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Nigerian digital payments firm Interswitch confirmed today it has reached unicorn status after Visa acquired a minority equity stake in the firm.
“The investment makes Interswitch one of the most valuable African fintech businesses with a valuation of $1 billion,” Interswitch said in a release to TechCrunch.
Visa - Investment - Market - Distinctions - Interswitch
The Visa investment could create the first of two market distinctions for Interswitch — as it shouldn’t change the Lagos based company’s plans to go public.
“An IPO is still very much in the cards; likely sometime in the first half of 2020,” a source with knowledge of the situation told TechCrunch on background.
Interswitch - Amount - Visa - Investment - Sky
Interswitch did not reveal the amount of Visa’s investment and would not confirm Sky News reporting Monday that pegged it at $200 million for 20%.
Whatever the exact number, Interswitch’s confirmation of a $1 billion valuation marks another milestone in African tech.
VC - Startup - Company - Continent - Venture
Only one VC backed startup, turned later-stage company on the continent — e-commerce venture Jumia — has generated enough revenue and capital to achieve a ten-figure valuation.
For the near to medium-term, Interswitch could stand as Africa’s sole tech-unicorn, since Jumia’s volatile share-price and declining market-cap since an April IPO have dropped the company’s worth below $1 billion (for now).
Mitchell - Elegbe - Interswitch - Infrastructure - Nigeria
Founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch pioneered the infrastructure to digitize Nigeria’s then predominantly paper-ledger and cash-based economy.
The company now provides much of rails for Nigeria’s online banking system that serves Africa’s largest economy and population. Interswitch offers a number of personal and business finance products, including its Verve payment cards and Quickteller payment app.
Home-base - Nigeria - Interswitch
From its home-base of Nigeria Interswitch has...
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