Technology

Fintech firm eyes reduced Africa, Asia payment fees

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Man using smartphone and digital icon. PHOTO | POOL

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Summary

  • Kenyan fintech company Wapi Pay has raised Sh220 million ($2.2 Million) in pre-seed funding to scale up global payments and remittances between Africa and Asia.
  • The investment was led by China-based global fund MSA Capital, who have invested in domestic Asian unicorns such as Meituan and NIO, and international unicorns such as Nubank and Klarna.
  • Wapi Pay, which is focused on the Africa-Asia remittance corridor, targets to reduce high remittance fees of up to 15 percent per transaction to three percent and cut waiting periods of up to five days.

Kenyan fintech company Wapi Pay has raised Sh220 million ($2.2 Million) in pre-seed funding to scale up global payments and remittances between Africa and Asia.

The investment was led by China-based global fund MSA Capital, who have invested in domestic Asian unicorns such as Meituan and NIO, and international unicorns such as Nubank and Klarna.

Other angel investors included EchoVC and Kepple Africa Ventures. Existing investors are Future Hub, Gobi Ventures and Transsion Holding.

The funding will help Wapi Pay 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,” Wapi Pay co-founder Eddie Ndichu said.

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

Wapi Pay, which is focused on the Africa-Asia remittance corridor, targets to reduce high remittance fees of up to 15 percent per transaction to three percent and cut waiting periods of up to five days.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the most expensive regions to send money to and out, according to the World Bank, with the average cost of sending Sh21, 778 ($200) being 8.02 percent of the principal amount compared with 4.64 percent for South Asia, the lowest cost globally.

“Africa to Asia is a large trading corridor overlooked and underserved by tech today. We believe Wapi Pay is the best team to build the necessary infrastructure to support its growing trade volumes. We are excited to support our extensive China fintech network and playbook,” MSA Capital said.