Nigerian fintech Paga may be Africa’s next unicorn

One of the leading mobile payment solutions in Nigeria, Paga, is on course to become the West African nation’s newest unicorn.

Paga has enjoyed the backing of notable investors from across the globe, including American shark Tim Draper and ex Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill. The fintech also boasts of up to 17 million unique users, ranging from corporate clients to individuals and tech entrepreneurs.

Founded in 2009 and built after the PayPal blueprint, transactions valued at over US$2.3bn were processed via Paga’s platform in the last year, while a total of US$8bn was processed from 2018 to date.

Commenting on his view of the firm’s prospects, Paga’s CEO Tayo Oviosu, indicated that the firm is likely to hit a $1-billion valuation very soon. According to him, that is likely “in the next year or two”.

The CEO’s optimism can be linked to the deal which the firm is currently working out with Visa. If eventually sealed, this deal could make room for accelerated expansion.

Tech unicorns are no longer a new phenomenon in Nigeria, as startups such as Flutterwave and Interswitch, among others, have already paved the way.

The market continues to remain open to the growth of these fintech firms, which can provide easy solutions to the unbanked population, while also shortchanging traditional banks by providing smarter options to their users.

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