Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

FinTech

Digital Payments Specialist Cellulant Raises $47.5M

Article Image
Digital payment specialist Cellulant, which is already active in 11 African markets, has raised $47.5 million in a Series C round of funding led by The Rise Fund, an investment vehicle managed by growth equity platform TPG Growth.

The Rise Fund has signed an agreement to take a stake in Cellulant, founded in 2002 by Bolaji Akinboro and Ken Njoroge, and is investing alongside Endeavor Catalyst, Satya Capital, Velocity Capital & Progression Africa.

"Payments in Africa are not a novelty," stated Njoroge, who is Cellulant's Group CEO. "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," added Njoroge.

His co-founder, and CEO of Cellulant Nigeria, Akinboro stated: "With this new capital and as part of our scaling up strategy, we are leveraging on the growing mobile penetration trend in Africa to broaden our reach and extend our payments ecosystem across the continent. We are scaling up our existing payments products in the agriculture sector, digital banking and internet payments, as well as introducing consumer-focused products to complement the enterprise products we already have. This will allow us to increase access to payments for the millions of Africans who are still unbanked, despite the financial inclusion revolution."

The investment will also help Cellulant to further develop existing products such as Agrikore, a mobile blockchain-based platform that has served more than 7 million farmers across the continent by better connecting them to the market and helping them sell their goods to a diverse range of buyers more easily.

Left to right: Cellulant co-founder Bolaji Akinboro; Fiona Mungai, Endeavor Catalyst; Cellulant co-founder Ken Njoroge; Yemi Lalude, TPG; Dr. Samuel M. Kiruthu, Cellulant Chairman.
Left to right: Cellulant co-founder Bolaji Akinboro; Fiona Mungai, Endeavor Catalyst; Cellulant co-founder Ken Njoroge; Yemi Lalude, TPG; Dr. Samuel M. Kiruthu, Cellulant Chairman.

"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," stated 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 Fundís first investment in Africa."

Working with financial institutions, governments and mobile network operators, Cellulant has developed a digital payments platform that offers a range of payment options to users in Kenya, Nigeria, 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," stated 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."

ó Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub

Story

Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuzť program and the Orange Digital Center network.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Rwanda's Ampersand

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is Rwanda's Ampersand, which designs, builds, and manufactures electric motorcycles and battery packs for motorcycle taxis.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

Story

Leveraging agritech to build resilience against climate change

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook discusses agritech in Africa and how the agricultural sector is using technology to build resilience against the negative effects of climate change and to ensure food security.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002