Stripe is reported to have acquired Nigerian payments start-up Paystack for an undisclosed sum in its biggest acquisition to date.
The company, founded by Limerick-born brothers Patrick and John Collison a decade ago, previously led an $8 million Series A funding round for Paystack two years ago.
No financial details relating to the deal have been disclosed although TechCrunch valued the acquisition at over $200 million (€ 171 million).
Paystack is a Lagos-based digital payment platform founded by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi in January 2016.
The IT firm has developed technology that lets businesses accept payments via credit card, debit card, money transfer, and mobile money on their websites or mobile apps and employs more than 100 people.
Through Paystack’s payments interface, customers can pay with local and international cards, or directly from their bank accounts.
Paystack also supports localised payment channels, including mobile money, QR code, and USSD payments.
Every payment is screened by fraud-monitoring systems to protect merchants from chargebacks, and Paystack’s direct bank integrations ensure high transaction success rates.
Paystack’s suite, which currently includes collections, disbursements, identity verification, reporting, and commerce tools, is currently used by 60,000 businesses across Nigeria and Ghana.
The company, which processes more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria, has also just started a pilot in South Africa and is eying a move into other countries.
According to a statement issued by Stripe, it will provide additional resources to accelerate Paystack’s expansion plans in Africa, with the start-up to continue as a stand-alone business.
Over time, it is expected to contribute to Stripe’s global payments and treasury network; which spans 42 countries.
“Paystack is a growth engine for modern businesses in Africa; and we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Stripe; whose mission and values are so aligned with ours, to nurture transformative businesses on the continent,” said Mr Akinlade.
According to Stripe, the African internet economy is growing quickly; with the volume of online commerce in the region increasing 21 per cent year-over-year; 75 per cent faster than the global average.
While Africa represents 17 per cent of the world’s population today; it accounts for only 2 per cent of its online commerce currently.
“This acquisition will give Paystack resources to develop new products; support more businesses; and consolidate the hyper-fragmented African payments market,” said Matt Henderson, Stripe’s business lead in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
“We simply can’t wait to see what they will build next; and how their growth can turbocharge the African tech ecosystem,” he added.
The deal for Paystack represents Stripe’s biggest acquisition to date outside of its purchase of Irish start-up, Touchtech Payments last year.
Stripe, which was valued at nearly $36 billion after raising an additional $600 million from backers earlier this year; was founded by the Collison brothers in 2010. It employs more than 2,800 people globally; including about 300 in Ireland.
The company has been ramping up its investment in promising start-ups of late; recently participating in big funding rounds for US data interchange company Stedi; and for the Philippines-headquartered online payment platform, PayMongo.
Other investments include backing digital challenger bank Monzo; and partaking in a $22.5 million funding round for Step; a mobile banking start-up aimed at teenagers, last year.