Nigerian payments company Paystack, has agreed to be acquired by global payments leader Stripe to make online and offline payments easier for African businesses, and enable more global companies to enter the fast-growing region.
Paystack powers payments for thousands of companies of all sizes – including FedEx, UPS and MTN – and processes over 50 per cent of all online payments in Nigeria, Africa’s largest market.
Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Millions of businesses in 42 countries are using Stripe to process hundreds of billions of dollars across the globe
The African internet economy is growing quickly, with online commerce in the region growing 21 per cent year-over-year, 75 per cent faster than the global average.
In order to help grow Africa’s online GDP, Stripe has entered into an agreement to acquire Paystack, a technology company based in Lagos that makes it easy for organizations of all sizes to collect payments from around the world.
Today, more than 60,000 businesses in Nigeria and Ghana use Paystack to securely collect online and offline payments, launch new business models, and deepen customer relationships. Incredibly, Paystack already processes more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria. Paystack has ambitious plans to expand across the continent and recently started a pilot with businesses in South Africa.
Stripe and Paystack have been working closely together for some time. In 2018, Stripe led Paystack’s Series A financing round and has provided ongoing guidance as the company rapidly scaled.
“In just five years, Paystack has done what many companies could not achieve in decades. Their tech-first approach, values, and ambition greatly align with our own. This acquisition will give Paystack resources to develop new products, support more businesses and consolidate the hyper-fragmented African payments market,” said Matt Henderson, Stripe’s business lead in EMEA. “We can’t wait to see what they will build next and how their growth can turbocharge the African tech ecosystem.”
Paystack will continue to operate independently, growing their operations in Africa and adding more international payment methods. Over time, Paystack’s capabilities will be embedded in Stripe’s Global Payments and Treasury Network (GPTN), a programmable platform for global money movement that currently spans 42 countries.
“Paystack is a growth engine for modern businesses in Africa, and we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Stripe, whose mission and values are so aligned with ours, to nurture transformative businesses on the continent,” said Shola Akinlade, CEO and co-founder of Paystack.
“We believe deeply that with the right tools, African creators, developers, and entrepreneurs can do incredible things. Leveraging Stripe’s resources and deep expertise, we’re excited to accelerate our geographic expansion and introduce more payment channels, more value-added services, and deeper integrations with global platforms.”
The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
FG Committed to Fast-track Nigeria’s Digital Economy – Pantami
- As Danbatta urges Industry Operators to settle huge interconnect debt
L-R: Mr Alan Sinfield, Managing Director/CEO 9mobile; Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr.Olusola Teniola, President Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON); Mr. Muyiwa Ogungboye, 2nd Vice President ATCON; Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, during the maiden edition of the National Dialogue on Telecoms and ICT Sector in Nigeria organised by ATCON at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites, Kado, Abuja today (Thursday, October 14, 2020.)
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has re-emphasized the resolve of the Federal Government, through the Ministry, to continually advance the digital economy agenda of the country.
Pantami stated this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden edition of the National Dialogue on Telecoms and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sectors in Nigeria held at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites, Abuja on Thursday, 15 October 2020. The event was organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in collaboration with other industry stakeholders.
Represented by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Minister said the event with the overarching theme: ‘Harnessing the Digital Resources for the Building of Our National Economy’ and sub-themes lined up for discussions, were apt and timely, given the increased reliance of individuals and businesses on digital platforms to carry out their activities.
Pantami stated that the digital economy journey started by the Ministry, following the President’s approval in 2019, culminated in the development of an eight-pillar National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) with a view to providing a more coordinated and enhanced national policy direction for transforming Nigeria’s economy into a truly digital economy.
He said that NDEPS is a policy document that addresses different aspects of development that require attention in order to have a vibrant digital economy, adding that, like Nigeria, most nations are prioritising the need to develop their digital economies because of the multiplier effect on all other sectors of the economy.
