Kenyan Internet payments firm gets Sh519m funding

Direct Pay CEO Eran Feinstein. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Direct Pay CEO Eran Feinstein. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Direct Pay Online, an Internet payments processor, has received Sh519 million ($5 million) funding from private equity firm Apis Partners. Apis focuses on firms in Africa and Asia.

This is the second time that it is investing in Direct Pay Online (DPO) after injecting Sh1 billion ($10 million) into the company last year.

DPO now says it will use the money to fund its expansion in Africa. The company, which was founded in Kenya in 2006, has a presence in 12 African countries and plans to move into 14 more including Nigeria, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique.

“[This investment] will be used to fuel DPO Group’s ambitious strategic plan which includes organic growth across Africa, strengthening the Group’s through mergers and acquisitions,” said the company in a statement.

DPO said that the money will also be used to develop new technology and growing its mobile application, DumaPay. In expanding across the continent the company has made five acquisitions, including in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

The payments firm says it serves 25,000 online merchants in Africa, helping them accept payments from credit cards, mobile money and e-wallets.

In July, Direct Pay Online and Visa announced they partnered on a new product, mVisa, which allows payments at points-of-sale by scanning a QR code, for smartphones or using a short code for feature phones. 

Users can also send money directly from one bank account to another. UK-based Apis focuses on providing growth equity for companies in financial services. It also operates in Kenya, India, South Africa, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates.

Apis in March announced closing the Apis Growth Fund I, from which it is drawing capital to invest in DPO, with commitments of Sh29.8 billion ($287 million) from  investors that included the African Development Bank, Old Mutual and the European Investment Bank.