The rise fund leads $47.5m series c for Cellulant
The Rise Fund, a global impact investing fund managed by growth equity platform TPG Growth, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a stake in Cellulant, a leading digital payments provider that reaches 40 million people across 11 African countries.
The Rise Fund is investing alongside Endeavor Catalyst and Satya Capital.
The deal is the largest of its kind dedicated solely to Africa’s fintech and payments space, competitively positioning Cellulant in a fast-growing sector where it already enjoys an early mover advantage.
“Across Africa, expanding easy-to-use and low cost mobile banking offers immense potential for impact, and Cellulant is at the leading edge of that work,” said Bill McGlashan, CEO and co-founder of The Rise Fund.
“We’re excited to invest in African entrepreneurs like Ken and Bolaji to help them grow their businesses and expand their impact on society. Cellulant is a perfect partner for The Rise Fund’s first investment in Africa.”
Cellulant’s digital payments platform delivers connected, flexible payment options for consumers and businesses, and works with financial institutions, governments and mobile network operators to increase transparency and expand their reach in Africa.
Building on a business model that first debuted in Kenya and Nigeria in 2004, the company has since expanded its services across 11 African markets, including: Zambia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, and Liberia.
“Cellulant occupies a unique position in the fintech ecosystem in Africa, with the potential to offer increased access, savings, and income to tens of millions of users across the continent,” said Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner for TPG in Africa.
“As more and more smartphones come online across Africa, Cellulant makes it easy for customers to increase their incomes.”
Cellulant offers the opportunity to create transformational growth for African economies by expanding financial inclusion on a continent where nearly two-thirds of the population do not have a bank account.
This includes easy-to-access digital payment solutions, interoperable financial services, and mobile banking solutions that can help the unbanked open accounts, cut fees, and save for the future, as well as helping farmers and small and medium sized business owners expand their reach through improved financial services. More than 94% of Cellulant’s customer base was previously unbanked before they signed up.
“Payments in Africa are not a novelty. With two thirds of Africans unable to access a bank account, we believe that building a connected payments infrastructure is the foundation of solving real challenges and accelerating Africa’s growth and development. This investment from TPG Growth’s The Rise Fund will enable us to build a world class payments team that can unlock our next phase of growth. This involves not only entering new geographies across the continent, but also consolidating our presence in existing markets,” said Ken Njoroge, Cellulant co-founder and Group CEO.
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