The Minister noted some of the challenges of the digital economy to include rapid evolution of technology and widening inequalities between the digital “haves” and “haves-not”; need for new regulations; cybercrime and other threats; low level of digital literacy; and the need for infrastructure.
While expressing optimism about Nigeria’s digital economy strategy, he economic growth and productivity; increased transparency; growth of digital innovation and entrepreneurship; digitisation of work and useful insights from big data as some of the opportunities that abound and from which the economy will gain.
“The telecom and ICT sector stand to gain a lot from the development of our digital economy and the public and private sector need to come on board to maximise the impact on the entire economy,” the Minister said.
However, speaking in his capacity as the EVC of NCC and lead presenter at the second panel session on the theme: “National Funding and Investment Strategy for Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Economy”, Danbatta gave the theme a sharper by focusing on what the Commission had done in the last five years, especially in stimulating the development of resilient ICT infrastructure and the benefits these regulatory efforts have brought to the economy.
Situating his presentation in the context of ‘Nigeria’s Telecom Sector: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,’ Danbatta explained that access gaps in the country have been reduced from 217 in 2015 to 114.
“We have licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos); we have introduced innovative policies such as spectrum trading and spectrum farming; broadband penetration has increased from 6 percent to 43.3 per cent in the last five years. Also, from 8 per cent in 2015, the telecoms sector contributed over 14 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as in the second quarter of 2020, valued at N2.3 trillion,” Danbatta said.
Meanwhile, the EVC has urged telecom operators in the country to settle the huge interconnect debts being owed by various industry operators, noting that this should be resolved in the wider interest of the industry. Danbatta said the “interconnectivity indebtedness valued at over N70 billion is a big challenge to infrastructure expansion and inimical to healthy competition” which are needed for facilitating digital economy in Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ATCON, Olusola Teniola, said the national dialogue was targeted at harnessing the digital resources in the country with a view to optimising innovative ideas to effectively pursue the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.
The event featured insightful panel discussion sessions by industry stakeholders and goodwill messages by state governments’ representatives across the six geo-political zones, who used the platform to talk about how their states were leveraging ICT deployment to drive their economic activities and the development of their states.
Nigerian Artists, Creators To Benefit From $100m YouTube Fund
YouTube today announced that artists and creators from Nigeria can apply for grants from its Black Voices Fund. The global $100m fund will, over the next three years, offer support to Black artists and creators so that they can thrive on YouTube.
Interested artists and creators can apply for funding here.
The Black Voices Fund, says Alex Okosi, MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA, will invest with the intention to “present fresh narratives that emphasise the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of Black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice”.
The $100m fund was first announced in June. It has since been officially named the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. This year, says Okosi, the fund will be focusing its efforts on creators within the US, Brazil and Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
“Our goal is to expand funding to more countries over the course of the next three years,” he adds. “Additionally, we hope to provide a consistent drumbeat of educational training, workshops, and community events to Black creators and artists globally.”
The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is part of the work currently underway to ensure that YouTube is a place where Black artists, creators and users can share their stories and be protected.
“Along with our commitment to amplifying marginalised voices on the content side, we are also investing in product and policy changes that will continue to advance YouTube’s mission of giving everyone a voice and showing them the world,” Okosi adds.
YouTube believes that it is only by taking a stand against those who would try to bully, harass, silence and intimidate others that it truly moves closer to achieving this mission. Its new efforts include ramping up enforcement and terminating more accounts that repeatedly post hateful comments. It is also in the process of rolling out product changes to make creator moderation tools more streamlined.
Nigeria Mobile Subscribers Rise to 203m In August 2020
- As GSMA projects 25m New Unique Subs by 2025
- SSA Subscribers To Reach 614m In 5Yrs
- $184 Billion Mobile Contribution
Nigeria’s mobile subscribers at the end of August 2020 rose to 203,529,809 lines from 199,307,796 in July just as the GSM Association, GSMA, has projected that the country will have additional 25 million unique subscriber by 2025.
