个市场里也有其他的数字支付供应商——Interswitch可能是最大的一家公司——但Akinlade认为Paystack对支付有着更加现代化的理解。特别是它专注于集成各类尼日利亚人使用的支付方式,并让这些支付方式的使用变得同样简单。

Africa has been one of the least-developed regions globally when it comes to technology and being on the less advanced side of the so-called digital divide. But with a huge population and a set of nations whose economies are rapidly changing, we are seeing a significant knock-on effect in tech. Today, one of the more interesting startups, in the area of financial services, is announcing some funding that underscores that trend.

Paystack, a Stripe-like startup out of Lagos that provides online payment facilities to merchants and others by way of an API and a few lines of code, is announcing that it has raised $8 million in a Series A round of funding. The company is active today in Nigeria, where its payment API integrates with tens of thousands of businesses, and in two years it has grown to process 15 percent of all online payments; and the plan is to both continue to grow in its home market, as well as expand to more countries, starting with Ghana.

I describe Paystack  as “Stripe-like”, and in an interesting twist, the round is being led by none other than Stripe itself — a mark not just of how the latter (once a YC startup itself) is eyeing up like-minded global founders and businesses as it continues to grow, but also how Stripe understands the challenges of breaking into a region like Africa, and therefore sees an opportunity to work with and support those who are.

“The Paystack founders are highly technical, fanatically customer oriented, and unrelentingly impatient,” says Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, in a statement. “We’re excited to back such people in one of the world’s fastest-growing regions.”

“It takes a lot of local nuances to build for African businesses,” said Shola Akinlade, the CEO of Paystack who co-founded the company with Ezra Olubi (who is the CTO) and are pictured above. “Paystack seems to be the only one doing this.”

In 2016, Paystack became the first startup from Nigeria to enter Y Combinator, and the incubator is doing some follow-on investing in this round. Other strategic investors in this Series A include Visa and the Chinese online giant Tencent, parent of WeChat and a plethora of other services. (Tencent also invested in Paystack’s previous round: the startup has raised $10 million to date.)

Stripe scored a big win in financial services in the West when it developed a very quick and easy way of integrating payments into any app or website, taking what used to involve a lot of integration and negotiation and reducing it into a few lines of code. It came just at a time when apps were starting to take off, and people were coming around to feeling more comfortable about making financial transactions online, as long as they were easy to do.

Paystack has followed a similar template, albeit much more localised.

Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa, but even so, it is only just getting the ball rolling on digitising commerce. There have been other payment providers operating in the market — Interswitch being perhaps the biggest — but Akinlade describes Paystack as a more modern take on payments. Specifically, its focus is on integrating the wide range of payment options that Nigerians (and soon, those in other countries in Africa) use both to accept payments and make them and making each of them equally easy to use.


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