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Investments

Paga

  • LocationNigeria
  • SectorFinancial Services
  • Type of investmentEquity investment
  • Project stageScale

A $5m equity investment to support Paga, Nigeria’s market leader in mobile payments and digital financial services, to grow its agent network, operating from kiosks, shops, and pharmacies to deliver a range of financial services, and become a leading player in Nigeria’s transition from a cash to digital payment economy.

Paga

The development problem

In Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy with a population of 186 million, 42% of the population is financially excluded and that proportion has been increasing from previous years. For 62% of unbanked Nigerians, dealing in the cash economy and lack of essential financial products has held back the poorest in society from creating safety nets and opportunities to get out of poverty. Even as the rate of urban migration rapidly increases, issues with the traditional financial system have excluded a majority of the growing urban population. Additionally, women and the youth are the most under-served populations, with 47% of women financially excluded versus 37% of men, 53.5% of those aged between 18 and 25.

The innovation

Paga is Nigeria’s market leader in mobile payments and digital financial services that is driving financial access and usage for the mass market. Paga brings financial services closer to the mass market by using a large and rapidly growing agent network (small kiosk shops, pharmacies, etc.) to deliver a variety of financial services including P2P money transfers, transfers to bank accounts, bill payments, airtime purchases, receiving remittances, savings, and continuing to introduce deeper financial services through its platform.

These types of digital financial services offered to the mass market and increasing the usage of mobile money can play a strong role in promoting inclusive growth.

GIF's investment

This year we made a $5m dollar preferred equity investment into Paga’s 2018 Series B round alongside Omidyar Network and Goodwell Investments. Our investment will help to support Paga to increase its country-wide footprint of agents to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria and drive usage of a mobile wallet and other digital financial services for these customers that help transform Nigeria into a digital financial ecosystem. We are also supporting Paga to use its market leader position to positively influence system-wide change, both in the market and in terms of regulation, while enabling other promising financial inclusion technologies to flourish.


Why we invested

  • Large social impact by delivering financial services to millions in Nigeria, one of the world’s largest developing countries.
  • Strong local management team with deep experience operating in Nigeria and a track record of introducing products and services into the market.
  • Critical inflection point for Paga to achieve long-term scale and impact by de-risking new products and consumer channel that will enable the company to attract larger future investment.
  • Market leader position creates opportunity to continuing to innovate at a large scale and be a voice for Nigeria on the importance of financial inclusion.
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