According to the newly released monthly subscriber growth statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC on its website, Nigeria’s teledensity moved from 104.41 per cent in July to 106.62 as at the end of August. (From March 2019, teledensity is calculated based on a population estimate of 190 million, up from 140 million).
As at August ending, MTN Nigeria lead the mobile market with 83,083, 913 million subscribers (40.90%) followed by Airtel with 54,766, 947 (26.96 %); Glo 52,934, 089 (26.06%) and EMTS 12,377, 612 (6.09%).
Meanwhile, the latest annual Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa report published by The GSM Association, GSMA, at the Thrive Africa event held recently states that Sub-Saharan Africa will have more than 130 million new subscribers by 2025, half of which will come from just five markets.
Nigeria’s 25m Unique Mobiles
Nigeria will lead with 25 million news unique mobile subscriptions followed by Ethiopia 16 million, DRC 11 million, Tanzania and Kenya 7 million each while other countries within the SSA will contribute 66 million. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the fastest-growing region, with 477 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2019.
Mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase by 137 million to 614 million by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate of (CACR) of .4.3 per cent.
Notably, 272 million are now mobile internet users, representing 26 per cent of the population. In 2019, mobile technologies and services generated nine per cent of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa, a contribution of more than $155 billion.
At the end of 2019, 477 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa subscribed to mobile services, accounting for 45 per cent of the population.
The mobile market in the region will reach several important milestones over the next five years: half a billion mobile subscribers in 2021, 1 billion mobile connections in 2024, and 50 per cent subscriber penetration by 2025. These achievements will be underpinned by operators’ continued investment in network infrastructure.
$52 Billion Infrastructure Buildouts
Despite the economic uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, operators in the region will invest $52 billion in infrastructure rollouts between 2019 and 2025. Smartphone adoption continues to rise rapidly in the region, reaching 50 per cent of total connections in 2020, as cheaper devices have become available.
Smartphone financing models are gaining traction, demonstrated by the recent partnership between Safaricom and Google, allowing low-income consumers to pay for 4G devices in daily instalments. Over the next five years, the number of smartphone connections in Sub-Saharan Africa will almost double to reach 678 million by the end of 2025 – an adoption rate of 65 per cent.
Mobile technologies and services generated nine per cent of GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2019 – a contribution that amounted to more than $155 billion of economic value added. The mobile ecosystem also supported almost 3.8 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with $17 billion raised through taxation.
$184 Billion Mobile Contribution
By 2024, mobile’s contribution will reach around $184 billion as countries increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by the increased take-up of mobile services. The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2020.
“The findings from our Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa report clearly show the importance and value of digital connectivity,” said Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Africa, GSMA. “Realising the full potential of a progressive digital future requires an informed policy debate of the sort that GSMA Thrive Africa will deliver. I look forward to welcoming everyone in person to the inaugural MWC21 Africa, an event which represents the continent’s next step towards closing the digital divide.”
MWC Africa 2021 Coming
Meanwhile, GSMA has announced it will host MWC Africa in Kigali, Rwanda in 2021, bringing the leading global event series to the continent for the first time. GSMA Director General, Mats Granryd, announced the news during his opening keynote address at Thrive Africa, the GSMA’s virtual event platform, which runs from the 29 September to 1 October 2020.
MWC21 Africa will bring together the leading names from business and technology to become the continent’s most connected and influential event. This premier event is part of the GSMA’s flagship series of MWC events, which includes editions in Barcelona, Shanghai and Los Angeles.
“I am proud of what we have built with Thrive and the previous Mobile 360 events, which have helped shape the continent’s connected digital future,” said Granryd. “From 2021 we will celebrate MWC Africa, joining our world-leading platform for thought-leadership and technology, recognising the important role Africa will play in our connected future.”
“Around the world, access to mobile internet is helping close the digital divide. Its transformative power is nowhere more obvious than in Africa. That is why I’m excited about welcoming the world to Kigali next year to shine a light on African mobile and tech innovation.”
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