Wave raises US$200m at $1.7B valuation

French-speaking Africa is finally home to a unicorn, the first of its kind in the region. It is truly a very impressive feat, especially as the region’s first unicorn happens to be a fintech firm. 

Wave, a Senegal, and US-based mobile money platform has completed a Series A funding round, raising US$200 million at a US$1.7 billion valuation. This funding round also set a record as the region’s largest Series A round.

The round was co-led by four giant corporations, including Founders Fund; private investment fund, and Sequoia subsidiary, Sequoia Heritage; Ribbit Capital, and fintech giant Stripe. Others participants (also existing backers) of the funding effort include Partech Africa and Sam Altman, ex CEO of Y Combinator and current CEO of OpenAI.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the mobile money sector has witnessed marked growth. In the last year, approximately US$500 billion in transactions were processed through various mobile money platforms. 

The region also boasts over 300 million active mobile money. Yet, analysts insist that there is still more room for growth as the current numbers only represent a minute fraction of the larger population. 

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