Africarena alumni startup BIZAO RAISES €8 MILLION TO BECOME A LEADING PAYMENT HUB IN AFRICA
Bizao, a fintech that facilitates payments for both local and international businesses operating in Africa, announces an €8 million series A funding to accelerate its geographical footprint across the continent and invest in the design of new lines of products and services.
● Bizao, a fintech dedicated to the African market, announces that it has recently closed its €8 million series A funding round which was led by key investors including AfricInvest, Adelie, and Seedstars Africa Ventures.
● Since 2019, Bizao has secured, in 10 African countries, over 30 partnerships with telco operators, banks, and mobile money service providers. This geographical coverage has enabled Bizao’s team to build, over time, a unique payment hub that allows businesses in West and Central Africa to accept credit card payments along with mobile money and airtime as payment means. Now providing coverage of 200 million end-customers, Bizao already supports around 100 companies in the digital transformation of their online and in-store payment transactions.
● With this funding, Bizao will scale the commercialization of its payment hub and expand its operations to new countries. The new investors strengthen Bizao’s governance while consolidating the R&D strategy aimed at designing innovative payment products and services to address the needs identified across news business lines
Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire - July 12, 2022
Launched in 2019, Bizao facilitates, in a transparent and secure manner, the processing of end-to-end payment flows to and from the main digital payment systems in Africa (airtime, mobile money wallets, credit cards). Within 3 years, Bizao has expanded its operations in 10 African countries (Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tunisia, Togo, Gabon) and has built a robust and cutting-edge infrastructure that processes over 350 million payment requests per month.
Bizao’s modular and scalable platform allows clients to collect and issue payments online and in-stores via point-of-sale (POS).
The technology used by Bizao ensures end-to-end transactions traceability and is hence, up to the latest standards of banking and finance regulation to prevent fraud and money laundering. This, ultimately, enables Bizao to deepen its relationship with its partners.
“We have spent the last few years working closely with our partners (telecoms operators, banks, and mobile wallet providers) to improve our products and services in line with our customer requirements. Thanks to this close collaboration with industry players, we have multiplied the transaction volumes processed by our platform by almost 20 over the past 12 months. This round of financing will enable us to design new product lines for high-potential vertically integrated organizations, expand in new markets and grow the team across all our offices” said Aurélien Delort-Duval, Founder and CEO of Bizao.
The funding round was led by:
- AfricInvest Financial Inclusion Vehicle (AfricInvest FIVE), a leading private equity company with operations in Africa
- Adelie, a multi-stage venture capital fund focused on technology companies - Seedstars Africa Ventures, an Africa-focused early-stage venture capital fund
“Through our equity investments in financial institutions including banks, insurance companies, and high potential fintechs, we support the acceleration of universal access to financial services. Our investment in Bizao is in line with this high-impact strategy aiming to support financial inclusion in Africa,” said Omar Bekkali, Partner at AfricInvest
“It is the future of financial services that is orchestrating itself in Africa; mobile money has enabled more than 60% of the population on the continent to finally have access to basic financial services. The penetration rate of mobile on the continent is close to 100% and we are witnessing a growth in the use of credit cards. We are convinced that a platform combining all these payment methods has exceptional growth potential.” said Jean-Manuel Costa, Managing Partner at Adelie
“With more than 600 million mobile money accounts, Africa is the ultimate place for mobile payments. Yet 90% of transactions are still settled in cash. Bizao tackles a major societal issue
and can help unlock African trade potential. To achieve this goal, Bizao leverages its payment Hub which is one of the most technically robust. In addition, Bizao’s African internationalization strategy matches that of the companies we support” said Tamim El Zein, Partner at Seedstars Africa Ventures.
AfricInvest is a leading investment platform that manages multiple alternative asset classes with several lines of businesses that include private equity, venture capital, and private credit. We provide financing for companies in Africa at various development stages, seeking to deliver value and impact for our investors, portfolio companies, and the communities we serve. With a proven track record of 30 years, our team of investment experts has raised over $2bn in funds, providing attractive risk-adjusted returns while successfully executing investments in more than 200 companies, across 35 countries. “AfricInvest FIVE” is an evergreen investment vehicle dedicated to the financial sector in Africa. FIVE stands for Financial Inclusion Vehicle. The number five represents the aspiration of AfricInvest and FIVE’s investors to contribute to achieving universal access to financial services in Africa. As the current level of penetration on the continent is a mere 20%, achieving universal access will require a fivefold increase. FIVE’s evergreen structure enables it to support its portfolio companies in achieving meaningful strategic and digital transformations. FIVE is backed by a strong investor base including FMO Norfund, KfW, BIO, AfDB, IFU, SDG Frontier Fund, and SICOM. The fund is supported by AfricInvest’s eight offices across the continent which impart deep experience and relationships, sectoral expertise, and environmental, social, and governance improvements for investee companies.
For more information about AfricInvest, please visit: Website:www.africinvest.com
Launched in 2019, Adelie is a multi-stage technology fund based in Paris and London. It benefits from a partnership with Clipperton, a leading European technology investment bank that has advised 350+ high-growth businesses on financing and M&A transactions since 2003. The fund is supported by 100+ experienced tech entrepreneurs, partners at private equity firms, C-levels at CAC 40 companies, and large family offices.
Investments of the team include Advens, AramisAuto, Botify, Fenergo, Glovo, Leetchi, Odoo, Sendinblue, Teads, Thirdbridge, and Withings.
About Seedstars Africa Ventures
Seedstars Africa Ventures is a pan-African early-stage venture capital fund positioned to lead pre-series A and Series A rounds. The fund supports value creation with hands-on support, by leveraging Seedstars’ network in 25 African countries and 10-year presence on the continent, as well as by fostering partnership opportunities with its corporate partners. Launched with LBO France in partnership with Seedstars in 2021, the fund has already invested over $5 million in some of the continent’s leading tech companies.
More information is available at https://seedstars-africa.vc