Kenya based Online payment startup Direct Pay Online has secured another round of funding worth Sh519 million putting Africa expansion prospects firmly on its radar.
The round of funding by private equity firm Apis Partners underlines the role of private equity in business growth at a time when banks have closed cash taps and are starving business ideas to death.
Direct Pay Online (DPO) had funded the startup to the tune of Sh1 billion the previous and the second injection serves to stamp a mark of faith in the reportedly fast growing platform.
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.
25,000 online merchants
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.